How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Case?

If you’re injured while working, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, you won’t receive these benefits automatically. To secure them, you must follow specific steps outlined under the workers’ compensation laws of the state in which you work. Then, your employer must report your injury to the insurance company to initiate the process. If you’re dissatisfied with the outcome, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim with the court. How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation case? Let’s find out . . . 

How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Case?

The rules that apply to your workers’ compensation case depend on the state in which you work.

In Arkansas, employees who are injured on the job are required to report their accidents to their supervisors immediately. The employers must then file a report of the injuries or illnesses with their workers’ compensation insurance carriers before the medical benefits will kick in. The insurance companies have the right to ask the injured workers to get treatment from doctors selected by the employers or companies. If you’re injured, make sure to keep all of your doctor appointments and submit all of the workers’ compensation forms on time.

If you’re injured while working on the job in Oklahoma, you must report your injury and accident to your employer within 30 days. If you suffered an occupational illness, you must report it within 90 days of when you were forced to stop working because of it. Your employer is responsible for reporting your injury or illness to its insurance company, and your employer has the right to choose the doctor who will provide treatment to you. However, if your employer fails to select a doctor to treat you within seven days, you can see a doctor of your choice at your employer’s expense. Make sure that you keep all of your medical appointments, follow all of the recommendations that you are given, and submit all of the required forms on time.

In both Arkansas and Oklahoma, some workers who are seriously injured or sickened at work may be left with disabilities that prevent them from returning to their jobs either temporarily or permanently. In these situations, the workers may be entitled to receive temporary or permanent partial or total disability benefits. While workers who are injured or sickened at work are normally entitled to recover benefits, insurance companies and employers sometimes dispute or deny the claims that they receive. For this reason, it’s critically important that you know the answer to the question, “How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation case?”

Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Cases

Employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers sometimes try to dispute workers’ compensation claims or deny them. They might also try to deny certain types of benefits for people whose claims have been approved. For example, if your injury left you permanently and totally disabled, the insurance carrier may try to dispute the extent and severity of your injuries to avoid paying permanent disability benefits. In these types of situations, you must pay attention to the statute of limitations that applies to your case.

In Arkansas, you must file your workers’ compensation case with the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years of the date of your injury under Ark. Code § 11-9-702. If you suffer asbestosis or silicosis, you must file a claim within one year of becoming disabled by it. And if your payments are halted, you must file a claim within one year of when you received your last payment.

In Oklahoma, you must file a workers’ compensation case with the Workers’ Compensation Court within two years of when your injury occurred under 85A Okla. Stat. § 85A-69. If you suffered from asbestosis or silicosis, the two years runs from the date of your first symptom or diagnosis.

Get Help from the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook

The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation cases is important to understand if you want to have a fighting chance of securing compensation. If you wait too long to file your case, it will be time-barred. To increase your likelihood of success, consult a workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook as early as possible rather than waiting until the limitations period is almost expired. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 479-783-8000.