Can I seek compensation for an injury that happened two years ago? 3 Answers as of February 21, 2012

I work at a school. I was playing catch with a child when the ball hit my pinky finger, pushing it back. At first I didn’t think much of it until the pain began to increase. I went to the ER only to find out that I had a cartilage tumor in the finger that the injury had disrupted (the finger was also sprained). I filled out an injury form provided by my employer but I did not seek any sort of compensation. I had surgery a few weeks later. Now I am suffering pain in the finger and I am finding it difficult to write, type, etc. Now I am wondering if I should have sought compensation because I don't know what problems I might face down the road. Could I seek compensation at this point?

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Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
There are two notice or limitation provisions that apply to a Worker's Comp claim. (1) You have to provide notice of the injury to your employer within 90 days of the injury, it sounds like you have done that. There are several ways this 90 day period can be extended. (2) A claim regarding the injury must be made within 2 years of the date of the injury. There are also several ways this two year period can be extended or calculated. For example, you can still make a claim 2 years from the date the injury manifests itself, which may apply to your situation if you are actually more than two years over the original injury date. Keep in mind comp cases only cover your medical expenses and wage loss, if you haven't paid medical expenses or lost time/money at work, you likely don't have a claim at this point anyway. If there is a legitimate chance you will not be able to work in the future, and the injury is actually work-related, you should talk to a good comp lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/21/2012
Lennon Miller O'Connor and Bartosiewicz PLC | Christopher Morris
A claim for compensation may be filed after two years if the employer had written notice of the claim. The period is extended during the time the injured employee was provided with favored work by the employer. Based on the information in your question, you could now seek compensation. In order to seek wage loss compensation you must establish a "disability". A disability is a limitation of wage earning capacity resulting from a work-related physical injury. The injured worker must prove that as result of the injury the worker is unable to perform all jobs paying the maximum wages and work suitable to that employee's qualifications and training. Even if it wage loss benefits are not available, an injured worker can seek medical care at any time for a change in condition of a work-related injury so long as that change in condition is the natural consequence of the original injury and not as a result of a new intervening cause.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/21/2012
Koning & Jilek, P.C.
Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
You may be able to seek compensation. You will need to file a workers compensation claim and pursue the action in the Workers Disability Compensation Agency. The employer/insurance company may argue that you missed the statute of limitations, but if you provided notice to your employer there may be a way to have your bills paid.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/21/2012
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