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Can I file a workers’ comp claim after termination in California?

Workplace accidents are an unavoidable and frustrating possibility for any worker, regardless of the business he or she works for or the nature of one’s job. Whether working in a cubicle pushing papers or working on a loading dock pushing a dolly, accidents can and do occur. Workers’ compensation claims usually address the needs of such situations, but in rare circumstances a worker may be terminated before a claim is filed. While this is uncommon, it is still possible for the worker to file one’s workers’ compensation claim successfully, provided several requirements are met.

These kinds of situations occur most commonly when the symptoms of a worker’s job-related illness or injury do not arise immediately. In California, the worker is required to demonstrate that the injury or illness is more likely than not to be job-related, which is innately more difficult the longer after the initial incident the claim is made.

In addition to this, California law requires at least one of several specific conditions be met by the worker filing the claim. A worker may file a claim after termination if one’s former employer was made aware of the injury prior to a notice of termination, or if the worker’s medical records indicate evidence of the injury occurring prior to notice of termination. Alternatively, the worker may potentially file a workers’ compensation claim if the injury occurred after the date of a termination notice, but before the termination was complete.

While these are some instances in which a worker may be able to successfully file a workers’ compensation claim after termination in the state of California, these claims can be very complicated legal matters. Every post-termination workers’ compensation claim features its own specific complications and contingencies, and anyone seeking to file such a claim may find that the guidance of experienced legal counsel can help protect his or her rights and avoid common mistakes that prevent a positive outcome.

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