What Is The 90 Day Rule Of Worker’s Compensation


When an unexpected work-related injury happens, it’s important to know what benefits are available to you. Some work injuries are not severe, while others require you to rest and recover for a few months to at least a year. Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims?

It averages $89,152 per workers’ compensation claim. Workers compensation benefits In California, like many states, follow a “90-day rule. “The 90-day rule isn’t just legal jargon; it makes the difference between a smooth process and potential complications. This rule is all about the timely reporting of incidents or accidents.

Let’s take a look at the 90 day rule of workers’ compensation:

What is the 90 day rule?

The 90-day rule is in place to protect both the employee and the employer. It allows for a timely investigation into the incident and ensures that all parties involved have accurate and up-to-date information. 

By reporting your injuries within the designated time frame, you provide your employer and the insurance company with the necessary information to process your claim efficiently. Delaying the reporting of your injuries can lead to complications and potential delays in receiving your benefits. 

The importance of prompt reporting 

Reporting your injury immediately after it occurs allows for a thorough investigation while the details are fresh in your mind. It also provides the insurance company with accurate information to assess your claim promptly. 

If you procrastinate in reporting your injury, you risk complicating the process. The insurance company may question the legitimacy of your claim or, worse, deny it altogether. 

Delayed reporting can also mean a delay in receiving medical treatment and compensation for any lost wages or disabilities stemming from the injury. 

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Employer responsibilities in relation to the 90 day rule

Under the 90-day rule of worker’s compensation, employers are required to report any work-related injuries within this time frame. 

This means that once an employer becomes aware of an employee’s injury, they must promptly report it to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Failure to do so can result in penalties and potential legal issues.

What’s more, employers are responsible for providing immediate medical attention to the injured employee and ensuring they receive proper medical treatment. This includes helping the employee file a claim, providing necessary paperwork, and cooperating with the workers’ compensation carrier throughout the process.

Employers can protect both their employees and businesses in fulfilling their responsibilities within the 90-day rule.

Employee Rights and Benefits under the 90 Day Rule

Employees have the right to receive timely medical attention and access to necessary benefits when they sustain work-related injuries within the 90-day timeframe.

  • They have the right to seek medical treatment for their injury as soon as possible. Their employer should provide them with a list of approved healthcare providers to choose from.
  • They have the right to receive compensation for any lost wages due to your injury. This includes both temporary and permanent disability benefits.

Ensuring Compliance with the 90 Day Rule

To ensure compliance with the 90-day rule, it’s essential to understand the guidelines regarding medical treatment and benefits for work-related injuries.

For employees, the key is immediate reporting of any work-related injury and seeking medical attention from an approved healthcare provider. Their employer has the right to choose the initial medical provider. 

Full cooperation with the prescribed medical treatment plan and attending all scheduled appointments is vital. Failure to do so may lead to benefits being denied under the 90-day rule.

Keep meticulous records of all medical treatment received, including bills, prescriptions, and other relevant documentation. This diligence ensures that an employee receives the full benefits they are entitled to under the 90-day rule.


The 90-day rule of worker’s compensation in California is not just a legal obligation but a lifeline for both employees and employers. It emphasizes the critical importance of reporting work-related injuries promptly. 

Remember, delaying the reporting of injuries can lead to complications and potential denials.