Filing a claim within 1 year

Recent court of Appeals Case clarifies an injured worker’s responsibility to file a claim within one year of workplace accident.
The Washington State Court of Appeals recently issued an unpublished decision that reinforces the importance of filing a report with the Department of Labor and Industries within one year of a workplace accident. The case involved an injured worker who sustained two head injuries at work. He received first aid and then continued to work. Unfortunately, the injured worker never filed a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries. The injured worker later developed migraines, eye pain, and hearing loss. He was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury approximately two years after the initial injuries. With the assistance of his doctor, the injured worker submitted a claim with the Department of Labor & Industries. However, the Department denied the claim because the injured worker submitted his claim more than one year after the date of injury. The Court of Appeals upheld the Department’s denial, finding that the injured worker’s failure to file a claim within one year of the date of injury precluded him from recovery under the Industrial Insurance Act. [Please see our Blog article on Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim.] link to that article as well.
Workers injured on the job may avoid filing a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries or downplay their injuries for a number of reasons. Those reasons may include a fear of causing their employer “problems,” a desire to avoid “paper work,” not wanting to loose pay or a job assignment they enjoy, as well as a number of other reasons not listed here. However, many falls, cuts, and sprains can become serious injuries later if they are not treated promptly. Unfortunately, the law is strict regarding the amount of time an injured worker has to file a claim following an incident. Sadly, there is no consideration given to the many hurdles an injured worker must go through to establish a claim.
We invite you to contact us if you have had an accident at work and are not sure whether you should file a claim.