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Workers' compensation may be denied after time has passed

Colorado workers who have been injured on the job should make sure that they file their workers' compensation claims in a timely fashion to reduce the chance that those claims will be denied. A former maintenance man for McDonald's is attempting to claim workers' compensation benefits for his rotator cuff injury that had been diagnosed in 2006, but McDonald's is arguing that the injury is related to an earlier one from 2001 that the man did not file a claim for. However, the man claims that the rotator cuff injury is unrelated to the earlier diagnosis of tendonitis. A New Jersey appellate court referred the case back to workers' compensation court to hear expert medical testimony regarding the injury.

The man worked for McDonald's in New Jersey doing maintenance work from 1995 to 2005 and sought treatment several times for pain in his shoulder, elbow and wrist over that time. He did not file for workers' compensation at any time including following a 2001 tendonitis diagnosis. In 2006, an MRI revealed the rotator cuff injury that required surgery, and the man filed a workers' compensation claim.

McDonald's rejected the claim on the grounds that the it was filed after the New Jersey two-year statute of limitations had expired. However, the man's appeal may be successful if the rotator cuff injury is found to be separate from the tendonitis.

An individual who suffers a workplace injury may wish to seek treatment and file a claim quickly to avoid landing outside the statute of limitations. Furthermore, the more time that passes between injury, treatment and a claim, the more difficult it may be for the claimant to demonstrate a link between the injury and the workplace. Those who have been injured in a workplace accident may want to contact an attorney to help ensure that they follow proper procedures for seeking treatment and filing a claim.

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