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How long do you have to file for workers’ comp in California?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

When you leave home for work each morning, you hope to clock in, perform your duties and earn a fair day’s wage. However, every workplace has its share of hazards. If you sustain an injury or develop an illness that is attributable to your work, you may be eligible for compensation through your employer-funded workers’ compensation program.

To pursue a workers’ comp claim, however, you must act within a certain time frame known as the statute of limitations period. You risk losing your right to compensation as well as other forms of relief if you do not file your claim within the statute of limitations period. 

California statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claim

Per California workers’ compensation laws, you are required to notify your employer about your injuries within 30 days of the incident that resulted in your injuries. Thereafter, you need to file your claim within a year of sustaining your injury. 

Upon filing your claim, an administrator from the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) will review your case and make a decision within a reasonable timeframe. 

Exceptions to California’s statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims

Certain circumstances can prompt the extension or tolling of the statute of limitations period beyond the traditional 12 months. Here are some of these circumstances:

  • If you were under 18 at the time of the workplace injury, the clock will not begin ticking on the statute of limitations until you turn 18.
  • If the injury or illness was not apparent, the statute of limitations period will begin when you are appraised and positively diagnosed for your injuries or illness

Protecting your rights

A workplace injury or illness can turn your life upside down. Learning more about California’s workplace injury laws can help you safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing damages following a workplace-related incident.