Alabama Workers Compensation Questions: (18) How do you toll the statute of limitations?
In our last blog we explained that the Statute of Limitations is the statutorily prescribed limitation on a person’s right to bring a legal action. For an Alabama Workmen’s Compensation claim, the statute of limitation is 2 years from the date of your job injury, or two years from the date you last received temporary total disability benefits, whichever date is latest. However, the statute of limitations may be tolled in certain circumstances. One such instance is when, instead of having you off work drawing ttd benefits, your employer chooses to pay you your full wage despite the fact you are unable to perform all your job duties. If you have suffered a job injury which your employer is aware of, you have job limitations which your employer knows and you are being paid your full wages while being unable to perform all your job duties, then these payments may be sufficient to toll your statute of limitations in the same way payment of ttd benefits would. Having stated this, it is best not to assume your paycheck will toll your statute of limitations.
The Statute of Limitations in your Alabama Workers Comp claim may also be tolled if you suffer from a latent injury. A latent injury is one which occurs over a period of time and whose symptoms also take time to develop. For latent injuries, the statute of limitations does not start to run until a “reasonable person” would have recognized the nature and seriousness of their job injury.
Additionally, in the instance where your employer, or more likely the workers comp insurance carrier, intentionally misleads you into believing that your statute of limitations will not expire within 2 years of your job injury or 2 years from the date you last received ttd benefits, you may be able to toll the statute of limitations. You will need some proof that your employer or the adjuster handling your workers comp claim misled you. The fact no one told you about the statute of limitations is not sufficient to toll your statute as no one has the obligation to tell you what the law is in Alabama.
If you have suffered a job injury and have questions about whether you have a compensable workers comp claim, you should not hesitate to speak with an Alabama Workers Comp Lawyer; the experienced Alabama Workers Comp attorneys at Powell and Denny would be happy to discuss your Alabama Workmen’s Compensation claim with you.
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