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Timeline for claiming workers’ compensation in Oklahoma

Under Oklahoma workers’ compensation law, all employers are encouraged by the authorities to provide insurance that offers benefits and compensation for any employee who suffers a workplace injury. A notice also must be posted by the employer in a conspicuous area in the workplace, such as a lunchroom bulletin board, informing all employees that the employer has, in fact, undertaken workers’ compensation insurance.

In case a person suffers from a work-related injury that occurs during the course of employment, he or she must inform the employer as soon as possible after the injury happens. If there is a delay of more than 30 days between being hurt and notifying the employer of the incident, the court may presume that the injury was not inflicted during the course of employment and may not qualify for workers’ compensation.

After the employer is notified of a worker’s compensation claim, he or she may decide to accept the claim or refute it. Such a decision by the employer must be made known to the employee as quickly as possible, but not more 15 days from notification of claim. Many seek professional legal help in such cases in order to understand the legal formalities and procedures relating to filing and receiving worker’s compensation.

If an employer denies the workers’ compensation claim, the employee has the right under Oklahoma law to file a case with an administrative law judge. In many cases, lawyers for both parties may even suggest alternative dispute resolution in order to try and reach an amicable settlement.

An administrative law judge usually wants the parties to exchange evidence and conduct a meeting prior to appearing in court. In case the administrative judge also denies the workers’ compensation claim, a worker may file an appeal with the commission or even ask for a review as per the lawyer’s instructions.

Source: Oklahoma State Government, “Timeline of ALJ/Commission cases beginning February 1, 2014,” accessed March 5, 2015


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