How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you were injured on the job, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to seek workers’ compensation benefits. In most states, if your workplace has one or more employees, your employer is required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries or illnesses that might occur because of work. Each state in the U.S. has its own guidelines for workers’ compensation programs, so it may take some research to fully understand how your state’s process works. Here are a few key steps.
Check State Timelines
There are two important deadlines for any workers’ compensation claim: the deadline to notify your employer and the deadline to file your claim form. The first step is always to notify your employer about the work-related illness or injury. Your employer generally wants to know this information right away and may request that you tell them about it within 24 hours so that they can begin an investigation and take steps to keep other workers safe. But each state has a specific deadline, such as four days in Colorado or 21 days in Pennsylvania, to give notice of injury.
The second key deadline details how soon you are required to file the actual claim. After you notify your employer about a work-related illness or injury, the employer will notify the insurance provider and provide you with details on filing the claim. The deadline for filing the claim is generally longer, like within six months in Vermont or within two years in Virginia.
Follow Workers Comp Guidelines
Whatever the timeline for notifications and claims, it is important to review all guidelines and follow every step carefully as you are filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault, which means that benefits are awarded even for simply a work-related accident. However, If you are careless with these steps, or if your employer has any reason to question whether your injury or illness was caused by work, your claim may be disputed. In the case of any dispute, an employee may need to make a case to a workers’ compensation board.
Get Expert Help
As long as your injury occurred during the course of your work or arising from job-related duties, it is likely that workers’ compensation benefits will cover medical treatment, lost wages, and ongoing care—or even more serious compensation for disability or death benefits. If you have any questions or if your claim is disputed, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer for expert help.