Are There Any Time Limits on a Workers’ Comp Case?
One of the most common questions people have about any type of personal injury case is, “Is there a limit on how long I have to file a lawsuit?” Whether a person has been injured in a car accident, dog bite, or a slip and fall accident, it’s very important to be sure you file your claim as soon as possible. Most types of accidents are bound by a statute of limitations, meaning the law gives you a limited amount of time to file a claim related to the incident. Lawsuits involving workers’ compensation are no exception.
What is Workers’ Comp?
If you’re covered by workers’ comp and you’ve been injured on the job, workers’ compensation helps ensure that you get the care and rehabilitation you need to recover and hopefully return to work. It’s a type of insurance that covers medical expenses and rehabilitation costs related to your injury, as well as a percentage of your lost income. In cases where a worker is killed on the job, workers’ comp can help compensate the worker’s family and dependents for the lost income. In many cases, the estate of the deceased worker could also be entitled to compensation for burial or funeral expenses.
What Types of Injuries Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
Virtually all types of on-the-job injuries are covered by workers’ comp, regardless of who was at fault. The only exceptions would be if the injury was self-inflicted, if the employee’s actions that caused the injury violated company policy, if the employee was committing a crime when the injury occurred, or if the employee was not on the job when they were injured. If you’re suffering from an injury or illness that formed gradually over time at work, that is also covered by workers’ comp.
How Long Do You Have to Make a Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you’re wondering how long you have to make a workers’ comp claim, it’s very important to remember there are two main steps in the process. First you have to notify your employer of the injury, then you have to file your claim. In either case, it’s best to do both of them as soon as possible. Laws vary from state to state, so it’s best to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as you can to find out which laws apply to your case. Here in Michigan, you have 90 days to notify your employer of the injury and up to 2 years from the date of the injury/becoming aware of the injury to file a claim.
There are some circumstances in which exceptions can be made to the usual time limitations for workers’ comp claims. If the injured worker is unable to file their claim in time because their injuries were so severe the worker was in a coma or needed extensive treatment in the hospital, an exception would be made in their case. An exception would also be made if the worker was suffering from a highly contagious illness and were quarantined, making it impossible for them to file their claim in time.
If you’re filing a workers’ comp claim related to an injury or illness that formed gradually over time, different rules apply. Once again, rules will vary from state to state, so it’s best to contact a personal injury lawyer to find out what applies to your situation. In some states, the law is that you have a certain amount of time from when you first became aware that the injury might be work related, while in other states, the clock might start ticking after your most recent exposure to the thing/activity which caused the illness or injury.