It depends. That’s why you need to find an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. For most employees—and for most injuries—there are actually two critical deadlines to meet. If you miss the deadlines, well, you’re out of luck.
Deadline for Notice of Injury to Employer
To qualify for workers’ comp benefits, you must “give notice” to your employer of your injury. That means tell your employer you got hurt. Usually this involves telling your supervisor or a manager.
- Typical case. Most cases come from accidents—a single event like a car crash or pain rocketing down your back when you pick up a heavy object. These cases require notice to be given within 90 days of the triggering incident.
- Repetitive trauma injuries. These injuries happen bit by bit over time, such as leg pain from standing at a cashier station day after day or shoulder joint damage from operating a vibrating machine in an industrial plant. You must notify your employer within 90 days of the date you discovered the injury, or could have discovered it if you used reasonable diligence. Watch out! “Could have discovered” can be a trap the insurance uses to deny benefits.
- Exceptions. There are some, but why sweat bullets over them? Take action now.
Deadline to File Claim
Your right to workers’ compensation benefits ends if you don’t file a claim on time. “File” means sending required documentation to the workers’ compensation commission.
- Typical case. You must file within two years of the accident.
- Repetitive trauma injuries. You must file within two years of the date you knew or should have known of the injury. Again, “should have known” can be an insurance company trap to keep you from benefits. There’s an outright deadline of seven years from the last exposure to injury.
Don’t Wait—Too Much Is At Stake
Waiting jeopardizes your vital rights to medical care and income you’ll need if you can’t work. Don’t leave your health and your family’s financial future to chance—or to the mercy of your employer’s insurance company, because you won’t get any.
Do one simple thing so you can rest easy: call (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 for a free meeting to discuss the law of your case, how it affects your rights, and how we can maximize your benefits.