Generally, injured workers or their dependents, have one year to file a claim for benefits from the date of industrial injury or death. However, there are many ways to toll the statute of limitations. Take home: File your claim quickly and don’t get discouraged from filing if more than one year has lapsed since the date of injury – speak with an attorney!
Your employer is required to have Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage. Generally, a Workers’ Compensation claim is only against the insurance carrier for owed benefits. The employer has already paid the insurance premiums, and if the claim is not filed, the insurance company just makes more profit from not paying the benefits owed to the injured worker.
There are essentially two types of injuries, a specific injury or a cumulative trauma claim:
No – it is absolutely illegal for an employer to take any discriminatory action because you file a claim or retain an attorney! If this happens, it is important to speak with an attorney, as you may be entitled to substantial more compensation, including civil damages.
Generally, No. It is illegal for a subsequent employer to ask if you have ever filed a claim before and it is illegal to discriminate because of an injury or disability. In fact, all employers, including subsequent employers, are legally obligated to make all reasonable accommodations that do not represent an undue burden.
Immigration status, whether you’re here legally or illegally, has no impact on the workers’ compensation rights!
No fault system – California Workers’ Compensation is a No fault system, which means that it does not matter if the injured worker caused the accident or was negligent. As long as the injury arose out of and was within the course of employment, the injured worker is generally entitled to benefits.
If a death arises out of and is within the course of employment, the decedent’s family and/or dependents may be entitled to death benefits. The death benefits are paid based on the number and level of potential dependents (full or partial). The main death benefits are:
If an injured worker is diagnosed with Covid, and contracted Covid from their workplace, and either dies or sustains injuries, they or their respective dependents are entitled to compensation!
Do not worry about this. First, there are legal presumptions that may be controlling on the issue. Regardless, an attorney can establish the record necessary to prove causation or if there is a controlling legal presumption, ensure the insurance carrier does not prove it was contracted outside of the workplace.
Most attorneys would state that you cannot sue your employer directly for damages that arise from employment. Civil lawsuits are generally banned by the exclusive remedy rule. This is generally true. However, there may very well be a viable civil lawsuit against the employer if you can show the employer is willfully uninsured or there is fraudulent concealment.