Filing A Worker's Compensation Claim - You May Have More Time

Law Articles

Some workers' compensation injuries, such as a trauma, are easy to establish when, as well as where they happened. This makes reporting the injury within the appointed workers' compensation time frame simple to do. The timeline for other injuries that develop over time, or diseases that are caused by exposure in the workplace, can be harder to identify or file within some established time frames. The good news is, there are laws that are changing the amount of time that you have to file some of these types of injuries or illnesses. You may still have a case even if it has been years since your exposure, or since your symptoms begin. A workers' compensation lawyer from a site like can help you figure this out.

How Long Do You Have To File A Workers' Compensation Claim In The Case Of An Accident?

In most instances you are eligible to file a workers' compensation claim as soon as you know that you have an injury, or illness which have resulted from your employment. In the case of an accident, your employer may expect you to file a report as soon as the accident occurs. They may then send you to the company doctor, or the employee clinic to assess your injuries. The paperwork you complete at the time of injury often serves to open your workers' compensation case. There are exceptions to these rules. Here are a few:

  • If you have experienced an injury that have resulted in you being unconscious, or in a coma, and rendered you unable to file your claim.
  • If your injury is so severe that it requires immediate and prolonged treatment, you may be unable to file.
  • If you experience a condition that may be contagious, which requires you to be quarantined, and you are unable to file.

Even if you have suffered an accident, but do not seem to be injured immediately, most states will allow you up to one year to file a claim as long as you have notified your employer of the accident as soon as you can. Notification to your employer should always include:

  • Date/Time/Place of the injury
  • Witnesses to the event
  • Statement of exactly how the accident occurred

There may be additional information required by the employer as this varies from state to state, and from employer to employer. This may be done formally or informally, but it should always be submitted in writing, and you should retain a copy of your report, along with a notation of who you reported this to. 

Retaining a copy of this will help prove that you met the reporting requirements if there is ever any questions in the future. If your employer is not willing to accept the report, or you feel they are giving you information that is not correct, you can contact your state workers' compensation office.

How Long Do You Have To File A Workers' Compensation Claim In The Case Of Disease, Or Cumulative Trauma?

But what happens when it is a disease caused by some type of exposure in your workplace, or an injury that is caused by the continuous repetitive motions of your job? The rules are slightly different in these cases. The clock to file a notification, or a claim does not begin until one of two things happen.

1) You took some type of time off from your job because of your symptoms, or see a doctor about your symptoms.

2) You knew, or should have known that the symptoms you were experiencing were being caused by your job.

Unfortunately, the subjective nature of both of these may leave you in a situation in which your employer's insurer may state that you have missed your deadline and not want to pay your claim. 

The deadlines in which employees have to file their case in these types of situations have recently been challenged in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In both Tooey v. A.K.Steel and in Landis v. A.W. Chesterton (PA 2013), the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, or employees who had filed cases against their employers. Both of these cases were due to the employees developing work related illnesses long after their deadlines to file has expired. These landmark decisions opens the door for more cases to follow suit. 

If you feel that you have an injury, or disease that has been caused by your employer, no matter what the time limit has been, contact a workers' compensation attorney for advice. The call will not cost you anything, and you may have a valid case.


2 March 2015

Car Accident Clues

It can be hard to know what to do to protect yourself legally in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. You’re liable to be disoriented or in shock, you may be injured, and you’re surely worried about your passenger or the other driver. At least, that’s how I felt. The thing is, the things you say and do in the immediate aftermath of an accident may affect a legal case later. Depending on who’s at fault and what the laws are in your state, you may want to sue the other driver for damages, or you may find yourself being sued. My blog is designed to give you tips for a car accident lawsuit, no matter which side you find yourself on.