Workers’ comp is a system that all employers are required by law to have. It compensates employees who are injured while completing work-related responsibilities. This means workers are entitled to have their medical bills covered and lost wages recovered if they are injured as a result of doing their jobs. It is important to understand how workers’ comp functions so you can get the compensation you are owed. A common area of confusion is whether there is a deadline to submit a workers’ comp claim.
The first thing you need to understand about workers’ comp is that it is on a state-by-state basis. The regulations in California are completely different than the regulations in Maine. For the most part, the general stuff is universal, but individual aspects will always hinge on the state you work in. This means you should always do research for your state specifically.
Usually, there are two deadlines you need to be aware of. These are:
- The deadline to report an injury to your employer
- The deadline for your employer to report your injury to the workers’ compensation agency or insurance company
You should always report any injury as soon as you can. Obviously, the first thing you should do is seek whatever medical attention you need to treat the injury. After that, however, reporting the injury should be your first priority. The deadline to report the injury is usually 30 days, but it is almost always shorter than the deadline for your employer to submit the claim. In many states, your employer has one full year to submit the claim.
Missing a Deadline
If you or your employer misses the deadline to submit a workers’ comp claim, then the claim will almost certainly be denied. If this happens, you can appeal the decision. If your employer refuses to submit the claim, you should report them to the workers’ comp board for your state. You should also speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer at this time.
Report All Accidents
Even if you do not think you were seriously injured in an accident, you should still report it. If the injury becomes more serious at a later point, you may not be able to receive workers’ comp unless you reported it when it happened. Delaying your initial report by a significant amount of time usually makes your claim appear much weaker. A workers’ compensation lawyer can tell you more about the legal requirements of workers’ comp.