Any experienced workers’ compensation lawyer would agree that it’s best for injured workers to notify their employers of a work-related injury as soon as possible. However, the law gives workers up to 30 days to let their employers know about their injuries. The 30-day time limit applies to notifying an employer, but the rules are different when it comes to actually filing a claim. How long do you have to file a workers’ compensation claim? Here’s what you should know:
The Statute of Limitations on Workers’ Compensation Claims
A workers’ compensation claim must be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Commission within one year from the date the claimant sustained the injury. If it is filed after this one-year period, the claim will be rejected and the claimant will not be awarded benefits.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations on Workers’ Compensation Claims
The one-year time limit applies to most workers’ compensation claims, but there are some exceptions. If a worker is fatally injured at work, his family has two years from the date of his death to file a claim with the Commission.
The rules are also different for claims involving occupational diseases or infections. Workers with occupational diseases or infections must file within two years from the date they were last exposed to the hazardous work conditions. If the claimant has silicosis or asbestosis, he has one year from the date he became disabled to file a claim. However, the date of the claimant’s disability must be within three years from the date he was last exposed to the hazardous substance.
The Statute of Limitations For Replacements
It’s important to note that the one-year time period does not apply to claims for replacements. For example, let’s say a worker suffered a work-related injury that left him in need of an artificial limb. The employer paid for the artificial limb, but years later, it needs to be replaced. The worker has the right to file a claim for this replacement, but he is not required to do so within the one-year timeframe. Anyone who is entitled to replacements through the workers’ compensation system can file these claims at any time.
Time goes by fast, so it’s best to contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. as soon as possible after a workplace injury. Our experienced attorneys will immediately initiate the claims process so can quickly secure the benefits you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.