2. If your injury prevents you from reporting to work and you are on medical leave, it is important that you always apply for state disability insurance (SDI) through EDD (the same office that handles unemployment insurance benefits). This way, you will receive income from this source in case your workers compensation claim is denied or delayed.
3. Tell the doctor about your injuries. The workers compensation insurance company will often rely on the doctor's first report to determine the extent of your injury and the compensation you should receive. This is not the time to act tough. Tell the doctor about how your injury occurred and about the pain you are experiencing.
4. Complete the two workers compensation forms promptly. Your employer is required by law to give you the Workers Compensation Claim Form (DWC-1) and the Application for Adjudication of Claim withing one working day of learning that you had an injury that resulted in medical limitations. These forms must be filled out and filed by you at your local Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. Report your injury to someone in a position of authority, such as your supervisor or your supervisor's manager or both. Bear in mind that with some exceptions, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the incident giving rise to your injury or your workers compensation claim will likely be barred.
5. If possible, have some physical evidence of your injury. It's not unlikely for the insurance company to argue that you didn't suffer an injury or your injury wasn't as serious as you claim it to be. Thus, having physical evidence to support your side of the story is important. Photos of bruising, cuts / blood, broken helmet, a blade of a faulty equipment that caused your injury, ripped clothing, and alike can be a very useful evidence to prove your claim.
6. Make a list of witnesses. If any of your co-workers or bystanders witnessed your injury, get in touch with them as soon as possible, interview them and secure a signed declaration from them. Even one witness who supports your version of the events leading to an injury would be very useful where the employer argues that no injury occurred.
7. If you are being placed off work by your doctor, make sure that your employer is notified in writing that you will be off work due to the medical condition and your anticipated or approximate date of release to work with or without limitations. This will trigger the employer duty to reasonably accommodate your disability later and will help protect your job.