If you have suffered a serious accident at work, your life may have changed drastically in an instant. Suddenly, you find yourself unable to work, in massive amounts of pain, and with medical bills and other unanticipated expenses to worry about. In the middle of all of this turmoil, if you intend to file for workers’ compensation, there are a few key deadlines that you must keep in mind, so that you don’t risk missing your opportunity to file for benefits.
Notice to your employer
In the immediate aftermath of your accident, you are likely dealing with a lot of pain, and overwhelmed with the consequences of your injury. However, the first few days after your accident are critical for protecting your chances of receiving your much-needed benefits.
From the date of the accident, you have 30 days to provide your employer with notice of your accident. Even if you’re sure that your employer heard about the accident through the grapevine, it’s important that you submit notice of the injury in writing, and with your signature on it. If you are unable to sign it yourself due to your injury, then someone else can sign on your behalf.
Deadline for commencing proceedings
After you notify your employer, you can focus on dealing with your injuries. California has set rules on when you can choose your own physician for a workers’ compensation case, and when you have to stick with a doctor that your employer chose. Make sure to comply with these rules so that you don’t accidentally void your chances of getting benefits.
You have one year from the date of the accident to begin the proceedings for workers’ compensation benefits. If you miss this deadline, you forfeit your right to ask for benefits, even if you have incurred real expenses from dealing with your injury.
Workers’ compensation benefits serve an essential purpose for injured workers. Make sure that you comply with the important deadlines so that you can have the best chance possible of getting the benefits that you need to make a full recovery.