California’s workers’ compensation system exists to provide financial restitution to employees who are hurt at work. The purpose is to compensate employees for the resulting economic and non-economic damages. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to deny a workers’ comp claim.
A denied workers’ compensation claim can leave you on your own to handle the fallout (medical bills, lost income and reduced quality of life) that comes with a workplace injury. But why would a seemingly strong workers’ comp claim end in denial?
Here are two reasons why most workers’ comp claims fall through the cracks.
Failure to report your injuries
If you are hurt at work, it is in your best interest that you report the accident that resulted in your injury as soon as possible. Under California law, you should do this in writing within 30 days from the date of the injury. This is to ensure that your employer can investigate and document the circumstances that led to your injuries.
In failing to report the accident, both your employer and the insurance company can denounce your allegation on grounds that your injuries were not work-related, otherwise, you would have reported.
Failing to file your claim in time
Most workplace injuries are settled out of court. However, if you and the insurance company cannot agree on a settlement, you need to file a workers’ compensation claim with the court. Unfortunately, you cannot file your claim at your convenience.
Rather, you must act within the statute of limitations period. In California, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is 1 year from the date of your workplace injury. With a few exceptions, your claim will be denied if you miss this deadline.
A workplace accident can happen when you least expect it. Knowing your legal rights and obligations can help you steer clear of mistakes that can lead to your claim’s denial.