In general, anyone considering filing a workers’ comp case should ask a lawyer to verify they have a valid case. A lawyer can also explain the workers’ comp statute of limitations within their state, what forms to submit and ensure they follow the correct pathways towards a potential settlement. After all, no one wants to add insult to injury! To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of workers’ comp statute of limitations guidelines for all 50 states below. However, most states have a different deadline for when you must notify your employer about your injury or illness. When in doubt, always consult a lawyer for free about your claim. And don’t worry! Workers’ compensation attorneys are some of the most affordable, since state laws limit their legal fees.
States With a One-Year Deadline to File Your Claim
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, then state law says you cannot qualify for workers’ comp benefits. The following states have a one-year workers’ comp statute of limitations:
- District of Columbia (i.e., Washington, D.C.)
- Idaho: Surprisingly, there is no worker’s comp statute of limitations in this state. However, if you receive benefits for more than four years, you have one year to file after your last payment.
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
States With a Two-Year Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations
The workers’ comp statute of limitations for the following states is two years from your injury date:
- Hawaii: The workers’ comp statute of limitations is two years from the date when an injury becomes apparent. Alternatively, the SoL can also be five years from your workplace accident injury date.
- Maine: Within two years from the date your employer files a First Report of Injury (assuming you miss at least one day of work). If your employer doesn’t need to file a FROI form, then the deadline is two years from your injury date.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Some States Have Unusual Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations Laws
Just a few states give you more than a couple of years to file your claim. Others have statute of limitations laws that require you to act much faster. Here’s what you need to know for those states:
- Illinois gives you three years from your injury date to file a claim.
- Kansas gives three years from your injury date, or two years from the last date of compensation (whichever is later).
- Massachusetts state law says you must file within four years from the date you become aware your injury/illness is work-related.
- Minnesota gives you no more than three years from your injury date. But that’s only if your employer filed a First Report of Injury with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Otherwise, it’s six years from your injury or illness diagnosis date.
- Nevada provides 90 days to file your workers’ comp claim (except for cases that resulted in death).
- Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp statute of limitations is three years from your injury date.
- Vermont gives you no more than six months from your injury date to apply for workers’ comp. However, you can apply up to six years after the incident if you can show the employer had prior knowledge.
West Virginia gives you six months from your injury date. Otherwise, you have three years from your last workplace hazardous condition exposure or illness diagnosis date.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online workers’ compensation case evaluation now!
Kimberly Dawn Neumann
Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a multi-published NYC-based magazine and book writer whose work has appeared in a wide variety of publications ranging from Forbes to Cosmopolitan. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland, College of Journalism. For more, visit: www.KDNeumann.com, Instagram @dancerscribe, and Twitter @KimberlyNeumann