The period after a person sustains a workplace injury is a crucial one, and not just because the injured worker probably requires medical treatment as soon as possible. State law has deadlines for a worker to proceed with a worker’s compensation claim. A failure to do so could result in a denial of coverage. Once an injured worker can, he or she should figure out how much time the state requires to proceed with a claim.
Fortunately, state deadlines are fairly broad when it comes to filing a workers’ comp claim. The state of Delaware mandates different deadlines for various parts of the workers’ compensation process.
State deadlines following an injury
According to FindLaw, a worker has 90 days following a workplace injury in which to provide notice to an employer about the incident. A worker also has two years to file a workers’ comp claim. In the event a worker suffers an injury due to ionizing radiation or occupational disease, the worker has one year to file a claim.
Deadline to appeal a denial
The Delaware Department of Labor explains that an employer should provide an injured worker with medical services and possibly temporary disability benefits following the injury. However, an employer or an employer’s insurer may deny the claim. If so, a worker has two years following his or her injury to file a petition with the Office of Workers’ Compensation to appeal the denial. The petition may proceed to a hearing to determine whether to approve benefits.
Starting an appeal as soon as possible allows a worker time to gather medical expert witnesses and fact witnesses to help support the worker’s claims. Timely action may be crucial for any step of the worker’s comp process.