State's failure to file accident report extends filing deadline
Nilges v. State of Kansas, No. 105,787 (Kan. Ct. App. 11/23/11).
Ruling: The Kansas Court of Appeals held that an operator's claim for compensation was timely filed.
What it means: In Kansas, if an employer has notice of a worker's work-related accident and fails to file an accident report, whether or not the accident report is required, the time limitation for the worker to file a claim for compensation is extended beyond the usual deadline of 200 days after the accident.
Summary: An equipment operator for the state was injured when he refastened a lid on a water truck. While descending from the truck, his feet slipped, and he held onto the truck with his hands. He immediately felt pain in his upper back. He continued to work that day, but his pain progressively worsened. That evening, he reported the incident to his supervisor. The operator said he requested an accident report to be completed, but his supervisor repeatedly denied his requests. The operator sought medical treatment on his own. An accident report was completed seven months after the incident. The state authorized him to receive medical treatment and later canceled its authorization. The operator filed a claim for benefits. The state argued that the operator's claim for compensation was not timely because it was filed more than 200 days after his accident. The Kansas Court of Appeals held that the operator's claim was timely.
The operator admitted that he did not file his claim within 200 days of the date of the accident, as generally required. He argued that the state's failure to file an accident report until seven months later extended his deadline for filing his claim.
The court explained that the time period for serving a claim on the employer can be extended in certain circumstances. The court concluded that if an employer has notice of a worker's work-related accident and fails to file an accident report, whether or not the accident report is required, the time limitation for the worker to file a claim for compensation is extended beyond the usual deadline of 200 days after the accident. The court said that the reason for extending the time is that if an employer gives notice of an accident, the worker will receive material advising him of his right, including the deadline to file a claim.
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January 9, 2012
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