Clients often ask, “Should I file a claim when an injury didn’t cause me to miss work?” The answer is “Yes.” Failing to file a timely claim can cause an employee to miss obtaining workers’ compensation benefits should the effects of an injury worsen later.”
There is no such thing as a minor work injury
Injuries that seem minor can get worse over time. A worker may think that a sore knee, shoulder, or back is just a muscle strain. It might be something more serious, such as a torn ligament or herniated disc. Both of these conditions require a great deal of medical care, including surgery. Workers often try to suffer through what they think are minor injuries. They may not want to report the injury to the employer, thinking the injury will get better on its own.
Do not let loyalty to an employer prevent you from filing a claim.
Employees may also have a sense of loyalty to the employer. Unfortunately, our legal team has seen many situations where employees who fail to report an injury don’t obtain the benefits they deserve. A sense of loyalty from the employee is often repaid with a denied claim. Even if the employer supports the claim, the insurance company may still deny it because it was not filed in time.
Although an employee does not miss time from work, there may be a need for expensive medical care. An employee might also be entitled to awards for permanent injury. If a claim is not filed on time, the employee may lose these benefits.
At a minimum, anyone who suffers an injury on the job, no matter how minor, should:
- Report the injury to his or her supervisor and ask to fill out an accident report. While the law allows injuries to be reported within 30 days, it is always best to report as soon as possible. If a worker waits for even a few days following an injury, the insurance company will typically question the delay and may look for a reason to deny the claim.
- Be sure to list everything that is hurt or sore. If you leave out any injuries now, the insurance company will likely deny additional claims made later.
- If the injury leads you to seek medical attention, contact an attorney immediately. The sooner an attorney is involved, the sooner she/he can make sure that a claim is filed to prevent delay in treatment or benefits.
- File a claim within two years of the injury. All claims must be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Board within two years of the injury. Any claims filed beyond this date, with limited exception, will be denied. Seek medical attention and contact an attorney immediately if you are still having symptoms from an injury and are approaching this time limit.
Remember, even seemingly minor injuries can develop into more significant matters as time goes on. Can you afford to lose tens of thousands of dollars (or more) because you didn’t take the time to protect your rights? Most people cannot afford to risk such a result and neither should you. Call Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys PLLC, at 1-855-847-8969, about any injury you suffer so that we can inform you of your rights.