Workers' Compensation Statutes of Limitations You Need to Know
Are you undecided about filing a Workers' Compensation claim? You might not have as much time to make up your mind as you think. Workers' Compensation statutory limits are something all injured workers need to keep in mind. Like any area of the law, Workers' Compensation has statutes of limitation that determine how much time you have to file your claim.
What are statutory limitations?
Statutory limitations are legally mandated time limits that determine how long you have to take legal action. Statutory limitations exist both in civil & criminal areas of the law, and they vary state-by-state.
Why do statutes of limitation exist?
Statutory limits exist to encourage applicants and plaintiffs to file cases in a timely manner. This is important because the passage of time makes evidence hard to collect. A fresh case may have eye-witnesses, whereas it's much harder to get a statement about something that happened five years ago.
What are the statutory limits in California Workers' Compensation?
Generally speaking, these are the key figures: you have thirty days to report your injury to your employer, and then one year to open your Workers' Compensation claim. However, things aren't always quite so simple. If your employer should reasonably know about your injury -- for an example, if you left work to seek medical care, or if your manager saw you get hurt -- the 30-day rule won't matter. There are also many circumstances where you can get around the 1-year statute: for an example, if your employer doesn't do their duty and inform you that you can file a Workers' Compensation claim.
After you file your claim, the insurance company has 90 days to accept, deny, or delay your claim. There are many other circumstances where the insurance company has time restrictions as well, such as when they're issuing your payments and reimbursements. For an example, the insurance company has 60 days to reimburse your medical mileage after you submit a form, and 30 days to issue a check for your settlement after you sign a C&R. Keep track of the dates when you receive your payments.
Is there anything you can do if you didn't file your Workers' Compensation claim on time?
This varies from situation to situation. If you've missed a deadline, talk to an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney. A Workers' Compensation lawyer can let you know if there's a workaround for the statutory limitations for your specific case. You can schedule a consultation with Pacific Workers' Compensation Law Center today -- we'll do everything we can to help.