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Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2022
In Arizona, most workers are entitled to compensation if they sustain an on-the-job injury. This includes coverage of their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages if they cannot work while recovering. However, there are stringent deadlines in place when it comes to reporting these injuries, and failing to meet these deadlines could result in a work injury claim being denied by the insurance carrier or the employer. Here, we want to discuss what happens if you are late reporting your injury.
There is often confusion about reporting deadlines for work injuries in Arizona. The confusion occurs because there are two separate reporting deadlines: one deadline related to alerting the employer to the workplace injury and another deadline imposed by the Arizona workers’ compensation statute of limitations.
When examining information from the Industrial Commission of Arizona, we can see that an injured worker should “notify the employer as soon as possible that a work-related injury has occurred.” No, this does not give us a concrete date, but we strongly encourage you to report any known or workplace injury or illness within a few days after the incident occurs. Ideally, your employer would know about the injury or illness the same day it occurs so that they can begin the filing process.
It is an injured worker’s responsibility to file an official workers’ compensation claim within one year from the date of the injury or illness. Typically, this statute of limitations for a workplace injury begins the date the accident occurs. However, there are instances where the statute of limitations can start ticking on the day the injury or illness is discovered. For example, if you have a gradual injury that does not show signs and symptoms right away, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, the one-year statute of limitations would begin from the time your doctor diagnosis the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Unfortunately, individuals are not left with many options if they report an injury beyond the required deadline in Arizona. Individuals who report their injury beyond this one-year timeframe will likely miss their opportunity to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Again, however, there may be some wiggle room depending on how the injury or illness occurred. Yes, most workplace injuries are considered acute and immediately apparent. However, there are many workplace injuries that happen gradually over longer periods of time. This can include what are called “repetitive stress injuries” such as carpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries involving joints as well as occupational diseases, which can include lung diseases, cancers, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and more.
If you or somebody you love has sustained a workplace injury but are struggling to recover your rightful benefits, we encourage you to contact an attorney immediately. A skilled Phoenix workers’ compensation attorney will examine the facts of your case, conduct a full investigation into the injury or illness, and work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance carrier.