What's the Time Limit for a Worker's Comp Claim?
When you're injured at work, you'll want to file for worker's compensation benefits as soon as possible. This is simple to do when you break an arm on the job or slip and fall on your way into the office. But what if you developed an ailment like carpel tunnel syndrome and aren't sure when it started?
When do you file for compensation then? What is the time limit for worker's comp, and when does the clock start ticking on your claim?
Time Limits Vary by State
The time limit for making a worker's compensation claim, also known as the statute of limitations, varies from state to state. Here are a few examples:
- In New Jersey, the statute of limitations on worker's comp claims is two years. The two-year clock starts on the date of the injury or the last day the employer paid compensation, whichever is later.
- In Texas, claims for worker's comp must be made within one year of the injury or when the employer knew or should have known the injury was work-related. However, the claimant only has 30 days after an injury to report the injury to the employer, to preserve a worker's compensation claim.
- In Florida, the statute of limitation is two years after the injury. However, if the claimant did not know, and could not have known, that the injury was work-related until three years later, the statute of limitation starts on the date the claimant found this out.
As you can see, not only is the actual length of the statute of limitation important, but when the statute of limitation starts is also a very vital (and often confusing) issue.
When the Clock Starts
For most work-related injuries, the statute of limitation starts at the time of the injury. So if the statute of limitation is one year, the one-year period starts when the injury occurred.
For injuries that developed over time, also known as continuous or cumulative trauma injuries, the statute of limitation starts when you either:
- First took time off work because of the injury, or went to a doctor to diagnose the injury; or
- You knew, or should have known, that the injury was work-related.
If you believe you may have a worker's comp claim, an experienced worker's compensation attorney will be able to review your claim and guide you through the process.
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You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.