Time Limit For Filing a Texas Workers' Compensation Claim
If you're injured on the job and your employer subscribes to workers' compensation, to get benefits you're entitled to, you need to file a claim. We describe this process in detail on this page: how to file a workers' comp claim. However, that's not the end of the story. The injured worker also has a time limit to file the claim, and that time limit is subject to its own criteria too. On this page, we'll discuss all the things you'll need to know.
The Two Main Things to Remember About Your Time Limit To File
We'll be frank, there are two important details in filing your workers' compensation claim that you cannot forget. Those have to do with notifying your employer and then filing your claim with the Texas Department of Insurance--Division of Workers' Compensation.
- First and foremost, you should notify your employer of your injury immediately. You are supposed to report the injury within 30 days of when the accident happened. This ensures that your employer has as much time as possible to do their part. Now, you may be wondering, what if my injury does not have a specific onset date, but it just came up gradually? Well, according to the statute, you're supposed to report it as soon as you--the employee--"knew that the injury may be related to the employment."
- You may be wondering how someone could not know when the injury occurred, but it's actually quite a common phenomenon. This takes place in work injury cases that involve, for example, consistent ingestion of chemicals. Say someone worked at a manufacturing plant for many years, but only after all those years of hazardous chemical buildup in a worker's lungs do physical symptoms start to come up. Therefore, the date of the injury--in this case, the occupational disease--is not a solid date. However, as soon as the employee knew that "the injury may be related to the employment," that's when the claim should be filed. This is per Chapter 409 of the Texas Labor Code (which is the technical term for our state's workers' comp laws).
- Secondly, you have to file the claim with the Texas Department of Insurance-Division of Workers' Compensation. The ideal situation is that your employer notifies and files the claim to this state-run division for your work injury, but that doesn't always happen. Therefore, it's best that you make sure the claim is taken care of. If you file it, or check up to make sure your employer filed it, this must been done within one year of the injury. You can file your own claim:
- via phone at (800) 252-7031,
- via email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Again, we'll really stress here that you make sure to check up on the claim filed--or file it yourself--with the TX Dept of Insurance-Div. of Workers' Comp as soon as possible. You see, when your employer is filing a claim, it's going through a couple more hands before it gets to the state-level Division. It's going from your employer to the insurance carrier that provides coverage then to the Division. We suggest you play it safe and contact the Division yourself or have your legal representation do it. Don't risk forfeiting all possible compensation for your injuries just because you were too trusting.
What happens if you miss the time limit?
You guessed it. If you miss the deadlines, you allow your employer and the workers' compensation insurance carrier to get away without paying you a cent. Texas law states this pretty clearly.
Why seek an attorney to help you with your workers' compensation?
Put simply, your case is determined by a set of laws called the Texas Labor Code. The average reader hasn't combed through this material to understand how to properly handle their workers' comp case, and most lawyers can't even say that either. Our firm has spent 25 years in work injury law, and we've read the statute cover to cover over those years. We've adjusted to the changing laws and read up on how judges have interpreted that law in the courtroom. We know what's what and how to play by the Texas Labor Code's rules. Call us for a free consultation or just to ask a question. We're here for you. (855) 326-0000.
Other articles about worker's compensation that may be helpful to you:
- Valid Defenses to Workers' Compensation Claims
- How Does Impairment Rating Work?
- Can Employees Opt Out of Workers' Compensation?