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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

How to Talk to Your Boss About Workers' Compensation


When you are injured on the job in California, you are entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits. This is a protected workplace activity, which means you can’t be fired or otherwise reprimanded for reporting a work injury or filing a workers’ comp claim. Barring certain exceptions such as intoxication or criminal activity, you can even be responsible for your own injuries and qualify for benefits.

Even so, sometimes disclosing your work injury to your employer and requesting workers’ comp information is easier said than done. You might not be worried about losing your job because of your injury, but you might be worried about other ways it can affect your standing in the company or your rapport with a supervisor.

Fortunately, you may have nothing to worry about as long as you thoroughly and truthfully communicate your need for workers’ comp. Below are a few tips to consider.

1. Be Honest About Your Injury

The first step to obtaining workers’ comp benefits is disclosing your injury to your employer. Not all injuries are the result of distinct events that others would have noticed. No one may have been around when an incident resulted in injury, and certain work injuries can quietly progress over time.

As soon as you become aware of a work injury, notify your employer. You don’t have to apologize for anything, even if you made a mistake that caused the accident. All you have to do is give your employer the facts about what happened, when it happened, and how you think you’re injured, and they should supply you with an incident report and workers’ comp claim form to fill out.

2. Make Sure You Have Your Supervisor’s Attention

For your sake, make sure your supervisor isn’t distracted when you report your work injury. If they are, you can’t count on them to record all of the most important or relevant details you’re trying to communicate. This can cause delays with your claim or even adversely affect the benefits you receive for your injuries.

3. Don’t Overlook the Details

The details of your accident and injuries matter a great deal when it comes to workers’ comp. Because of this, you should communicate as much detail about them to your employer. You might want to nix any “colorful” language your employer may not appreciate, but you shouldn’t be fearful of explaining details that you think might make them feel uncomfortable in any way.

4. You Don’t Have to Talk About Irrelevant Topics

Some employers may use an accident report to draw irrelevant information out of an employee for reasons unrelated to the accident or their injuries. You don’t have to answer any questions or offer information that you feel is irrelevant to your need for workers’ compensation.

For example, let’s assume you are filing a workers’ comp claim for shoulder pain after lifting a heavy object at work. If your employer seems intent on asking about activities you do at home or during your free time that seem like they could have contributed to the injury, you don’t have to answer these questions.

Instead, you can politely decline to answer and consult with a workers’ comp attorney for further guidance.

Smolich and Smolich Can Help with Workers’ Comp Claims

It’s essential to protect your workers’ compensation claim after you were injured at work. For better or worse, how you communicate to your employer about your accident and injuries can have an impact on the benefits you receive.

For further guidance on how to report a work injury or legal assistance with any other workers’ comp issue, contact Smolich and Smolich online.