How Long Do I Have to File an Injury for Workers Comp?

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When you are accidentally injured on the job, you are eligible for workers’ compensation in the state where you work. The key is that you have to notify your employer of the injury and then file the necessary paperwork within the time frame established by state law. Not only can this date vary, but so can the date used for the statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations

Each state can set its own time requirement for individuals to file workers’ compensation claims -- known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file a claim within the specified time frame, you will lose the right to file or face several challenges in doing so. Many liability cases have a statute of limitations to help employers avoid looming lawsuits.

Beginning Date

The statute of limitations also determines the date your claim injury actually starts. For example, this date could be the actual date of the accident, the date you last received medical treatment for the injury or the date of the last payment of benefits for the injury. If the disease is latent like mesothelioma, then the statute of limitations may begin with the date of your last exposure, date of the appearance of the disease or the date of diagnosis.

State Variations

Because each state has the ability to set its own statute of limitations, you need to check with your state’s department of labor to see what the time frame is for your state. In general, states have chosen to set their statute of limitation for workers’ compensation claim filing at two years.

Notifying Your Employer

The statute of limitations doesn’t begin until there is an official notification of the injury. Your employer should provide you with the needed forms to file a workers’ compensation claim. There are also forms that your employer will need to fill out to set the date of the injury for the claim. The time frame for notifying your employer of the injury is generally 30 days from the date of the injury, though this can also vary from state to state.

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