When to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

doctor wrapping patient's arm up in gauze

If you believe that your job has caused any kind of injury or illness, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation immediately. Delaying a claim can bring certain disadvantages to your case, making it important to file a claim as soon as you can. If a claimant waits too long to file a claim, his or her insurance carrier may even deny workers’ compensation benefits because of the suspected illegitimacy. There are several things to consider when filing a workers’ comp claim.

How Much You Can Receive for Workers’ Comp

When filing for workers’ compensation, you should understand the type of benefits you are entitled to, and approach your case based on them. There are generally three types of workers’ compensation claims you can make: permanent partial disability, temporary total disability and unpaid medical bills. If your job is responsible for any one of these, you are eligible for compensation.

With permanent partial disability, you are likely to receive a monetary sum that will cover permanent impairment. Temporary total disability will likely result in partial or total temporary disability compensation, or possibly time loss compensation. Unpaid medical bills will entitle you to continued medical care, and your employer may be inclined to pay a lump sum in order to prevent you from pursuing additional workers’ compensation.

To learn more about what your case is worth, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney.

The Limitations of Your Settlement

Before filing a claim, you should know about the statute of limitations surrounding your case. These limitations vary from state to state, and the deadline to file a claim will depend on the type of injury as well. Normally, you can file a claim within one year of experiencing an injury or illness. You also need to notify your employer, normally within 30-45 days of being injured.

When to Speak with an Attorney

There are certain conditions in workers’ compensation that particularly warrant consultation with a workers’ comp attorney. These conditions include:

  • An injury that requires surgery
  • Moderate to severe injury that could warrant “permanent partial disability”
  • Inability to work regularly at any job following injury
  • Pre-existing disabilities
  • Denied medical benefits
  • Would like to work at a future job, despite inability to continue working at current job
  • Employer has disputed state’s workers’ comp decision

Whether or not you meet any of these criteria, you should speak with a workers’ comp lawyer about your case to learn about the benefits you are eligible to receive. You may be able to get more than you initially believed.


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