The Deadline to File a Worker’s Compensation Lawsuit

Taking legal action against someone has a limited period of time during which it can be taken and that is called Statute of Limitations or SOL for short. The Statute specifies within how many years since an injury the wronged ones can file a lawsuit at the appropriate court. Every type of legal action has a certain SOL, which isn’t the same for all lawsuits. However, if the deadline for legal action expires, the opportunity to fight for one’s rights is lost forever. This policy serves to avoid cluttering the system. SOL is also called statute of repose.

In California, the time limit for pressing charges for someone’s negligence that caused a personal injury is 2 years in general. However, there are certain cases when it is possible to file a lawsuit even after the deadline. Exceptions to SOL usually involve specific circumstances or a higher public interest that a particular lawsuit could serve. When SOL is overridden, it is said SOL was tolled. This article will present general information about pressing charges for worker’s compensation and some usual tolling examples. No person who is not a legal professional should rely on this article for guidelines when to file their case. Only an attorney can assess personal injury cases and advise the plaintiff when to file the lawsuit. If you or someone dear to you live in San Diego County and have experienced a personal injury at work, don’t hesitate to contact Workers Compensation Attorney Group for a free consultation and case review.


SOL for workers compensation lawsuits in California

SOL for workers’ compensation claims seems to be simple enough, but it’s rife with exceptions. Basically, SOL for this type of claim is one year after the occurrence of the injury. In a lot of cases this is readily applicable. However, there are situations when the injured party sustains injuries over a period of time, which is called cumulative trauma. In that scenario, the SOL starts on the day of the last injury, or the last day the worker was exposed to an occupational hazard.

There are many more exceptions and complexities which will not be discussed here for want of space. Again, you should depend on a professional evaluation by an attorney to decide when to file your case.

SOL can be tolled

There are numerous situations when SOL can be extended, disregarded or tolled. A legal professional will be able to weigh all the circumstances of an individual case and establish whether there are grounds for having SOL tolled. These are some general rules which extend SOL:

  • The injured party is receiving medical treatment or care. The extension can be prolonged for maximum 5 years since the day of the injury.
  • When the worker is a minor, SOL runs from the date when the person turns 18.
  • When the worker reported the injury to the employer in timely manner and was not given a DWC-1 Claim Form to fill in NOR was the worker informed about the protocol for recovering compensation benefits.
  • When the worker is not aware of the injury, like in the case of toxic substance poisoning. In that situation, SOL starts to count since the day the worker discovered the injury and established it resulted from exposure at work. (Asbestos exposure and injuries are special and will not be discussed here.)

This is not an exhaustive list of exceptions, so you shouldn’t be put off if your case doesn’t fall in either of these categories. The best thing you can do is contact an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer right away to ensure your rights are protected.

Hire a professional to assist you with your personal injury case

Workers Compensation Attorney Group is here to help you with you work injury case if you live and/ or work in San Diego County. Feel free to contact us right now for a free review of your case without any pressure or obligation to retain our services. Don’t hesitate to consult with us and make sure you have your rights protected. And don’t worry about the financial side – we work on a contingent fee, meaning you only pay if and when we win and you get financial compensation. You have nothing to lose but precious time unless you call us right now and let us help you with your case.