Restaurant employees face a significant number of risks every time they show up for work. From slip and fall incidents to burns, people who work at restaurants need to exercise extra caution to ensure they remain safe. Unfortunately, accidents can happen regardless of how safely an employee works. When a restaurant worker gets injured at work, they may be able to seek payment through the workers’ compensation program.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation exists to protect employees who are injured while performing their job duties. It is a type of insurance that all California employers are required to have.
Depending on the circumstances involved, restaurant employees may be eligible to receive any of 5 types of workers’ compensation benefits:
- Medical care
- Temporary disability
- Permanent disability
- Supplemental job displacement
- Death benefits
When Should Restaurant Employees Make a Workers’ Comp Claim?
A restaurant employee who is injured on the job should seek medical attention immediately. This will ensure there is a record of their injury and a record of the accident that caused it. Injuries should also be reported directly to the employer. Employees should ensure there is a written record of the incident and should only file for workers’ compensation after they have received medical attention and reported the injury to their employer.
Note that the statute of limitations on workers’ comp claims in California is 1 year. This means that employees have 1 year from the date they were injured to make a claim. However, there is an exception if an employee is making a claim for cumulative trauma. If the employee is claiming an injury that developed over time, the 1-year statute of limitations begins on the day they discovered the injury or discovered it was work-related.
Common Restaurant Injuries
Restaurant work often requires employees to be active and move a lot. The high-paced nature of the job, combined with the hot or sharp cooking equipment, can lead to severe accidents. Some of the most common injuries sustained by restaurant employees include:
- Cuts and scrapes from using cutlery or washing sharp utensils
- Burns from hot food, cooking oil, or hot cooking instruments
- Injuries caused by slipping and falling due to water, oil, or other liquid on the ground
- Strained muscles from standing for extend periods
- Back injuries from lifting heavy, industrial-sized supplies
- Injuries, such as burns, from using strong cleaning chemicals
Filing for Workers’ Comp as a Restaurant Employee in California
Any employee who reports a restaurant workplace injury to their employer should receive Form DWC-1 within one business day. Their employer should also inform them of their eligibility for benefits and how to get them.
Employees should fill out Form DWC-1 to file for benefits. The form should be completed with as much detail as possible. Include information such as the date of the injury, the circumstances leading up to the injury, medical treatment that was necessary, and pain levels. The form should be submitted to the employer who will fill out their portion and then submit it to the insurance company.
The insurance company will then authorize payment for ongoing medical treatment while they review the claim for validity. All workers’ compensation insurers are responsible for $10,000 worth of medical bills while they review a claim. A claim will likely be considered approved if it isn’t denied within the first 90 days.
We’ll Fight Together
Any restaurant workers who have been injured on the job in California can contact Leigh Law Firm for legal counsel. We will educate you on your rights andhelp you file paperwork correctly. We can also help you appeal a denied claim. We know that workplace injuries are stressful and emotionally draining. If you are searching for a San Diego workers’ compensation attorney or a Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney Contact us at (619) 473-7569 or online for a free consultation.