What is my responsibility if my employee hurt his finger?

by D
(Los Angeles, California)

My dishwasher hurt an employee's finger and he told me that he was in pain, so he had to go see a doctor. After he went to see the doctor he brought a work release form to me. The doctor said he can't be lifting heavy things for 3 days and may return to work in 3 days. He should be able to participate fully in all work duties after that time.

The doctor told the employee to make an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon and tell him to bring a paper that said "DISCHARGE WITH X-RAY and REPORT."

I have workers compensation but I don't know what I have to do first. What is my responsibility with him if he goes to see the orthopedist and needs surgery? During the time he's resting do I have to pay his wages or not? Thank you so much.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "What is my responsibility if my employee hurt his finger?":

D (Los Angeles, California):

First and foremost, contact your workmans compensation insurance company. You have a contractual duty to report to your workmans compensation any injury claims filed by your employees. Failure to do so gives them the option to deny representation in your injured employee's claim.

When you pay your workmans compensation premiums you are also paying for the investigation and negotiation of any employee injury claims, and where necessary legal representation for litigated claims filed by employees or their attorneys. They are expert in dealing with such issues. They also don't like paying claims unless absolutely necessary. As a result you can be confident your interests will be well-represented.

Your insurance company will decide if your employee's claim is valid, and if so what payments, if any, he deserves. Any payments to your injured employee will be paid by your insurance company. If litigation becomes necessary your insurance company will pay for your legal representation.

While waiting to hear from your insurance company you would be best served by maintaining a professional relationship with the employee. That might include paying his wages, at least temporarily.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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