What Is the Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Comp?

Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Workers’ compensation provides monetary benefits to workers who are injured while performing activities associated with their place of employment. While the injuries do not have to be received on company property, you must have been performing work duties during business hours to be eligible. Workers’ compensation coverage is a category of insurance. Employers typically pay into on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis to provide compensation in case of workplace injuries. Employers usually pass on a percentage of the insurance premiums to employees through payroll deductions. However, there is a Workers Comp Statute of Limitations for every claim. 

Insurance

This insurance is designed to protect both the employer and the employee from the legal fees. As well as fees directly associated with a trial. If you are injured and agree to receive workers’ compensation, you must also agree to not sue your employer for negligence. However, a workers’ comp claim statute of limitations means workers have a limited amount of time to file a claim for compensation after being injured.

How Does a Workers Comp Statute of Limitations Work? 

Generally speaking, the statute of limitations is a law that dictates a maximum amount of time. Within this time an individual has to initiate legal proceedings on a matter. Workers’ compensation is subject to statute of limitations regulations. Laws require an employee to file a claim for benefits within a certain amount of time. There is no federal statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims. Each state is responsible for setting its own deadline. The statute of limitations may also vary depending on the type of injury. However, most states give employees at least a year from the date of the injury or accident to file the initial claim.

How to handle Workplace Accidents

When it comes to workplace accidents, there is another deadline to be aware of. It stipulates you must   inform your employer of the injury. Typically, you need to notify your employer within 45 days of the accident. Otherwise you may become ineligible to file a workers’ comp claim or receive benefits. You can notify your employer by sending a letter. Or more informally, by telling your boss or a human resources manager about the incident in person. To ensure there is a record, it is best to send a formal letter with a date or injury. As well as a description of events and your signature.

Special Instances regarding Workers Compensation Claims

Specific types of workers’ compensation may have different statutes of limitations. A local workers’ comp attorney can tell you more about your state’s workers comp statute of limitations. In particular, consult a professional if you are filing for a:

  • A permanent disability compensation claims in Arizona.
  • Are seeking permanent disability compensation claims in Illinois.
  • A permanent and temporary workers’ comp claims in Colorado.

The regulations regarding these claims are complicated. Additionally, they usually require the advice of a legal professional to successfully navigate.

What Is the Process for Filing a Workers Comp Claim?

If you suffer a workplace injury, there are specific steps you must take if you decide to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. Any mistake can potentially affect the amount of money you receive. Here’s what you need to know:

Step 1: Contact an Attorney to navigate your case and the differences of workers comp statute of limitations by state

There are advantages and disadvantages to filing a workers’ comp claim. Consult with an attorney before you file paperwork. It is better to be informed before making the decision to file a claim. This is  because it is difficult to stop the process once it is started.

Step 2: Complete the Paperwork 

After you report the injury verbally or in writing, your employer should provide you with the paperwork you need to fill out to file a wokers’ comp claim. Make copies of all forms you submit. Your employer is obligated to file the completed paperwork with its insurance company within a specific period of time. A copy should also be sent to your state’s workers’ compensation department. The official start date of your claim is the date your state agency receives the paperwork.

Step 3: File the Necessary Documents within Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

In some states, the employee must file a separate workers’ compensation claim to initiate the process. Check your state website or ask your attorney about the deadline for this. While most states give employees a year to file the initial claim, some states have shorter deadlines. Research all deadlines and claim instructions thoroughly immediately after the accident occurs.

If you are a federal employee, the filing process is completely different. Consult with your human resources department for more information before initiating a claim.

Step 4: Provide Further Information

After all the necessary paperwork is filed, your employer’s insurance company will conduct an investigation to validate the claim. The company may request further information from you. This could include things such as medical records, for reference during the investigation process. Provide all information promptly and keep a record of all documents.

Step 5: Receive a Decision 

The insurance company must approve or deny your claim within a certain time frame. Usually, two to four weeks. Some states will automatically approve the claim if the insurance company fails to provide an answer by the deadline. You will begin receiving benefits within a few weeks of the claim being approved.

Step 6: Appeal the Claim 

You have the right to appeal the decision if the claim is denied. You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible if you decide to appeal the claim. The reasons for denial can be quite technical. In addition, your appeal is unlikely to be successful if you prepare the documentation by yourself.

As with the initial claim, you must file your appeal by a certain deadline. You and your attorney need to gather evidence and submit your claim before this date. If you win the appeal, your attorney may charge a percentage of the benefits granted. Some lawyers do not charge upfront fees if you agree to provide a percentage of the benefits win.

Work With an Experienced Attorney

If you wish to file a workers’ comp claim or appeal a workers’ compensation denial, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An attorney may explain the deadlines mandated by your state’s statutes of limitations. As well as help you prepare and gather the necessary documentation. Get the assistance you need to seek the compensation you deserve.

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