Can My Claim Be Denied Because I Took Too Long to File?
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
There’s a lot on your mind in the wake of a workplace injury. In addition to your recovery, you may worry about doctor’s expenses, household bills, and even future employability. That can make it easy to put applying for workers’ compensation on the back burner, but you do so at your own risk. The fact is, each state has its own deadlines for you to apply for workers’ compensation. Failing to know the deadlines can limit or even erase your chances of getting reimbursed for your on-the-job injury.
Statutes of Limitations
As is the case with many civil matters, workers’ compensation benefits are subject to statutes of limitations. Controlled by individual states, these deadlines detail how long you have to file a claim for benefits after an injury. The deadlines vary not only based on the state in which the injury occurred but the type of injury. For instance, many states provide a longer statute of limitations to file for a work-related chronic illness that takes time to develop.
In addition to a limitation for when you can file, states also limit how long you have to notify your employer of your injury. These are typically much faster deadlines and failure to abide them can eliminate your right to file for benefits down the road. Fortunately, such notification can be something as simple as an email or even just mentioning that you hurt yourself on a piece of equipment.
Knowing How Long You Have
The time you have to notify your employer and file a claim may vary from state. In general, most states require that you:
- Notify your employer within 30 to 90 days
- File your claim within one to two years from the date of the incident
There are important exceptions. In Hawaii, for example, employees up to five years after the date of an accident to file. But in Kansas, you have just 200 days. State laws also spell out when the clock starts ticking, with some counting down from the day of the accident while others start the clock on when you first connect symptoms with your occupation. Knowing the difference is key to ensuring you won’t be left without the benefits you need.
There are many details to consider when facing a workplace injury, and promptly filing for benefits is one of them. If you’ve been injured, notify your employer and consult a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to learn what your next steps should be.
Posted on April 9, 2019 @ 8:56 pm