No one plans on being injured. But accidents and their happenings are oftentimes out of our control. Whether it be a car accident, a slip and fall or an injury at work it is possible to be significantly hurt and need to claim some type of compensation for lost time at work, medical bills or emotional distress.
It is important to know the time frame you have to make a claim for an accident that happens while you are driving or working or simply going about your daily business. While each circumstance can cause a variety of injuries, some even similar to each other, the time you have to file for compensation benefits will vary depending upon how and where the injury happened.
Car Accidents – 3 years from the date of the accident and resulting injuries
The unexpected happening of a car accident can leave you shaken or even seriously injured. And because most of us experience some form of shock at the happening of such an event, we can be slow in moving forward with getting assistance, be it legal or medical in nature. But it is important that you move forward as soon as possible.
Once you find yourself injured as a result of a car accident, it is important to seek immediate medical attention and advice. If your injuries are minimal and you are able, the next step is to seek legal advice.
The most important time constraint that cannot be overlooked, is the one that requires a person who has been injured in a car accident to file a claim within three years from the date of the accident.
If you do miss the timeline for filing a claim for an injury that resulted from a car accident, it is possible to apply for an extension of time for filing. However, it is important to note that an extension, even for extenuating circumstances, can be denied.
There are other time limits that you must also keep in mind. They are as follows:
- Contact the police within 28 days of the happening of the accident
- If you lost income as a result of the accident, you should apply for these lost wages within 28 days of the accident
- If you need weekly benefits that are statutorily granted, apply for these within 3 months of the accident
- If your injuries are minor, you have up to 6 months to claim your benefits\
- If your injuries are more significant you have up to 2 years to claim your benefits
- If you want to receive a lump sum benefit for a minor injury, including those that happened at work, you can apply 20 months after the accident
- If you are applying for a lump sum benefit for a more significant injury, including one which happened at work, you can do so anytime
Workplace Accidents – 6 months from the date of the injury
A workplace accident requires the injured worker to make their claim much sooner than a car accident victim. There are also some additional requirements that both the employer and employee are responsible for when reporting and handling a workplace injury.
First, if you are injured at work you must report the injury to your employer immediately. Second, the employer must notify their workers’ compensation insurance carrier that the accident happened in the workplace.
If you are injured at work you have 6 months to file a claim with your employer. However, the sooner you report the injury and the surrounding circumstances, the easier it is to preserve any evidence of the accident and the related injury.
Again, if there is a delay the time for making a claim for a workplace injury can be extended for up to 3 years, but you must be able to provide a valid reason for the delay.
Public Injuries – 3 years from the date of the injury/accident
A public injury is one that occurs in a public space. These areas can include sidewalks, parking lots, staircases, retail stores, medical buildings, large events and venues and entertainment and sporting facilities. All of these public spaces can contain areas that are unsafe and can result in persons slipping and falling or worse.
If you are injured in a public space the first thing to do is make sure you can move effectively. If you sprained an ankle or wrenched your back, try and take a picture of the protruding object or the condition of the area that caused the injury.
Secondly, seek medical attention for any type of injury including; cuts, bruises, swelling, pain and head injuries. Once you have been thoroughly examined by a medical professional, it will probably be time to seek legal advice.
It is important you speak to an attorney or solicitor as soon as possible. This will ensure that the details of the incident are fresh in your mind and recorded accurately.
In all of the instances, whether you have 3 months or 3 years to file a claim, time is of the essence for the following concerns;
- Your health and safety
- Medical attention
- Notice to your employer in the case of workplace injuries
- Police reports
- Providing pictures and details to the proper individuals including insurance adjusters and attorneys
- The filing of the claim
If each of these steps are taken in an expedient manner, the proper processing and ultimate success of your claim will happen more efficiently.
In the event that you find yourself in need of assistance, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 780 770.