When you get hurt on the job, the first thing you should do is seek the medical treatment you need. As soon as you’re on the road to recovery, though, it’s important to file a workers’ compensation claim before time runs out. There are a couple of important deadlines for filing a workers’ compensation claim that must be met to receive timely payment for your medical bills and reimbursement for lost income.
Though it may be overwhelming to think about filing for workers’ comp in the wake of your accident, a missed deadline can cause your benefits to be reduced or denied completely. If you have any questions or need assistance filing your claim, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help.
WHEN DO I NEED TO NOTIFY MY EMPLOYER OF MY INJURY?
Whether you’ve been hurt in a sudden workplace accident or have developed a job-related injury or illness over a period of time, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of becoming aware of the condition. After you report your injury, your employer will give you a DWC-1 claim form, which will ask you to provide the date, time, and location of your injury, as well as a description of your injury. You will submit this form to your employer, who is required to send it to its workers’ compensation insurance company within five days. Failure to submit your DWC-1 claim form within 30 days could reduce or hold up your benefits.
WHEN IS THE DEADLINE TO FILE A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM IN CALIFORNIA?
Notifying your employer of your job-related injury is not the same as filing a workers’ compensation claim. To officially file your claim, you must file an Application for Adjudication of Claim and Declaration Pursuant to Labor Code 4906(g) with the workers’ compensation appeals board (WCAB). The statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim in California is one year from the date of your job-related injury or illness. If you do not file a workers’ compensation claim within a year of becoming aware of your injury or illness, you may lose your right to file at all.
ARE THERE EXCEPTIONS TO THESE LIMITATIONS?
In certain situations, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation may be extended. For example, if the injured worker was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations does not begin until the minor becomes a legal adult. If an employee suffers from a repetitive stress injury that accumulated over time, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, the statute of limitations takes effect from the date the employee became aware of the injury and that it occurred because of work. If a worker has been receiving medical treatment or benefits for an injury, he or she may file a claim within five years after the date of the injury if the original injury has caused new and further disability.
IF YOU’VE BEEN HURT ON THE JOB IN SAN DIEGO, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.
After a workplace accident, your recovery should be your first priority. As soon as you can, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you file a claim before the statute of limitations runs out. With an attorney from The Law Office of Matthew Russell on your side, you can focus on your recovery and rest assured we’re working hard to make sure you get the maximum benefits you’re entitled to. Contact us today for your free consultation at (619) 544-1506