How long do you have after a work injury to file a workers’ comp claim in Texas? It’s not uncommon for an employer to inform an injured employee that they cannot file because they’ve waited too long. Company policies will sometimes require employees to report injuries within 24 hours, but no such requirement exists in Texas law. Company policy does not trump the law.
In Texas, in order to be eligible for workers’ comp, you must report your injury to your employer (anyone in a supervisory capacity over you) within 30 days of the specific event that causes an injury. This 30-day rule is usually construed very strictly by workers’ comp providers. In rare circumstances, providers might look past the 30-day deadline. An example of this could be if you trivialize the injury, meaning you were hurt but you did not realize how serious the injury was and failed to report it. That doesn’t mean that you can claim, six months later, that you should receive workers’ comp. As soon as it becomes apparent that your injury is more serious than you thought, you need to inform your employer.
In situations involving repetitive use injuries, the 30-day period begins on the date that you knew, or reasonably should have known, that you have suffered a work-related injury. Many injured employees do not realize this and will wait until they have an official diagnosis for their injury. The law does not care whether you have a doctor’s formal notice related to your injury.
With this in mind, it is always wise to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible.