Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations: State-By-State Guide

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Jan Reburiano

When you get hurt at work, even if it’s a damaged retina, there’s a deadline to file for a claim. This is called the workers’ comp statute of limitations, and this deadline changes from state-to-state. You can find different types of statute of limitations below:

Keeping track of all these important deadlines is too much while you’re recovering from an injury. Failing to report to your employer may be the most common way a workers’ comp claim gets denied.

Find a workers’ comp attorney who can sort through the paperwork, communicate with insurance companies, all while legally representing you. Our attorney network is nationwide, so connect with an attorney in your state by calling 888-927-3080 or filling out the short evaluation form below:

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What is the Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is your state’s deadline to file a workers’ comp claim before you’re no longer eligible. If you miss this deadline, state law says you cannot qualify for workers’ comp benefits and will bar your case when reviewed.

The nature of your injury may affect your due date because you may have a condition that develops gradually like long COVID. Consult with an attorney to know what statute of limitations exist for your case.

Notifying your employer has a separate deadline from filing a workers’ comp claim. This is crucial to follow and will get your claim barred if notified too late.

When Do I Notify My Employer?

The time limit to notify your employer depends on your state, but it’s often shorter than filing for workers’ comp. Usually it’s 30 to 60 days, but you should notify your employer immediately to avoid rejection from the court.

When your clock starts depends on your condition, because some diseases show symptoms much later than expected.

Do not withhold your condition from your employer when hurt on-the-job. Most employers are legally obligated to give workers’ comp benefits, and may face criminal charges if they don’t. Employers also cannot retaliate against you for filing a workers’ comp claim.

Exceptions to the Deadline

Your statute of limitations may be extended if:

  • Your condition forces you into a coma
  • A severe injury occurs that requires prolonged care, like burn injuries
  • You suffer from an occupational disease that develops over time
  • Your employer intentionally misleads you about your workers’ comp deadline

These exceptions exist because they cover scenarios where you’re unable to normally file your claim.

The Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Comp By State

StateStatutes Listed By StateDeadline to Notify Your EmployerDeadline to File Your Claim
AlabamaAla. Code §§ 25-5-78, 25-5-805 Days1 Year
AlaskaAlaska Stat. §§ 23.30.100, 23.30.10530 Days2 Years
ArizonaAriz. Rev. Stat. §§ 23-908, 23-1061As Soon as Possible2 Years
ArkansasArk. Code. §§ 11-9-701, 11-9-702As Soon as Possible2 Years
CaliforniaCal. Labor Code §§ 5400, 540530 Days1 Year
ColoradoColo. Rev. Stat. §§ 8-43-102, 8-43-1034 Days2 Years
ConnecticutConn. Gen. Stat. §§ 31-294b, 31-294cAs Soon as Possible1 Year
DelawareDel. Code tit. 19 §§ 2341, 236190 Days2 Years
FloridaFla. Stat. §§ 440.185, 440.1930 Days2 Years
DCD.C Code § 32–1513, 151430 Days1 Year
GeorgiaGa. Code §§ 34-9-80, 34-9-8230 Days1 Year
HawaiiHaw. Rev. Stat. §§ 386-81, 386-82As Soon as Possible2 Years after the Symptomsor5 Years After the Accident
IdahoIdaho Code §5-21960 Days1 Year
IllinoisIll. Ann. State. Ch. 735, Art. 5, §13-20245 Days2 Years From Last Payment of Compensationor3 Years After the Date of the Accident
IndianaInd. Code §§ 22-3-3-1, 22-3-3-330 Days2 Years
IowaIowa Code §§ 85.23, 85.2690 Days2 Years From the Date of Injuryor3 Years From Last Payment of Compensation
KansasKan. Stat. Ann. §§ 44-520, 44-534(b)20 Days2 Years From Last Payment of Compensationor3 Years From Date of the Accident
KentuckyKy. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 342.185As Soon as Possible2 Years
LouisianaLa. Stat. Ann. §§ 23:1209, 23:130130 Days1 Year
MaineMaine. Stat. tit. 39-A, § 90560 Days1 Year
MarylandMd. Code, Labor & Employment §§ 9-704, 9-70910 Days2 Years
MassachusettsMass. Gen. Laws Ch. 152 § 41As Soon as Possible4 Years
MinnesotaMinn. Stat. §§ 176.141, 176.15114 Days3 Years after Employer Files a First Report of InjuryandNot Exceeding 6 Years After the Accident
MichiganMich. Comp. Laws § 418.38190 Days2 Years
MississippiMiss. Code. Ann. § 71-3-3530 Days2 Years
MissouriMo. Rev. Stat. §§ 287.420, 287.43030 Days2 Years
MontanaMont. Code Ann. §§ 39-71-601, 39-71-60330 Days1 Year
NebraskaNeb. Rev. Stat. §§ 48-133, 48-137As Soon as Possible2 Years
NevadaNev. Rev. Stat. §§ 616C.015, 616C.0207 Days90 Days
New HampshireN.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 281-A:19, 281-A:21-a 2 Years3 Years
New JerseyN.J. Rev. Stat. §§ 34:15-17, 34:15-5114 Days2 Years
New MexicoN.M. Stat. §§ 52-1-29, 52-1-3115 Days1 Year
New YorkN.Y. WKC Law §§ 18, 2830 Days2 Years
North CarolinaN.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 97-22, 97-2430 Days2 Years
North DakotaN.D. Lab. & Em. Code §§ 65-05-01, 65-05-01.27 Days1 Year
OhioOhio Rev. Code §§ 4123.84As Soon as Possible1 Year
OklahomaOkla. Stat. tit. 85A, §§ 68, 6930 Days1 Year
OregonOre. Rev. Stat. §§12.110, 656.26590 Days2 Years
Pennsylvania77 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 602, 63121 Days3 Years
Rhode IslandR.I. Gen. Laws §§ 28-33-30, 28-35-5730 Days2 Years
South CarolinaS.C. Code Ann. §§ 42-15-20, 42-15-4090 Days2 Years
South DakotaS.D. Codified Laws §§ 62-7-10, 62-7-353 Days2 Years
TennesseeTenn. Code Ann. §§ 50-6-201, 50-6-20315 Days1 Year
TexasTex. Stat. § 409.00130 Days1 Year
UtahUtah Code §§ 34A 2-407, 34A 2-417180 Days1 Year
Vermont21 V.S.A. § 656, 660As Soon as Possible3 Years
VirginiaVa. Code Ann. §§ 65.2-600, 65.2-60130 Days2 Years
WashingtonWash. Rev. Code §§ 51.28.010, 51.28.050As Soon as Possible1 Year
West VirginiaW. Va. Code §§ 23-4-1a, 23-4-15As Soon as Possible6 Months
WisconsinWis. Stat. § 102.1230 Days2 Years
WyomingWyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 27-14-502, 27-14-5033 Days1 Year

Why Does the Statute of Limitations Matter for Workers’ Comp?

A statute of limitations gives your employer a fair and speedy process for handling injuries on-the-job. It would violate their civil rights if they had to handle lawsuits from accidents that happened several years ago.

The statute of limitations also protects you by keeping evidence fresh throughout your claim. Your employer cannot retaliate by dragging the case over the course of an unreasonable amount of time.

Find an Attorney to Manage Your Workers’ Comp Claim

Analyzing a workers’ comp case requires the eyes of a professional who knows your state’s laws. Luckily at LegalASAP, we have an attorney network of 500+ law firms throughout the United States, ready to answer your legal questions.

Our professionals mostly work under contingency, meaning their services are paid-for through your settlement and you pay nothing up-front.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online workers’ compensation case evaluation now!

Jan Reburiano is a content writer and SEO specialist for law firms focusing on personal injury, disability, employment law, among other practices. He has written and edited numerous articles and created commercial spots for broadcasters that you can find in his LinkedIn. Jan currently lives in Los Angeles, California while writing for clients from around the United States.