If you have ever been involved in any type of lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim, you have likely heard the term “statute of limitations.” However, due you really know what that means?
A statute of limitations is a provision in place that ends the right a person has to sue for compensation or claim benefits for an injury or damages caused by another person or entity. According to Florida law, you lose your right to recover compensation unless your case is filed within a period of:
- Two years since the date the injury occurred
- After the first two years and within a year of receiving the last payment from compensation or provisions for medical treatment or attendance or care.
Understanding Florida Worker’s Compensation Statute of Limitations Requirements
The two-year period from the date of the injury will not start until the injury victim, or another person, such as their employer, knew or should have known or recognized the seriousness, nature and the potential compensable character of the disease or injury.
Keep in mind, the above-mentioned date that the statute of limitations begins to run is applicable in most cases, but not all of them. In situations where the cause is unknown, such as an HIV infection or hepatitis, minor injury, back pain from a box, etc., is diagnosed many weeks later as being a serious condition, this may not be the case. If you are in this situation and the case goes to trial, then a judge will be responsible for determining when the statute of limitation applies to the case.
Other Exceptions to the Workers’ Compensation Two-Year Rule
In addition to the situation mentioned above, there are other exceptions to the two-year rule, as well. These include:
- If the worker who was injured is mentally incompetent or a minor.
- If the worker has sued the employer, making the argument that no employer/employee relationship was present and as a result, workers’ compensation immunity is not a factor.
- If the employer or the insurance carrier in any way lied to or mislead the worker who was injured.
- If the employer or the insurance carrier did not inform the worker who was injured what rights they had.
- If the employer or the insurance carrier provided remedial attention or care.
Why You Need an Attorney for Your Workers’ Compensation Case?
If you are facing a situation where you are worried that the statute of limitations has passed regarding your right to file for workers’ compensation benefits, then the best thing you can do is contact an attorney for help. They can review the facts of your case and determine what needs to be done to help you get the benefits you deserve. Keep in mind, each workers’ compensation case is different and there are a number of factors that can affect the statute of limitations and whether or not you will be able to recover compensation for your work-related injury or illness.
If you are facing any type of workers’ compensation issue, and need assistance to get the benefits you deserve, contact the team of attorneys from Sternberg & Associates by calling 561-687-5660.