Workers’ compensation is a vital form of insurance that provides medical and financial benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job. Understanding your rights as an employee is crucial, and at Rahnama Law, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation claims. One common question we encounter is whether it is possible to file a claim against a previous employer. In this article, we will delve into the nuances of workers’ compensation law in California and provide insights to help you understand your legal rights and options. 

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California 

In California, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system designed to protect both employees and employers. This means that regardless of fault, employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses are eligible for benefits, while employers are shielded from lawsuits for these injuries or illnesses. To receive these benefits, employees must file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer’s insurance carrier. 

Typically, the process begins when an employee notifies their employer of an injury or illness within 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) of its occurrence. Failure to report within this time limit may result in the loss of benefits. Once notified, the employer is responsible for providing the necessary forms to initiate the claim. 

Filing Against a Previous Employer 

In some cases, employees may realize that a work-related injury or illness developed during their tenure with a previous employer. Can they still file a workers’ compensation claim? The answer is yes, if certain criteria are met. 

1. Statute of Limitations: In California, the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim is typically one year from the date of injury or the last date of medical treatment provided by the employer. However, if the injury or illness is cumulative or develops over time, such as repetitive stress injuries or occupational diseases, the statute of limitations begins when the employee should have known the injury or illness was work-related. 

2. Reporting the Injury: If you discover a work-related injury or illness after leaving your previous employer, you should notify them in writing as soon as possible. Although the 30-day reporting period might have passed, prompt notification can help support your claim. 

3. Proof of Causation: To successfully file a claim against a previous employer, you must be able to demonstrate a causal link between your job duties and the injury or illness. This might require gathering medical records, witness statements, and other evidence. 

Seeking Legal Assistance 

Navigating workers’ compensation claims can be complex, particularly when dealing with previous employers. At Rahnama Law, we understand the challenges you may face and are committed to helping you secure the benefits you deserve. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with every step of the process, including gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance carriers, and representing you in court if necessary. 


Filing a workers’ compensation claim against a previous employer is possible under California law, but it can be a complicated process. It is essential to act promptly and seek legal guidance to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. If you have questions or need assistance with your claim, contact Rahnama Law for a consultation. We are dedicated to helping you protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.