How long do I have to file a claim? I was hurt at work.

How long do I have to file a claim?  I was hurt at work.

The short answer is that you have ONE year from the date of the injury to file your workers’ compensation claim.

Here’s the longer explanation, and what you need to know.

When you are hurt at work, in order to “file a claim,” what you must do is file a legal form (called a Form 30C) with the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission.  You have one year to do this from the date of your injury.

Some injuries do not occur at a specific moment in time, or on a specific date.  Instead, they occur over a long period of time due to either:  a) an occupational disease (such as an irritant in your lungs); or b) a repetitive trauma (such as carpal tunnel due to repetitive use of hands and arms).  The deadline for filing a claim for an occupational disease or a repetitive trauma is more complex and you should always speak with an attorney.

There are also some exceptions to the one year deadline which allow you to file a claim even after the one year deadline.  So if you are not sure, it would be smart for you to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Finally, even though you have a full year to file your claim, it is a mistake to wait that long.  You should have an attorney file your claim promptly.  Also, you should immediately report your injury to management and fill out a First Report of Injury form with your employer.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that reporting the injury or filling out the form is the same thing as filing your workers’ compensation claim.  It is not.

As usual, the best thing you can do when you have a workplace injury is to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.  I provide a free initial consultation.  And if your injury happened a while ago, bear in mind that you have a full year to file the claim, and even then, there are some exceptions which give you even longer.  Let an experienced lawyer decide whether it is too late, and be sure to have that free consultation.