If you’ve been injured at work, you should notify your employer as soon as possible and begin the workers’ comp claim process right away. But what if you’ve just now discovered that your illness or injury is work-related many years later? Are you still eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation? If you plan on filing a claim, you should know about the statute of limitations in Massachusetts and the limited circumstances that can extend this deadline. For further, more specific, information speak to a workers’ comp attorney.
Deadline for Filing A Workers’ Comp Claim
In the state of Massachusetts, the “statute of limitations,” or deadline, for filing a workers’ compensation claim is four years after the date an employee becomes aware of the connection between their injury and their job. If a claim is filed after this deadline, it will not be recognized by the courts.
If a surviving spouse is filing a claim for the death of an employee, the claim must also be filed within four years of the date of death.
Similarly, if you receive a Notification of Denial – Form 104 from the insurance company after filing your workers’ comp claim, you have four years to appeal this denial.
Extension of the Statute of Limitations
Under certain circumstances, this four-year statute of limitations can be extended. This happens most often when an employee was unaware of the connection between their injury/illness and their job. For example, occupational diseases caused by long-term exposure to toxic materials, such as asbestos, benzene gas, or radiation, may not be discovered until many years past the four-year deadline. In this type of situation, the four-year time period begins when an employee finds out that their injury/illness is related to their employment.
Other conditions that can extend the four-year deadline include:
- The employee did not realize their disability was work-related.
- The employee did not know they had a medical condition until years later.
- The employer deceived the employee (whether on purpose or without knowledge) with regard to the work injury/illness.
Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Attorney
The workers’ comp process can be complex, especially if you’ve just discovered that your medical condition is work-related after many years. You could still be entitled to workers’ compensation. To learn more about Massachusetts’ statute of limitations and how it may affect your claim, contact one of our workers’ comp attorneys at Powers & Caccavale. Fill out our free case evaluation or call us at (617) 379-0016 today.