A statute of limitations is a law that restricts the amount of time that you have to take legal action. The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is one year in most cases. This means that injured workers could lose their right to compensation if they do not file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission within one year from the date of their injury. But there are several exceptions to the one-year statute of limitations. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you don’t miss this important deadline:
Exception For Occupational Diseases
The one-year statute of limitations does not apply to workers’ compensation claims involving occupational diseases or infections. If you have suffered a work-related disease or infection, you must file a claim with the Commission within two years from the date you were last exposed to the work-related hazard.
The rules are different for two occupational diseases, silicosis and asbestosis. The statute of limitations for these occupational diseases is one year from the date the worker was disabled. This date must fall within the three years following the date the worker was last exposed to the silicosis or asbestosis hazard.
Exception For Death Benefits
There’s also an exception for workers’ compensation claims for death benefits. The family members of the deceased worker have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. This gives family members an extra year to take legal action following the death of a loved one.
Exception For Additional Compensation
The statute of limitations is also different for injured workers who need additional compensation after being awarded medical or disability benefits. If you need additional compensation, you must file a claim with the Commission within six months from the date of your last disability payment.
For example, let’s say you were injured on January 1st. You were awarded workers’ compensation benefits for your medical expenses and temporary disability payments. You received the last payment on April 1st. In this case, you would have two years from January 1st to file a claim for additional compensation.
These are several of the many exceptions to the one-year statute of limitations rule. Because these laws are so complex, it’s best to ask an attorney for help with the claims process.
Have you been injured at work? If so, contact the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. as soon as possible. Let us guide you through the claims process and fight for the workers’ compensation 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.