How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in California?
When filing for workers’ compensation benefits in Los Angeles, it is crucial that you act as soon as possible and submit all required paperwork on time if you want to improve the success of your claim. You are eligible to file a claim for your rightful benefits immediately after you have suffered an injury or become ill in a work-related incident. However, there are a number of time limitations that may apply depending on the type of injury or illness, how it occurred, and whether you qualify for coverage. Remember that any delay in filing or missed deadline during the process can cause your compensation amount to be significantly reduced or denied, so it is important to meet with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer if you have any questions or need assistance.
If you or a loved one has suffered an occupational injury or illness, please do not wait to contact a
Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyer at the Kenton Koszdin Law Office. We will work closely with you to ensure that you do not miss a single deadline in the filing process and will fight to protect your right to receive fair and just compensation. Fill out our online contact form or call us at (800) 438-7734 for a no-cost consultation about your claim.
Report the Work Injury or Illness Immediately
Whether you have been injured in a worksite accident or developed a work-related injury or illness over a period time, you must fill out a DWC-1 form and submit it to your employer within 30 days of becoming aware of the condition. Under California law, you cannot lose your job if you are accidentally injured at work, but you must submit your claim form as soon as possible to avoid any confusion or complication. Failing to meet the 30-day time limit for filing a claim in California could result in overwhelming medical costs and lost wages that could have otherwise been covered by workers’ comp.
Once your employer has received written notification of your disability, he or she will have at least five days to file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf with the insurance carrier. You should receive a letter from the insurance company within 14 days confirming the status of your claim. If you have not received this letter, contact the insurance company. You may want to consider hiring an attorney at this point to protect your rights in the event of any complications.
California Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim or appeal in California is typically one year from the date of the injury/illness for the following:
- The expiration of any period covered by workers’ comp,
- Claims of Discrimination under Labor Code Section 132(a),
- Claims of Serious and Willful Misconduct,
- Claims for Increased Benefits under Labor Code Section 5814,
- Death claims, provided no more than 240 weeks has passed from the date of injury,
- Personal injury cases against third parties.
In the event that an employee has been receiving medical treatment or benefits, he or she may file an application with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board within five years after the date of injury if the disability changes.
Time Limitations on Legal Action in Los Angeles
Workers’ comp does not provide restitution for pain and suffering or punitive damages; however, it is possible to file a personal injury claim against a third party other than your employer who may be responsible for your work injury or illness. You will have two years from the date of injury in which to file a Summons and Complaint at the correct Superior Court for personal injury against a third party. If the third party is a public entity, you must file a special claim form within six months of the accident or occurrence.
The Kenton Koszdin Law Office will only represent your workers’ compensation claim, unless we have signed a separate agreement indicating that we are also representing you in a third party civil case. Please contact us to discuss your options for legal action in addition to filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
Defending Your Rightful Claim
A knowledgeable Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyer at the Kenton Koszdin Law Office will help you understand the best course of action to protect your rightful claim. You deserve to receive adequate financial support for any injury, illness, or loss you have suffered as a result of your job. Unfortunately, a single missed deadline can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in workers’ compensation coverage. For a free consultation, please do not hesitate to call us at (800) 438-7734. We will provide you with the information and guidance you need to complete a successful claim.
Infographic: Injured at Work? Don’t Miss Workers’ Comp Deadlines
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