Time Limits and Workers’ Compensation

In the wake of an employee injury at your business, there are many issues that need to be taken care of.  First and foremost, the employee will need to receive medical treatment to address the injury or illness.  Once the dust settles, you will likely be aware that there are procedural issues involved in commencing and moving forward with the workers’ compensation system.  Time limits involved in workers’ compensation are essential to observe, just as in every other civil case.  If your business is facing a workers’ compensation case, you need to have a handle on some of the basic time requirements and limits.

First, you need to understand that there is a time limit associated with reporting the injury.  An employee who has sustained a work-related injury has thirty days to report the injury.  If he or she fails to report it, then there is a chance that he or she will lose the ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits.  People involved in these cases need to understand that the thirty-day time limit can be complicated to calculate.  The deadline starts to run when the injured worker was injured or when the injured worker had reason to believe the injury was work-related.

Another important timeline to understand in the California workers’ compensation system is the deadline by which the workers’ compensation insurance company must respond to a claim for workers’ compensation.  The insurance company must respond to the claim within ninety days.  If the insurance fails to respond, then the law presumes the claim has been approved.

Employers and employees should also keep in mind that there are time limits regarding how long an injured employee may continue to receive benefits.  For most injuries, if an employee is ruled to be temporarily disabled, he or she can receive a maximum of one hundred and four weeks of temporary disability payments in a five year period.  There are, however, exceptions, such as when a worker has sustained severe burns or chronic lung disease.  If that is the case, an injured worker may receive benefits for two hundred and forty weeks.

We have experience with helping clients understand important timelines during workers’ compensation cases.  Call us today for a consultation.

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