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Statutes of Limitation or Time Limits for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California

If you have been injured in an accident, whether it occurred at the workplace or was otherwise caused by the negligent act of another, there is likely a time limit within which you must file a claim for compensation.  In other words, you must file a claim in a timely manner, or you risk losing your rights to recover damages or other forms of relief.

If you have been injured while on the job or in the course or scope of your employment, you generally are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.  But it is imperative that you act immediately in order to preserve your rights.  The law that designates the time limit for filing a claim is called a statute of limitations.  Almost every state has a statute of limitations that delineates the time period for filing a workers’ compensation claim.  Once the time limit has passed or it expires, an injured worker might no longer have a cause of action or may no longer file a lawsuit since the right to compensation is effectively barred.

Workers’ Compensation Statue of Limitations in California

Pursuant to the California Labor Code, employers must be notified, in writing, within thirty days after a workplace injury or illness occurs.  Thus, an injured worker has approximately a month to notify their employer that they have sustained an injury or illness that is work-related and that they have the intention to seek workers’ compensation benefits.  But notifying your employer that you have been injured on the job is not the same thing as filing an actual workers’ compensation claim.

The statute of limitations for filing California workers’ compensation claims is one year from the day of the accident or injury.  If an injured worker does not receive or is denied coverage of medical expenses or lost wage benefits after their accident or injury occurs, then they must file a claim within one year from the date of their accident or injury.  It is important to know that once this time limit for filing a claim expires, then the claim is extinguished forever, and the injured worker is barred from filing or litigating it.

Fortunately, there are some situations where the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim may be extended.  For instance, if an injured worker is under eighteen years of age at the time of the injury or accident, the statute of limitations actually does not begin until the minor becomes a legal adult.  Another example where the statute of limitations might be extended is in the case where a worker suffers from a repetitive stress injury that accumulates over time, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.  In this instance, the statute of limitations begins to toll from the date that the worker becomes aware of the injury and realizes that it happened because of work.

Experienced and Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in California

If you or someone you know has sustained a workplace injury or illness, particularly if the injury or illness occured in the Hemet, San Bernardino, or Inland Empire areas, it is possible that you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under California’s workers’ compensation law.  Albert E. Hirst, III has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation claims in California and he has the resources and dedication necessary to help you receive the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.  Call our office today at (909) 885-7190 to schedule your free initial consultation and find out what we can do to help you.