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The law with regard to workers compensation in California can be very complex. It is a specialty area and finding an attorney to deal with it may be a bit more difficult to achieve. It is in fact worth it to keep looking to find the best. “This very specialized and complex area of law is one of the most important to you as a worker who has been injured.California workers’ compensation laws place strict time limits and other requirements on injured workers when it comes to reporting a work injury. Failure by an injured worker to follow these rules can result in their forfeiture of an otherwise valid worker’s compensation claim. ” says Bobby Hertz with Gek Law. Before you do anything, try talking to a law firm first.
You’ve been hurt at work, or maybe you just suspect that you might have been hurt on the job but are not certain. Now, what do you do? Most importantly, tell someone of authority, higher up in the company, right away. This can be a foreman, a supervisor, a manager, or anyone higher up than you in the company. Even if you merely suspect that you may have suffered an injury while at work but are not certain of that, report it, just to be safe. Generally, co-workers and people below you in the company do not count for purposes of reporting an injury or possible injury.
In California, if you fail to report your injury within 30 days of a specific injury or from when you first noticed a cumulative injury caused by your work, and your failure somehow prevents your employer from properly investigating the injury, you may be denied worker’s compensation benefits.
Another purpose of reporting an injury or a possible injury is to put your employer “on notice”. It gives them notice or tells them that you might have a worker’s compensation claim. This is important because worker’s compensation claims are not allowed if they are filed after a layoff or termination. And, if your employer just happens to lay you off or fire you before you file your claim, your worker’s compensation claim will be barred.
However, there are limited exceptions for filing a late claim. If you gave your employer notice of your injury or possible injury before you were laid off or fired, you can still file your actual claim even after the layoff or termination.
Be careful, a tactic used commonly by employers in an attempt to avoid having to deal with workers’ compensation claims is to lay off the worker, claiming a sudden lack of work. In fact, it is unlawful for an employer to lay off or terminates an injured worker as retaliation for the filing of a worker’s compensation claim. If this has happened to you, you may have the right to seek additional claims or penalties against your employer.