Workplace accidents can sometimes lead to injuries that do not immediately manifest. If you are one of the over 53,000 workers hurt in a Tennessee workplace each year, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may find yourself wondering if you can still file for workers’ compensation if your injury took a while to become evident.
While the rules surrounding workers’ compensation can be complex, it is important to understand the laws and regulations regarding benefits for injuries that do not immediately surface.
The importance of timely reporting
In Tennessee, workers’ compensation law requires workers to report their injuries to their employer within 15 days of the accident. If your injury was not immediately noticeable, it is essential to report it within 15 days after your doctor tells you that your injury is work-related. Delaying the reporting of your injury could potentially impact your eligibility for benefits.
Filing for workers’ compensation with delayed injuries
When filing a claim for a delayed injury, you will need to show that the injury is work-related and occurred while performing your job duties. Medical documentation linking your injury to your workplace accident will be key in establishing your claim.
Tennessee’s statute of limitations
The state of Tennessee has a statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims. Generally, you have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, if the injury was not immediately discoverable, the clock may not start ticking until you knew or should have known, about the injury.
Proving a workers’ compensation claim for delayed injuries can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Accurate medical records, a clear account of the accident and prompt reporting can help strengthen your claim.