Visitor Question

Can I sue my boss or file a claim after 3 years?

Submitted By: Roger (West Virginia)

I fell from a scaffold while at work in 2009. My boss asked me not to file a workman’s comp claim and being the nice guy I was, I did not file. He paid most of my medical bills and gave me light duty work which seemed to resolve the issue. The problem is I have had 3 back surgeries since then and now I am not able to work because of my back.

Is there anything I can do to be compensated for my pain and disability, such as sue my boss or file for workers compensation? Am I out of luck due to the length of time, or do I still have a case since he paid my medical bills (which proves the injury and his responsibility)? I had no idea it was going to be this bad. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Roger,

Unfortunately the State of West Virginia’s Workers Compensation Statute of Limitations Period for the filing of work-related injury claims – referred to as a “WC-1” claims – is six months from the date of injury.

I refer you to the State of West Virginia Code, Section 23-4-15, wherein it states:

“…permits a claimant to file an application for benefits based on an injury for up to (6) months after the date of injury. If the application is filed after the (6) month statutory filing period the claimant will be barred from recovery.”

If your injury was as a result of an “Occupational Disease” the West Virginia Code Section 23-4-15(c) states:

“…the statute of limitations for an occupational disease is (3) years from the date of last exposure, or the date the claimant knew or should have known he suffered from that occupational disease.”

Regrettably you really should have filed a workers compensation claim. Inasmuch as the injury occurred on the job you would have been entitled to the full amount of available benefits provided by the workers compensation insurance fund.

It does not appear you have any other legal recourse. Even though your employer apparently “ratified” the on-the-job injury by paying the medical bills, he is “lawsuit proof”. In other words, you can’t sue hum.

If you believe you are fully disabled you can access an on-line application for a State of West Virginia Disability claim. You can also file a claim with the Social Security Disability Administration.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: July 13, 2012

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