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California Workers Compensation Laws 2024 – Statute of Limitations

Diefer Law Group
California Workers Compensation Laws

Getting sick or hurt as a result of your workplace can be frustrating and disappointing. You may be dealing with traumatic injuries as a result of a workplace accident, or you might have developed a chronic disease after completing repetitive motions for too many years. Despite what may have occurred to result in your illness or injury, living in the expensive state of California without being able to continue to work at your job can be extremely stressful. 

Since you can no longer work, or your medical bills are piling up to pay for the care of your injury or illness, you are probably wondering how you will be compensated for all of this. In California, workers’ compensation laws are in place to ensure that injured or sick workers are protected in situations like this. As long as they meet the statute of limitations period of one year of filing the paperwork after they realized they were injured or sick or after their accident occurred, then they are eligible to receive these workers’ compensation benefits. 

Back to the Basics: California Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is financial compensation for employees who get sick or hurt as a result of work-related conditions or factors. After an accident occurs that results in an injury, or after an employee realizes they are sick or injured, they have 30 days to let their employer know about what happened. The California employer then has one work day to give the injured or ill employee the appropriate forms for starting the workers’ compensation claims process. 

When the employee fills this out and returns it to their employer, the employer will submit everything to their workers’ compensation insurance company to kickstart the official claims process. This process of officially submitting all of the forms to the insurance company must happen within one year of the date of the accident or the date on which there was initial recognition of an illness or injury, or the employee can lose their right to file a claim. This one year is known as the statute of limitations on CA workers’ compensation claims. 

Exceptions to the CA Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations

While one year is the general rule for the amount of time that a worker has to file a workers’ compensation claim after an injury, there are some exceptions to this rule. The exceptions generally include the following: 

  • Realizing that there is an illness or injury associated with an accident or incident later. If a worker who gets hurt during an accident doesn’t notice the injury on the day of the accident, then they may have a year from the date of discovering their work-related injury or illness.
  • The worker was a minor. Usually, if the injured worker was under 18 when they got sick or injured due to work-related issues, then the statute of limitations will be one year from their 18th birthday. 
  • Regular or ongoing trauma. In the case that a disease arises over time due to ongoing work conditions, such as cancer due to exposure to pathogens at work or back pain from heavy lifting, then the statute of limitations will apply from the day that the worker first becomes aware of their condition. 
  • The employer or insurance company tried to conceal the case. If the employer or insurance company commits fraud to try to cover up or delay the workers’ compensation claim of the injured worker, the statute of limitations may then apply from the day that the concealment was found out about. 

The workers’ compensation filing process can be complex and confusing. A workers’ compensation attorney in Orange County, CA, can help you determine what the statute of limitations is for your workers’ compensation case based on the details associated with your particular situation. 

FAQs: 

Q: Are All California Workers Entitled to A Settlement From a Workers’ Comp Case?

A: It’s important to note that not every workers’ compensation case in California will lead to a settlement. Sometimes, insurance companies will reject a claim or offer a settlement that is lower than satisfactory for the injured worker. In this case, the settlement offer can be appealed, and the case will be brought before a judge at the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. 

Q: What Are a California Employer’s Liability Limits for Workers’ Comp?

A: California employers are mandated by law to have workers’ compensation insurance in the case that one of their employees experiences illness or injury due to a work-related cause. This means that the employee will be able to get access to medical expense payments, short- or long-term disability, vocational training, and other benefits in such a situation. 

Q: How Long Does A California Insurance Company Get to Make a Workers’ Compensation Settlement Decision?

A: In the state of California, an insurance company is given 90 days to state whether they will accept or reject a workers’ compensation claim after the paperwork is submitted to them. If they want to request an extension of the 90 days, they will need to issue a specific letter before the time is up. If they don’t answer before the period is over, California law assumes that the claim was accepted. 

Q: What if My Employer Did Not Submit My Workers’ Compensation Claim Within the Statute of Limitations?

A: If you notified your employer of your injury or illness within 30 days of the date of noticing the presence of the illness or injury or 30 days of the date of the accident, and your employer is not submitting your claim within a timely manner after you sent your paperwork back to them, then they may be violating California law. It is recommended to get in touch with a workers’ compensation lawyer who can notify the appropriate stakeholders on your behalf. 

Get the California Workers’ Compensation You Deserve

If you have been injured or gotten sick due to workplace-related issues, conditions, or an accident, then you are likely wondering what the optimal way to go about getting compensation is. At Diefer Law Group, P.C., our workers’ compensation lawyers are experienced and trained in California worker’s rights law and know how to fight for positive outcomes. Get in touch with our hard-working team today to learn more about your California rights to workers’ compensation and other ways to achieve compensation after illness or injury at work. 

Abel Fernandez

Abel Fernandez

Attorney Abel Fernandez believes in the aggressive representation of injured workers. Workers’ compensation law is a very difficult and frustrating area of the law. Employees routinely have medical treatment and benefits delayed or denied by insurance companies. Mr. Fernandez fights for the rights of the injured worker to get medical treatment and the maximum amount of benefits possible. We have experience fighting the insurance company and adjusters, and we are committed to obtaining the best outcome possible for our clients.


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By contacting Diefer Law Group, you agree to receive emails, text messages, and phone calls regarding your legal inquiry, which may be considered advertising material. Emails, text messages, and phone calls may be automatically generated using the information from this contact form to better coordinate communication. You understand that your consent to this is not necessary to obtain legal services from Diefer Law Group. Messaging and data rates may apply.