Why You Should Report Even a Minor Work-Related Injury to Your Employer
You’re a hardworking employee—you go in to work early each day, and you give the job your all. You don’t complain, and you can count on one hand how many times you have called in sick. Today, when you were lifting a box, something “popped” in your back. It hurt, but not bad enough to complain and certainly not bad enough to go home. You shrugged it off and went about your day as usual. However, when you woke up the next morning, you were in so much pain that you couldn’t even lift yourself out of bed.
Now you are worried. What if you can’t work? How will you provide for your family? Will you need to file for Workers’ Compensation if this doesn’t get better? What if no one believes you got hurt at work because you didn’t tell anyone?
Workers’ Compensation Covers Employees Hurt on the Job
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act is the state law that protects employees who have suffered injuries or illnesses on the job. Workers’ Compensation provides income benefits and pays for medical care for workers hurt on the job. In addition, it pays death benefits to family members of workers killed on the job.
Workers’ Compensation covers all injuries, minor and severe, that occur on the job. Illness or diseases that are triggered by the work environment or work-related duties are also covered. You cannot be denied for previous minor injuries or diseases that were aggravated or substantially worsened at work. Employees are able to file claims for trauma, such as carpal tunnel, that happened over time.
Notify Your Employer Right Away
No matter how minor the injury may appear, report the incident and injury immediately. Always notify your employer or supervisor—not a co-worker. You may not need to give an injury notice in writing, but is always good to file a written notice and make copies for claim purposes. This will avoid problems later on. Following is some important information you will need to know when filing an injury notice:
- Your employer must know about your injury within 21 days, or your claim may be denied.
- In order to receive compensation, you must file notice of your injury within 120 days.
- You must give notice when you know the extent of your injury and how it will affect your job.
- Notice of injury must include the date of injury, location, and circumstances.
- If your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier denies your claim, you have three years from the date of the initial injury to file a claim petition.
- You cannot be denied solely on the basis that you did not report the injury the day it happened.
It is crucial that you notify your employer after you are hurt on the job—otherwise your workers’ compensation claims can be denied. If you have questions about filing a claim or the requirements you need to meet, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys may be able to help. Contact us today using our online contact form or live chat to get started.