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I Didn’t Report my Work Injury in Time — What are my Options?

In order to collect workers’ compensation benefits, injured employees must follow the processes of the system. There are certain procedures that must be followed, on the worker’s end, to successfully recover compensation. Workers’ compensation claims are, in part, a negotiation between the injured employee and their legal representation, the employer, and the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider.

The failure to follow the proper workers’ compensation procedures can result in a claim denial. One of the most important things to do when filing a claim is doing so in a timely manner. Most workers’ compensation laws have time limits, and claims that are filed outside of those limits can fail. However, employees who file their workers’ compensation claims later are not out of options — there are some exceptions to the time limits.

Reasons for Late Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ compensation claims are more than just a legal process. They involve a real person getting hurt, and in some cases, becoming unable to work for an extended period of time. The aftermath of a work accident is very stressful, so it is not uncommon for victims to make a mistake and file their claim outside of the time limit.

Other than simple forgetfulness or oversight, an employee may fail to file their workers’ compensation claim on time because:

  • Their employer did not share information about the company’s workers’ compensation processes, or the state’s laws.
  • Their injuries made them physically unable to report the accident.
  • Reporting the accident in the traditional sense was not necessary, because the employer or manager saw it happen.

If the listed reasons are similar to why your workers’ compensation claim was late, you may have a case for appealing your denial.

What to Do if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim was Late

Although a late claim can certainly derail your workers’ compensation case, you may be able to appeal if your claim is denied. It is important to enlist the help of an attorney in all phases of a workers’ compensation case — if you were injured on the job, contact Smolich and Smolich today.

Use our contact form or call (916) 571-0400 to schedule a free consultation.