When you hear the term “statute of limitations,” it is understandable that you will probably think about a long period of time, at least a few years. Perhaps creditors send you repeated notices asking you to pay overdue bills, and you may hope that the statute of limitations will run its course, and the creditors will stop pestering you. (Note: It rarely, if ever, works that way.)
The statute of limitations, which is the timeframe in which a party must take a certain action in order for that action to be legally valid, is an important factor in many court decisions. In some cases, the court will not even consider your lawsuit if you file it late. When it comes to legal recourse related to work injuries and occupational diseases, the statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits is only one of the deadlines you must keep in mind. Because the circumstances vary regarding the best course of legal action regarding an occupational injury, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer as soon after your injury as possible.
Report Your Work Injury as Soon as Possible
Many work injuries require your employer to file a workers’ compensation claim, which requires you to report the injury to your employer within 30 days. If you do not report your injury to your employer, you are in a much weaker position if you later end up filing a personal injury lawsuit related to the same accidental injury. The law treats occupational diseases such as mesothelioma like workplace accidents. The clock starts on the date that you know about the doctor’s diagnoses of your occupational disease, just as it would start on the date of an injury from a motor vehicle crash.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Louisiana
If you are an independent contractor instead of an employee, as an increasing number of workers are, you may have more than a workers’ compensation claim for your on-the-job injury. Independent contractors sometimes may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party when they are injured on the job. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana is one year, counting from the date of the accident.
If you are an employee rather than an independent contractor, filing a workers’ compensation claim instead of a personal injury lawsuit is often your only choice. In the event of a dispute regarding your diagnosis or treatment or the amount of compensation offered in connection to such a claim, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who deals with cases related to work injuries.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Workers’ Compensation Cases
If you have been injured on the job or developed an occupational disease, you need legal advice as well as medical advice. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.