How Much Time Do I Have to File a Work Injury Claim?
Q: How much time do I have to file a claim for an on-the-job injury? My injury was 3 months ago and I just went to the doctor today.
A: Oregon law requires notice of an accident at work resulting in injury or death to be given immediately and not later than 90 days after the accident. Your employer is required to notify its workers’ compensation insurer immediately, and no later than 72 hours, after receiving notice of the accident. If you documented the incident with your employer, you have up to one year to file the claim. If you are off work because of the injury, wage replacement is due within 14 days. You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible after your injury. There are exceptions for failing to give proper notice if you have “good cause.” For occupational disease claims, which typically have a gradual onset, you are required to give notice of your claim within one year of the day that your doctor tells you you have a work-related occupational disease. A disease is different from an injury in that the disease usually comes on gradually over time. To be safe, you should file your claim as soon as possible and not rely on the “good cause provisions,” which can often result in litigation. If you have questions about filing a claim, you can contact the Workers’ Compensation Division Ombudsman’s office or call an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation law and procedure. Consultations are free in all cases.