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Do workers' compensation claims have statutes of limitations?

The concept of a statute of limitations is fairly common knowledge for most people. Even if someone is not aware of exactly what the statute of limitations for any given legal issue is, the fact that a statute may exist is not lost on most people. Criminal acts such as drug possession or homicide have statutes of limitations, and personal injuries such as car accidents also have statutes of limitations. However, did you know that workers' compensation claims have them too?

We often talk about how issues of workers' compensation are relatively easy to resolve, with some insurance companies even making offers before a claim is even formally brought. However, what you may not know is that statutes of limitations apply to workers' compensation claims as well, so if you are injured on the job, you should pursue compensation with a sense of urgency.

The statute of limitations for workers' compensation claims in New York is two years, but the date at which the countdown begins is subject to change. There are two factors that determine when the clock starts counting down: date of injury or date of last payment. Whichever of these two dates is later will be the date from which you have two years to file a claim before the statute expires.

Depending on the circumstances and the severity of your injury, you may be surprised at how quickly two years goes by. This is especially true if your injuries do not fully manifest themselves immediately. You may think that you do not need to file a workers' compensation claim because your injury is not very severe, but then two years later you find that the injuries led to complications that have changed your life. If you are injured on the job, it is in your best interests to meet with an attorney as soon as possible to take action before your statute expires.

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Success Stories

  • A 43 year old ironworker who fell four stories and sustained injuries to his ankle while installing a staircase settled his claim for $1,500,000.00. The accident was due to the failure of the building owner and general contractor to provide a safe place to work.
  • A construction worker operating an asphalt roller settled his case for $525,000.00 when the edge of the roadway he was paving collapsed into a trench being dug by a subcontractor causing him to sustain injuries to his leg.
  • A 54 year old commuter settled his case against the NYCTA for $1,200,000.00. when he tripped and fell on a subway platform due to the pavement being in disrepair, causing him to fall forward and to strike his head on a train pulling into the station.
  • The estate of a 64 year old woman received a settlement of $425,000.00 after she was struck and killed by a speeding tractor trailer while crossing the street at the intersection of Richmond Terrace and Port Richmond Avenue.
  • A $1,200,000.00 settlement was reached on behalf of a 54 year old man from Staten Island, New York, who, while in the course of his employment as a bus driver, was rear-ended on the Garden State Parkway and caused to suffer injuries to his back and neck as well as a fractured rib and fractured pelvis.
  • A 47-year-old building superintendent who sustained injuries to his head and right side of his body due to a tripping hazard at his job site received a settlement of $300,000.00 from the electrical company performing work at the site.
  • A 43 year old construction worker was caused to sustain injuries to his back, shoulder and hand when the elevator he was riding malfunctioned and dropped 8 floors. He received $350,000.00 in the settlement of his claim against the building owner, maintenance company and elevator company.
  • The administrator of the estate of a 69 year old man who suffered stage four pressure sores while a patient at a Queens nursing home settled the case for $400,000.00 after the man died.
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