Time Limits to File Claims for Workers’ Comp Injuries in California

Workers' Comp Injuries

When it comes to the statute of limitations surrounding workers’ compensation related to on-the-job injuries, time is not on your side.

In California, you must report any workplace injury to your employer within thirty days of whatever incident caused the injury. You have a year from the date of the accident or incident to file a workers’ comp claim.

So, when reporting and filing the forms related to your workplace injury, the sooner you act, the better.

California Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations

Once your on-the-job injury happens, the clock begins to tick on filing your claim. The California statute of limitations for filing a workers’ comp claim is a year. That means you have just 365 days from the incident that caused your injury to file your workers’ compensation claim.

Please note that if you are a federal employee working in the State of California, you have a three-year window to file your workers’ compensation claim because your case would be governed by federal law instead of state law.

California’s Labor Code (132 A) states that two types of workplace injury exist: 

  • Specific injuries: A specific injury happens when an accident, incident, or single exposure results in an injury or disability requiring attention from a healthcare professional.
  • Cumulative trauma injuries: Cumulative trauma injuries result from repetitive activities over time and may include physical and mental traumas.

When it comes to cumulative trauma cases, like repetitive strain injuries, California workers’ comp acknowledges that determining the specific date that the injury occurred can be difficult. As a result, the clock starts ticking on the statute of limitations from either the date you were first out of work because of the injury or the date the doctor diagnosed your injury as being work-related.  

Exceptions to California Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations

There are several exceptions to California’s time limits to file workers’ comp claims.

Injured workers might be exempted from the workers’ comp statute of limitations requirements if they were not able to file a claim within the appropriate window due to the following reasons:

  • The worker was in a coma as a result of the injury
  • The worker’s injuries were so severe that they required lengthy or prolonged treatment. An excellent example of this type of injury would be a severe burn.
  • The worker needed to be quarantined because of a serious contagious illness.

Reporting a Workplace Injury to Your Employer

If you have been injured on the job, you are required to give written notice to your employer within 30 days from the date that the incident causing the injury occurred. Failing to report workplace injuries within the required 30-day window could cost you your rights under California’s workers’ compensation laws.

Generally speaking, you should notify your employer immediately. You should also seek attention from a medical professional immediately and let them know that your injury is work-related. In case of an emergency, you can seek medical attention anywhere. However, you can check with the employer to visit a physician that is within the employer’s insurance network. It is highly recommended, though, that you see a neutral doctor. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can put you in contact with a medical professional who will provide you with an unbiased medical assessment.

Contacting a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

The knowledgeable California workers’ compensation attorneys at Aoudi Law have the experience necessary to ensure that workers who are injured on the job get the compensation that they deserve, even when the insurance company works to deny their claims. 

The workers’ compensation attorneys at Aoudi Law have helped countless California employees whose workers’ compensation claims were denied by insurance companies and claims managers. The professional staff at Aoudi Law are experts in California workers’ compensation law.

Call or text 714-769-8706 today for a free consultation.

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