Q: How much time do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim in Texas?
Texas employees injured on the job may qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits. To receive these payments, they must file claims within a specific timeframe.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Ideally, an injured worker’s employer will file a workers’ compensation claim on his or her behalf. If this doesn’t happen, the injured worker must file an Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease (DWC Form-041) with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. This form requires information about the injured employee’s work status, injuries, and employer. It must be filed within one year of the accident date.
However, there's an exception for work-related illnesses that develop slowly over time. These occupational diseases must be reported within one year after the date the worker knew, or should have known, the ailment was caused by the environment or activities of the job.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials
An employee’s failure to file a workers’ compensation claim by the deadline will bar that claim unless:
● The employer or insurance carrier refused, failed, or neglected to file an injury report. Under these circumstances, the employee’s injury claim filing period won’t begin until an injury report is submitted.
● The carrier already agreed to accept liability for the payment of medical bills and income benefits.
● The employee establishes good cause for failing to file a claim. This defense may be raised if the worker believed the injury was trivial, that the injury claim was filed, or if he or she received assurances from the employer or insurance carrier the claim would be paid.
You Need an Attorney
If you were injured at work, you should file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. These claims can be complicated, but a skilled workers’ compensation attorney will ensure your rights are protected so you receive rightful benefits. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.