Dealing with a work-related injury can be frustrating, as well as financially devastating. Workers’ compensation is supposed to protect you in cases like this, and you shouldn’t have to file a lawsuit to get the coverage you need for medical bills and lost wages. And it’s not supposed to be a difficult process for you to report an injury, and wait for the response.
Unfortunately, things can go wrong in a workers’ compensation claim. The injured employee still has certain requirements before the claim can be processed and approved, and it’s important to know what these are.
The statute of limitations in a workers’ compensation case
Generally speaking, the statute of limitations is defined as the maximum time-frame in which you can bring a lawsuit or other legal action. This time-frame is different depending on where you live and what you’re filing the claim for. For example, in the State of Florida, the survivor of an accident has, in most cases, four years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Just like in a personal injury lawsuit, workers’ compensation cases have a statute of limitations. In the State of Florida, this is two years after the injury. However, workers’ compensation cases are a little different from personal injury lawsuits.
To begin with, there is an additional time-frame, which is much shorter, for initially reporting the injury. Employees are required to report injuries to their employer within 30 days of the injury becoming apparent. Assuming the employee followed this requirement, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is two years.
The exact point where the clock starts ticking depends on the circumstances. Generally, the statute of limitations begins when the employee became aware, or should have become aware, that an injury had occurred and that work, or a work-related activity, was the cause. Injuries don’t always surface immediately after an accident, and may require extensive medical testing. In some cases, such as repetitive motion injuries, the problem may develop gradually. Additional exceptions exist for minors and workers with intellectual disabilities.
If you’re not sure how the statute of limitations applies to your workers’ compensation case, don’t wait to get help. Reach out to an experienced worker’s advocate like Katherine. She has years of experience with cases just like yours, and she’ll help you get the compensation you deserve. Call, email, or text us to set up a free consultation!