The process for filing a workers' compensation claim can be a simple one, but should your employer or their insurance company dispute or deny your claim, then the process for obtaining the compensation which you are legally owed gets more complex. Nonetheless, there are still a number of important steps you should take immediately following an injury that occurs while you are on the job.
In the state of California, you have five years from the date of your injury to officially file your claim, so long as your employer's insurance company provides workers' compensation benefits, otherwise your claim can be denied for being past the statute of limitations. If your employer’s insurance company has ignored or denied your report of injury, you have one year from the date of your injury to file your claim in court. If you are seeking death benefits after the death of a loved one, you have one year from the date of their death to do so.
Your employer's insurance company must respond to your claim within 14 days by either sending temporary disability payments or a letter which denies your claim. This is important because the insurance company can face penalizing fines if it fails to do so, so keep this in mind when pursuing your claim. If the insurance company says they are investigating your claim, they have 90 days to either accept or deny your claim. In the meantime, the claims administrator must authorize up to $10,000 in medical treatment on your behalf.