The great majority of times, workers who sustain workplace injuries do so quickly after the incident and submit a claim for California workers’ compensation. But what if you quit, get fired, or otherwise abandon your employment before filing a workers’ compensation claim? Unfortunately, filing after leaving your job might make it more difficult for you to get benefits.
Your employer may be allowed to refuse workers’ compensation payments if you make a claim after being fired, informed that you are being fired, or informed that you are being laid off. The post-termination defense is the name used to describe this regulation, which was created to defend companies against former workers. The post-termination defense essentially guards against retribution through fabricated workers’ compensation claims following a layoff or termination.
Consider the scenario if you lose your job. You file a workers’ compensation claim the next day for an injury you claim you sustained just days before being fired. The insurance provider will typically initially reject your claim in order to shield your employer from any retaliation.
The post termination defense’s potential exclusions
A lot of claims for workers’ compensation made after a job has ended are legitimate. How can you demonstrate that you had a legitimate injury at work if your previous employer raises the post-termination defense? If you can demonstrate one of the following exceptions, you could be eligible to receive benefits.
- Before you were fired, your employer was aware of your injury. Generally speaking, it’s crucial to contact your employer right away if you get hurt at work. While informing your employer in writing is typically the best course of action, you can also speak inform an immediate supervisor because you start a paper trail of your injuries. However, in the absence of dated proof of notice, a judgment can hinge on your trustworthiness vs that of your employer. It is often too late to tell an employer once you have been fired unless you can show your first chance to do so didn’t occur until after termination.
- You have a history of medical conditions. You could be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation payments if you have medical documents relating to the injury that date before your termination. Records can come from any doctor, hospital, or urgent care center; they don’t have to be from a California workers’ compensation doctor. Records received before you submitted your claim and not recognized as official workers’ compensation medical records are subject to utilization review.
- After receiving notice of termination but before your last day, you suffered a specific injury. A particular injury is a singular occurrence that necessitates medical attention or renders the victim disabled. You can file a workers’ compensation claim as long as you tell your employer prior to your final day of work if you sustained a specific injury after receiving notice of your termination but before employment terminates. If, however, you neglect to tell your employer and a specific injury happens prior to your last day of employment, you will not be entitled to compensation.
- You suffered several traumas. An occupational injury or handicap that results from a string of recurrent occurrences is known as cumulative trauma. Consider the scenario where you started the job that resulted in a cumulative trauma injury before to termination but were unaware it had done so until after termination. Your employer isn’t allowed to raise the post-termination argument in that situation. However, the post-termination defense is still ineffective; you might not be able to make a claim if you were aware that the work was harming you but did not notify your employer.
What should you do if you need to make a workers’ compensation claim after your employment terminates?
Even if an injury develops after employment ends, injured workers in California should always submit a workers’ compensation claim. Since it is improbable that you are acting in retaliation against your employer, the post-termination defense does not apply if you left your job rather than being fired or laid off. Your employer will use the post-termination defense if you were fired or laid off, but if one of the aforementioned exceptions applies to you, you may still be eligible for benefits.
Furthermore, some insurance firms routinely reject claims from ex-employees based on inaccurate or deceptive post-termination arguments. As an alternative, a dishonest employer can try to terminate a worker in retribution for disclosing a work-related injury or might make up information about receiving such notification before terminating employment. The aforementioned exclusions were made in order to safeguard workers in certain circumstances and assist you in filing a successful workers’ compensation claim.
The best thing to do is to contact an experienced attorney who can help you determine what your options are. You can do that by contacting PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 for a legal consultation.