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What's the Time Limit for a Worker's Comp Claim?

When you’re injured at work, you’ll want to file for worker’s compensation benefits as soon as possible. This is simple to do when you break an arm on the job or slip and fall on your way into the office. But what if you developed an ailment like carpel tunnel syndrome and aren’t sure when it started?

When do you file for compensation then? What is the time limit for worker’s comp, and when does the clock start ticking on your claim?

Time Limits Vary by State

The time limit for making a worker’s compensation claim, also known as the statute of limitations, varies from state to state. Here are a few examples:

As you can see, not only is the actual length of the statute of limitation important, but when the statute of limitation starts is also a very vital (and often confusing) issue.

When the Clock Starts

For most work-related injuries, the statute of limitation starts at the time of the injury. So if the statute of limitation is one year, the one-year period starts when the injury occurred.

For injuries that developed over time, also known as continuous or cumulative trauma injuries, the statute of limitation starts when you either:

  • First took time off work because of the injury, or went to a doctor to diagnose the injury; or
  • You knew, or should have known, that the injury was work-related.

If you believe you may have a worker’s comp claim, an experienced worker’s compensation attorney will be able to review your claim and guide you through the process.

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