If you are filing for workers’ compensation benefits, it’s crucial that you submit all required paperwork as soon as possible. California workers’ comp claim statute of limitations come into effect depending on your illness or injury. And this could impact the type and amount of compensation you might receive.
We know that keeping up with deadlines for workers’ compensation claims is a lot to handle. Most claims require a great deal of detailed medical and legal analysis in order to present a strong case. And even if you feel like your case is strong, some insurance companies will try to delay the process or could even to lowball you by miscalculating benefits.
At Steve Dewberry Law Offices, we can work with you to ensure you submit your workers’ compensation claim on time and avoid costly mistakes. Contact us today to speak to a Pasadena CA workers’ comp attorney.
Why You Should Always Report Work-Related Injuries or Accidents Immediately
After a work-related accident or injury, you are eligible to file a claim for benefits immediately. Be sure to submit a claim to your employer within a month of actually becoming aware about an injury or illness in order to adhere with California law.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim on time could open you up to a variety of benefits. These include potential payments for reasonable medical treatment such as:
- Physical therapy,
- Devices like wheelchairs and prosthetics, or
- Permanent disabilities.
However, workers’ compensation does not provide any sort of payment for pain and suffering or punitive damages. You do maintain the ability to lodge a personal injury claim against a third party if you feel they might be to blame for your injury or illness.
Under California law, you can’t lose a job due to an injury at work by an accident. Some employers might try to claim that independent contractors are ineligible for compensation. In fact, the vast majority of workers in California, regardless of status, are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. Filing a claim as soon as possible cuts down on any potential complications during the process.
What Are the Time Limits?
An employer who receives a written documentation of a work-related injury or illness has at least five days to file a claim to the company insurance.
After a claim has been filed with the insurance company, you should get a confirmation letter within two weeks. Speak with the insurance company if confirmation does not come. At this point, it might be prudent to hire an attorney to advocate on your behalf if any complications arise.
You have two years from when the injury occurred to file a summons and complaint at the pertinent state superior court. However, if the third party happens to be a public entity, then you must file within six months.
Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations
In general, the statute of limitations to file a claim or an appeal is one year from the date of injury or illness. This time period pertains to a variety of situations. These include claims of serious and willful misconduct, discrimination claims, and claims related to an increase in benefits.
If you have been receiving workers’ compensation benefits or medical treatment, you retain the right to file an application with an appeals board if you have a change in disability. The statute of limitations is five years after the injury date.
Many insurance companies will often deny compensation claims that are legitimate. Even if you have been denied, it does not mean that the process has to end.
Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you gather the evidence and information needed to satisfy the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in California.