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September 8th, 2022

What is the Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Comp?

A workers’ comp claim isn’t a lawsuit, so technically there is no statute of limitations. The term generally means a deadline to file a legal action. Your lawsuit will be dismissed if you wait too long without a valid reason or excuse. There are other workers’ compensation deadlines that should concern you.

Was Do Texas Statutes Say About Workers’ Compensation Deadlines?

Texas law states:

  • You or someone acting for you must notify your employer not later than the 30th day after the date the injury occurred. If you have an occupational disease, you have 30 days from when you knew or should have known the illness may be job-related
  • Failure to give this notice on time relieves the employer and their insurance carrier of liability unless they knew of the illness or injury, you had “good cause” not to give notice in time, or they don’t contest the claim
  • You or someone acting for you must file a claim with the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation not later than one year after the date of your injury, or if you have an occupational disease, when you knew or should’ve known it was job-related 
  • If you don’t file in time, the employer and their insurance company aren’t liable unless you have “good cause” for missing the deadline or your employer or its insurance company didn’t contest the claim 

These are legal provisions that set out the parties’ responsibilities and rights. There are also practical issues that should concern you.

How Should I Give Notice to My Employer About My Injury or Illness?

Notify your employer immediately if you’re injured on the job. You should also put them on notice if you have reason to believe you have or are diagnosed with a work-related illness. Not only does this prevent the 30-day-deadline from being a problem, you may also avoid a denial claiming the injury isn’t work-related. 

If you injure yourself on a Monday and don’t notify your employer until Thursday, it increases the chances they’ll claim you hurt yourself away from work and seek benefits illegally. That defense is harder to make if you let them know right away while you’re at work or on a worksite. 

Most employers have a form to fill out when employees are hurt on the job. If you use one, make a copy and document the fact they received it. You could also follow up with an email stating when you gave it to them and who received it. If there is no form, put the facts of what happened in writing, make a copy, and submit it.

No matter which method you use, keep notes of whom you gave it to, what was said, the date and time, and whether others witnessed what happened. There’s a chance your employer will play dumb and deny you gave them notice to deny your claim. If you can document what you did, it’s easier to fight against this.

When Should I File a Claim With the State?

Most workers’ comp claims are accepted, but the employer or insurance company disputes the details – your degree of injury, what treatments you need, or what benefits you should receive. Filing with the state becomes an issue if you get a denial. It’s best to file soon afterward, so missing the deadline won’t be an issue.

How Can An Experienced Schechter, Shaffer, & Harris L.L.P. Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help?

Contact our office if you are injured at work or believe or have been told you have a work-related disease. We will tell you about your rights, the best way to report your condition, and how to avoid mistakes that can hurt you later. Waiting for a denial to contact us is a mistake because you may do or say something that may make getting benefits more difficult.

The workers’ compensation lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. know how to win cases. We are dedicated to helping you fight and win your case. Call us at 713-893-0971 today and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

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