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Statute of Limitations for Workplace Injury

Texan law obligates employers to ensure a safe work environment for their employees. However, employers do not always uphold this responsibility, leading to numerous workplace accidents. 

If you are a workplace injury victim in Houston, you may have a right to compensation. However, this right depends on certain factors, including the statute of limitations.

This guide aims to shed light on your rights and delve into the specifics of the statute of limitations for workplace injury claims, so keep reading to learn more.

The Statute of Defined

The statute of limitations is the legal time window to file a claim. The duration of this time limit varies with the type of claim and the specific state laws. For workplace accident claims, the time limit is usually shorter than for typical personal injury claims 

In Texas, the statute of limitations for worker compensation is one year, as stipulated under Section 409.003 of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act. 

This means that if you suffered an injury on January 1, 2023, you have until December 31, 2023, to file a claim. After the expiry of the statute of limitations, you lose your right to seek compensation.

Extensions to the Statute of Limitations

In certain situations, a workplace injury claim's statute of limitations may extend beyond the statutory limit. For instance, if the defendant leaves Texas, the statute of limitations stops running and only resumes when they return to the state.

If the plaintiff is a minor, the statute of limitation stays on hold until they reach 18, meaning the one-year limit starts counting on their 18th birthday. Also, if the victim of an accident is unresponsive as a result of the injuries, the law considers them to be of unsound mind, which keeps the statute of limitation from running. For example, if a victim goes into a coma after an accident, they can still file a claim after getting out of their coma, even after the statute of limitation expires. 

In some cases, an injury or condition caused by a workplace incident might not be immediately apparent, in which case the discovery rule comes into play. Under this rule, the statute of limitations starts from the time the injury is diagnosed by a doctor, even if this is years later.

Notification Time Limit

Texan law requires victims to notify your employer within 30 days of an injury. You can report to your immediate supervisor, the human resources department or whatever department is responsible.

Failing to report within the time limit may mean you lose your right to seek compensation. After reporting, ensure that you keep the report documentation as evidence should your employer dispute your claim.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Having a lawyer by your side can be incredibly advantageous when seeking compensation for a workplace injury. They are well-versed in Houston workers’ compensation laws, ensuring you don't risk being time-barred.

For example, a Houston workers' compensation lawyer has deep insights into Houston's specific laws and regulations. They'll ensure you file your claim promptly, avoiding the expiration of the statute of limitations.

“Time management is just one aspect of how a lawyer can aid your case. Their knowledge and expertise command respect, which can significantly influence your case's outcome,” says Attorney Arthur Schechter, a Houston workers’ compensation lawyer.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the complexities of the statute of limitations in Houston, Texas, for workplace injuries can be challenging. Remember, time is of the essence when filing a claim. It's vital to understand your state's specific laws and, when in doubt, consider contacting a Houston workers’ compensation lawyer to guide you through the process.

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