The Workers' Compensation Claim Filing Timetable Varies

All workplace injuries have a time limit by which the injured employee must file an official claim for workers' compensation. However, while this guideline is the standard, it is not to say that each person is operating on the same timetable. There are a variety of factors that predict how long an injured worker has to file a claim.

State Law

Local state laws are the first predictor, as each state has its own set of laws known as a statute of limitations. For a state with a 1-year statute of limitations, an injured worker has 1 year from the date of injury to file a claim. 

For people that happen to live in one state and work in another, it is very important that they follow the law closely, as they are required to follow the statute of limitation guidelines for the state of their employment. Take someone who lives in Missouri, but works in Kansas, for example. Missouri law grants 2 years from the date of injury to file a claim, but in Kansas, the limit is only 200 days. 

Delayed Onset

Some injuries do not have an immediate onset, such as those that are degenerative in nature or cancers. The law aims to safeguard employees that fall into this group and often supersedes the existing statute of limitation guidelines. Use Missouri's guideline of 2 years for instance. 

For an immediate onset injury, such as a broken bone, the injured worker would have 2 years from the date of the documented injury. However, for an employee with an illness that has a delayed onset, their statute of limitations clock would begin the day the injury was discovered. Precise medical records showing the date of diagnosis are necessary to qualify for this extension.

Intentional Mishandling

Another scenario in which an injured worker may operate on an entirely different timetable is intentional mishandling. Intentional mishandling generally includes wrongdoing on the part of an employer that is aimed at discouraging the employee from filing a claim, due to threats, misinformation, or another intentional act.

Cases involving intentional mishandling can be hard to prove, as you must provide evidence of the employer's wrongdoing. An attorney who understands workers' compensation laws is ideal for this type of scenario. 

Do not let the time clock run out on you. If you have been injured on the job, speak with a workers comp attorney as soon as possible to stay ahead of any time restraints you face.