Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Comp in California
The statute of limitations for workers’ comp in California is relatively straightforward: one (1) year from the date that the injury occurred. If you do not file a workers’ compensation claim within one year of the date of injury, you may lose your right to file a claim at all.
If you were hurt due to an accident or specific incident at work, or if you’ve developed an injury or illness over time you MUST report this to your employer within 30 days of the incident (or when you became aware of the injury).
As with many other statutes, there are exceptions to the general rule. The one year rule is easily applied when a worker sustains an injury at a certain place and time. The rule becomes a little less clear when the circumstances of a work related injury is not so straightforward. In instances where an employee is injured as the result of being exposed to a repetitive working condition that causes an injury the statute begins tolling on the last date the worker was exposed to the injurious condition.
Time Limits & Exceptions to a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California
There are several situations where the statute of limitations for workers’ comp in California may be extended beyond the general one year rule. If you have been injured on the job it is important that you speak with an experienced workers comp attorney as the exceptions to the statute of limitations for workers’ comp in California are mainly fact driven therefore the application of such exceptions should be left to knowledgeable, experienced, and competent legal counsel. Keeping that in mind, the following circumstances could extend the statute of limitations for workers’ comp in California:
- If the injured worker is under 18 at the time of injury, the statute does not begin to toll until the minor reaches the age of 18.
- The statute of limitations does not begin tolling until the worker knew or should have known they were injured and that the injury occurred on the job. When the injured worker is apprised of this the statute begins to toll as of that date.
- The statute may not begin to toll if an employer does not provide a DWC-1 form to an injured worker after the worker reports the injury to the employer. The injured worker must also not be familiar with the procedures for filing a workers comp claim.
- If the workers’ comp insurance carrier provides medical care or treatment to an injured worker, the statute of limitations for for workers’ comp in California is extended to 5 years from the date of injury.
Whether you need assistance with obtaining compensation after an accident or securing workers’ comp benefits, having an experienced attorney to protect your interests is invaluable. We offer a free initial consultation and accept personal injury and workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not charge a fee unless we obtain a recovery for you. Our staff is fluent in Spanish, and we welcome Spanish speaking clients.
Contact the Moga Law Firm today for a consultation with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation attorney in Upland. We serve clients throughout the Inland Empire including Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, and the surrounding communities.
Scot Thomas Moga, a dedicated attorney in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties who represents clients in the many types of personal injury, workers’ compensation and estate planning cases.