Workers Compensation Statute of Limitations by State

If you have had an accident in the workplace, the first thing on your mind should be getting medical treatment. And the second? … tell somebody!

Notifying your employer of an injury suffered in the workplace is crucial to receiving workers comp benefits like paid medical bills and lost wages. Waiting too long could put that all in jeopardy.

Each state has its own statute of limitations, or deadline, for workers compensation.

Statute of limitations – a time limit to start legal action from the date of an incident.

That means as soon as you are injured, the clock starts running.

That can be pretty straightforward for an accident like falling off a ladder, but things can get very tricky when a worker suffers from an occupational disease. Diseases like carpal tunnel syndrome can take months and years to develop, making the rules about workers comp deadlines a bit murky.

What Are the Deadlines for Workers Comp?

There are two deadlines injured workers should keep an eye on:

  1. Notifying your employer
  2. Filing a workers comp claim

Each has its own separate deadline, which varies from state to state. For most injuries, the time limit will start from the day of the incident. However, when occupational diseases are involved, a day one can be difficult to figure out. Depending on the state, the start date could be when the worker begins to demonstrate symptoms, the last time the worker was exposed to the risk factor, or when the worker is diagnosed with an occupational disease.

Notifying Your Employer

You will want to notify your employer of an injury suffered in the workplace as soon as possible, but typically an injured worker has 30 days depending on the state. For instance, an injured worker in South Dakota has just three days to notify his/her employer, while the time limit is 180 days in Utah. 

It’s best to notify your employer in writing, and be sure to receive a time-stamped copy of the report for your own records.   

Filing Your Claim

Most states require an injured worker to file a workers comp claim within one or two years of the incident, but be sure to check with your state’s laws because the time limits vary. Nevada, for example, has a deadline of just 90 days, and Massachusetts statute of limitations for filing a claim is four years.

The rules may change for occupational diseases – sometimes granting the worker additional time to file a workers comp claim because of the uncertain nature of an occupational disease.

Exceptions & Extensions for Workers Comp Deadlines

There are certain situations in which the statute of limitations can be extended.

  • An employer intentionally misleads an employee about the filing deadline
  • The injured worker is in a coma
  • The injured worker suffered severe injuries that require immediate and prolonged treatment such as burn victims
Alabama Workers Compensation Board

Alabama Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

5 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Alaska Workers Compensation Board

Alaska Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Arizona Workers Compensation Board

Arizona Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Arkansas Workers Compensation Board

Arkansas Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

California Workers Compensation Board

California Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Colorado Workers Compensation Board

Colorado Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

4 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Connecticut Workers Compensation Board

Connecticut Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

Immediately

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Delaware Workers Compensation Board

Delaware Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

90 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Image of the state of Florida

Florida Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Georgia Workers Compensation Board

Georgia Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Hawaii Workers Compensation Board

Hawaii Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

  • Within 2 years after the effects of the injury manifest
  • Within 5 years after the accident that caused the injury

Source:

Idaho Workers Compensation Board

Idaho Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

60 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Illinois Workers Compensation Board

Illinois Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

45 days

Filing a Claim

  • 2 years from last payment of compensation
  • 3 years from the date of the accident

*Whichever is longer

Source:

Indiana Workers Compensation Board

Indiana Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Iowa Workers Compensation Board

Iowa Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

90 days

Filing a Claim

  • 2 years the date of the injury
  • 3 years after the last payment of compensation

Source:

Kansas Workers Compensation Board

Kansas Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

20 days

Filing a Claim

  • 2 years after the last payment of compensation
  • 3 years from the date of the accident

*Whichever is later

Source:

Kentucky Workers Compensation Board

Kentucky Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Louisiana Workers Compensation Board

Louisiana Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Maine Workers Compensation Board

Maine Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

60 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Maryland Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

10 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Massachusetts Workers Compensation Board

Massachusetts Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

4 years

Source:

Michigan Workers Compensation Board

Michigan Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

90 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Minnesota Workers Compensation Board

Minnesota Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

14 days

Filing a Claim

  • 3 years after employer files First Report of Injury
  • Not to exceed 6 years from the date of the injury

Source:

Mississippi Workers Compensation Board

Mississippi Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Missouri Workers Compensation Board

Missouri Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Montana Workers Compensation Board

Montana Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Nebraska Workers Compensation Board

Nebraska Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Nevada Workers Compensation Board

Nevada Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

7 days

Filing a Claim

90 days

Source:

New Hampshire Workers Compensation Board

New Hampshire Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

2 years

Filing a Claim

3 years

Source:

New Jersey Workers Compensation Board

New Jersey Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

14 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

New Mexico Workers Compensation Board

New Mexico Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

15 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

New York Workers Compensation Board

New York Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

North Carolina Workers Compensation Board

North Carolina Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

North Dakota Workers Compensation Board

North Dakota Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

7 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Ohio Workers Compensation Board

Ohio Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Oklahoma Workers Compensation Board

Oklahoma Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Oregon Workers Compensation Board

Oregon Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

90 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Board

Pennsylvania Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

21 days

Filing a Claim

3 years

Source:

Rhode Island Workers Compensation

Rhode Island Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

South Carolina Workers Compensation Board

South Carolina Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

90 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

South Dakota Workers Compensation Board

South Dakota Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

3 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Tennessee Workers Compensation Board

Tennessee Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

15 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

Utah Workers Compensation Board

Utah Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

180 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

  • Utah Codes – Utah Code §§ 34A 2-407, 34A 2-417
Virginia Workers Compensation Board

Virginia Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Washington Workers Compensation Board

Washington Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source:

West Virginia Workers Compensation Board

West Virginia Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

As soon as possible

Filing a Claim

6 months

Source:

Wisconsin Workers Compensation Board

Wisconsin Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

30 days

Filing a Claim

2 years

Source:

Wyoming Workers Compensation Board

Wyoming Workers Comp Statute of Limitations

Notifying Your Employer

3 days

Filing a Claim

1 year

Source: