You may be confused about the steps to take following a workplace accident. Should you shrug it off and seek treatment for the injuries on your own? Should you make your employer aware? You may be contemplating your next move, but you need to know that time is not on your side.
If you wait too long before reporting to your employer, you might jeopardize your chances of getting compensated for the injuries you suffered. Below are some critical timelines that you need to observe.
How long do you have to report an injury to your employer?
The law in California gives you a 30-day window to make your employer aware of your work-related injuries. The clock starts ticking when the accident occurs, and you need to make your employer aware in writing before the period lapses. For cumulative injuries which are not so apparent and take time to develop, you need to inform your employer within 30 days of your diagnosis. Further, you have just one year to actually file for workers’ compensation following your injury, or you lose the right to your claim.
What does this mean in practical terms? You cannot afford to “wait and see” what happens after an injury at work. If your injury heals on its own without you ever missing a day from work or needing medical care, that’s great — but you should still report all injuries as soon as they happen. That’s the only real way to protect your rights.
Navigating the claims process for workers’ comp isn’t always easy to manage on your own. If you’re having trouble getting the benefits you are due, help is available.