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Smith & Baltaxe, LLP

Workers’ Compensation
Time Limits

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Deadlines are crucial when filing for workers' comp.

In California, a workplace injury must be reported within 30 days of the incident and a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within one year. Simply stated, when it comes to filing forms for work-related injuries, the sooner the better. Attorneys Byron Smith and Bernhard Baltaxe in San Francisco, CA, can help you file your workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner. If you have questions about workers’ compensation time limits, or if you want legal assistance in order to collect the maximum benefits to which you are entitled,  contact us online or call (415) 292-7800 to book a case review.

Statute of Limitations

Any time a work-related injury occurs, the clock starts ticking. When filing a workers’ compensation claim, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of the incident. It is important to note that federal employees have three years to file a claim, as their case falls under federal law.

According to the California Labor Code, there are two categories of workplace injuries: 

  • Specific injury: This type of injury occurs when a single exposure or incident results in a disability or the need for medical attention.
  • Cumulative trauma injury: This is the combination of repetitive traumatic activities over a period of time. This can include both physical or mental trauma

In cases of cumulative trauma, such as repetitive stress fractures or strain injuries, a specific date of injury may be difficult to determine. In these situations, the time frame begins with:

  • The date that you first missed work due to the injury or illness, or
  • The date that your doctor informed you that your injury was work-related

In addition, there are a few exceptions to the workers’ compensation time limit. For example, you may be exempt from the statute of limitations if you were unable to file a claim due to:

  • An injury that resulted in a coma
  • Severe injuries that required prolonged or lengthy treatment, such as serious burns
  • A contagious illness for which quarantine was necessary

If you fail to report the injury within 30 days, you could lose your rights to workers’ compensation.

Reporting an Injury

If you suffer a work-related injury, you must give your employer written notice within 30 days of the incident or risk losing your right to workers' compensation. Generally speaking, notice should be given as soon as possible after the incident occurs. In addition, you should seek medical attention right away and inform the doctor that the injury was job-related. If you are in an emergency situation, medical care may be sought anywhere. Otherwise, you should check with your employer and see a doctor who is in-network with their insurance plan. However, it is often also advisable to seek a neutral physician. Our firm can place you in touch with a physician who can provide an unbiased assessment of your injuries.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, or if you have developed an illness due to the conditions at your job site, you could be entitled to compensation. Filing paperwork in a timely manner is essential. If you have other questions, or if you would like to learn how we can help you collect maximum compensation, contact us online or give us a call at (415) 292-7800.

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