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How long do you have to file a workers’ comp claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

In Rhode Island, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect employees who are injured at work or contract occupational diseases because of their work conditions. Employees can notify their employers of their injuries and file claims for workers’ compensation benefits. To recover compensation, employees must be aware of their responsibilities following their injury and the deadline for filing a claim. If they wait until the claim deadline has passed to try to file a claim, it will be denied.

Employee responsibilities

Following a workplace accident, the injured employee should immediately tell their supervisor and seek medical care. If the injury requires the employee to miss at least three days of work, the employer must notify its workers’ compensation insurer and file an injury report with the Division of Workers’ Compensation within 10 days of learning about it. If the employee contracted an illness that was caused by their job, they must notify their employer as soon as they learn that it is work-related to begin the process.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim

Under Rhode Island law, the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation is two years after the injury, date of incapacity, or the death of the worker. For an occupational disease, the statute of limitations is tolled until the date the employee learned or reasonably should have discovered that their illness was work-related. At that time, it will run for two years from the discovery date. If the employer or insurance company failed to file the required notices with the state, the employee’s right to file a claim will not be time-limited.

It’s important to pay attention to the time limits for workers’ compensation claims. If the deadline for filing passes, the employee’s claim will be time-barred, which means they will not be able to recover compensation for their injuries and lost wages.