If you’re injured at work, it’s important to know that you are entitled to file for Workers’ Compensation, which can help make up for medical expenses, lost work opportunities and personal pain and trauma. Most people are aware that workplace injuries like slips and falls, machine accidents, injuries from lifting or accidents involving motor vehicles are covered by Workers’ Compensation — but fewer people know that exposure to harmful chemicals, dust and noise may also be eligible, as are stress-related injuries like heart attacks. If you’re unsure whether your particular injury or condition is eligible for compensation, you should file a claim so you can get the funds that you’re entitled to.
However, when filing, there are numerous rules and limitations that you should be aware of. Not only do you have to know which paperwork to file and what kind of evidence to include, but you also have to know when you need to submit your claim — which is where the statute of limitations comes in.
The statute of limitations describes the latest possible time that a person who has been injured at work can file for Workers’ Compensation. In most cases, this limitation is two years after the accident or injury occurred — and if you file after this date, you will unfortunately no longer be eligible for compensation.
The exception is when it comes to occupational disease or repetitive stress claims, which might take longer than two years to become evident or for you to realize that your condition is linked to your work experience. In this case, you should file within two years from the date when you first found out about the condition, or should have found out about it.
Furthermore, the statute of limitations stops running when you file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board, which means that you don’t need to worry about filing early enough to give your claim enough time to be approved before the two years run out. Simply file the claim and let the system work at its pace.
Another time restriction is that you must notify your employer within 30 days of the accident occurring — which is something that the Workers’ Compensation Board takes into account when reviewing your claim. Also make sure that you have a doctor complete a detailed written history of your accident and the medical effects for you to submit to the board.