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:
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
|State||Statutes Listed By State||Deadline to Notify Your Employer||Deadline to File Your Claim|
|Alabama||Ala. Code §§ 25-5-78, 25-5-80||5 Days||1 Year|
|Alaska||Alaska Stat. §§ 23.30.100, 23.30.105||30 Days||2 Years|
|Arizona||Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 23-908, 23-1061||As Soon as Possible||2 Years|
|Arkansas||Ark. Code. §§ 11-9-701, 11-9-702||As Soon as Possible||2 Years|
|California||Cal. Labor Code §§ 5400, 5405||30 Days||1 Year|
|Colorado||Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 8-43-102, 8-43-103||4 Days||2 Years|
|Connecticut||Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 31-294b, 31-294c||As Soon as Possible||1 Year|
|Delaware||Del. Code tit. 19 §§ 2341, 2361||90 Days||2 Years|
|Florida||Fla. Stat. §§ 440.185, 440.19||30 Days||2 Years|
|DC||D.C Code § 32–1513, 1514||30 Days||1 Year|
|Georgia||Ga. Code §§ 34-9-80, 34-9-82||30 Days||1 Year|
|Hawaii||Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 386-81, 386-82||As Soon as Possible||2 Years after the Symptoms|
5 Years After the Accident
|Idaho||Idaho Code §5-219||60 Days||1 Year|
|Illinois||Ill. Ann. State. Ch. 735, Art. 5, §13-202||45 Days||2 Years From Last Payment of Compensation|
3 Years After the Date of the Accident
|Indiana||Ind. Code §§ 22-3-3-1, 22-3-3-3||30 Days||2 Years|
|Iowa||Iowa Code §§ 85.23, 85.26||90 Days||2 Years From the Date of Injury|
3 Years From Last Payment of Compensation
|Kansas||Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 44-520, 44-534(b)||20 Days||2 Years From Last Payment of Compensation|
3 Years From Date of the Accident
|Kentucky||Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 342.185||As Soon as Possible||2 Years|
|Louisiana||La. Stat. Ann. §§ 23:1209, 23:1301||30 Days||1 Year|
|Maine||Maine. Stat. tit. 39-A, § 905||60 Days||1 Year|
|Maryland||Md. Code, Labor & Employment §§ 9-704, 9-709||10 Days||2 Years|
|Massachusetts||Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 152 § 41||As Soon as Possible||4 Years|
|Minnesota||Minn. Stat. §§ 176.141, 176.151||14 Days||3 Years after Employer Files a First Report of Injury|
Not Exceeding 6 Years After the Accident
|Michigan||Mich. Comp. Laws § 418.381||90 Days||2 Years|
|Mississippi||Miss. Code. Ann. § 71-3-35||30 Days||2 Years|
|Missouri||Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 287.420, 287.430||30 Days||2 Years|
|Montana||Mont. Code Ann. §§ 39-71-601, 39-71-603||30 Days||1 Year|
|Nebraska||Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 48-133, 48-137||As Soon as Possible||2 Years|
|Nevada||Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 616C.015, 616C.020||7 Days||90 Days|
|New Hampshire||N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 281-A:19, 281-A:21-a||2 Years||3 Years|
|New Jersey||N.J. Rev. Stat. §§ 34:15-17, 34:15-51||14 Days||2 Years|
|New Mexico||N.M. Stat. §§ 52-1-29, 52-1-31||15 Days||1 Year|
|New York||N.Y. WKC Law §§ 18, 28||30 Days||2 Years|
|North Carolina||N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 97-22, 97-24||30 Days||2 Years|
|North Dakota||N.D. Lab. & Em. Code §§ 65-05-01, 65-05-01.2||7 Days||1 Year|
|Ohio||Ohio Rev. Code §§ 4123.84||As Soon as Possible||1 Year|
|Oklahoma||Okla. Stat. tit. 85A, §§ 68, 69||30 Days||1 Year|
|Oregon||Ore. Rev. Stat. §§12.110, 656.265||90 Days||2 Years|
|Pennsylvania||77 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 602, 631||21 Days||3 Years|
|Rhode Island||R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 28-33-30, 28-35-57||30 Days||2 Years|
|South Carolina||S.C. Code Ann. §§ 42-15-20, 42-15-40||90 Days||2 Years|
|South Dakota||S.D. Codified Laws §§ 62-7-10, 62-7-35||3 Days||2 Years|
|Tennessee||Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 50-6-201, 50-6-203||15 Days||1 Year|
|Texas||Tex. Stat. § 409.001||30 Days||1 Year|
|Utah||Utah Code §§ 34A 2-407, 34A 2-417||180 Days||1 Year|
|Vermont||21 V.S.A. § 656, 660||As Soon as Possible||3 Years|
|Virginia||Va. Code Ann. §§ 65.2-600, 65.2-601||30 Days||2 Years|
|Washington||Wash. Rev. Code §§ 51.28.010, 51.28.050||As Soon as Possible||1 Year|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Code §§ 23-4-1a, 23-4-15||As Soon as Possible||6 Months|
|Wisconsin||Wis. Stat. § 102.12||30 Days||2 Years|
|Wyoming||Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 27-14-502, 27-14-503||3 Days||1 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.
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.