If you are injured while working, you can get coverage for your injuries through workers’ compensation. It’s advised that you file as soon as possible in these circumstances. You must report your injuries to your supervisor within 30 days, though you have a two-year statute of limitations to file.
Within those two years, you must get your medical or indemnity benefits, or file the Petition for Benefits. After that, you will have only one year for the statute. In essence, you can’t let a year or more pass without getting the treatment you need from a provider authorized by your employer. Failing to do this will mean your case is closed and you lose all future monetary benefits or medical treatments.
This is why you should never wait when it comes to making a workers’ compensation claim. You will want to get the coverage your employer provides for your injuries on the job.
Understanding the Secondary Statute of Limitations for Florida Workers’ Comp Claims
In Florida workers’ compensation cases, the statute of limitations of two years is how long you have to file your claim after your injury. If this should expire, then you lose your right to recover compensation for your work injuries.
Generally, the countdown begins on the date your workplace accident occurred. However, since workers’ comp also covers those who become ill from their working conditions such as through exposure to toxins, you will have two years from the date you had knowledge of this illness.
What may confuse you is the secondary statute of limitations for your workers’ comp claims. You have two years to file your claim, but if the first claim didn’t pay for all of your treatments, you will have one year from the date you last got your medical benefits or wage loss payments to reopen the claim or file for additional benefits.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Comp in Florida?
There are certain scenarios where the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims can be extended. If these apply to your situation, you may be able to take more time in filing your claim.
Injured workers who are mentally incapacitated may be unable to file a claim. For these reasons, the statute may be put on hold until a representative or guardian is assigned to take over on their behalf.
Workers’ compensation is offered to employees who are either part-time or full-time workers starting from their first day of employment. This means that a minor under the age of 18 could be injured while working. When an employee who is injured is a minor, this pauses the statute of limitations until their 18th birthday.
There are also situations where an employer may cause difficulties, which would stop the clock on the statute of limitations. Some employers will deny that there was an employer-employee relationship and, therefore, will refuse to pay out benefits.
In this situation, the court would need to investigate to determine whether the worker was an employee at the time the injury occurred. If the court finds that the injured party was indeed employed by this employer at the time, the statute of limitations will be reset after this ruling.
Some employers or workers’ compensation insurance companies will intentionally mislead workers about their rights. Every employer must make it clear that you have workers’ compensation benefits if injured on the job. If not, then the clock may stop on the statute while an investigation is conducted.
What to Do If the Statute of Limitations Runs Out on You
Time is of the essence when filing a workers’ comp claim. Ideally, the sooner you do it, the less likely you are to have difficulty in collecting your benefits.
However, even if you do file on time, there may be problems with your claim. It’s a good idea to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure your legal rights are upheld.
If you need assistance finding an attorney to represent you, 1-800-Injured is here. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. We can help you find professionals in your area to assist you.