Report Workplace Injuries

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When a person is injured in a workplace accident, he or she must report their accident to their supervisor within 120 days, or approximately three months, of the date of the accident in order to qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

This requirement is not the same as the statute of limitations for a Workers’ Compensation claim. The statute of limitations, which is three years from the date of the accident that caused the injury, is the time period following the accident during which the worker may file a Workers’ Compensation claim. Once three years pass from the date of the accident, the worker cannot file a claim
and receive benefits.

Why Do Some Workers Fail to Report their Injuries?

Some injured workers fail to report their injuries to their supervisors because they are afraid to do so. This only works against the employee, sometimes making it impossible for them to receive Workers’ Compensation at all.

There are many reasons why workers fail to report their injuries to their supervisors, and none of them are good. If you are injured in a workplace accident, no matter what your supervisor has told you previously or the circumstances of the accident, you need to make a report of the accident and the injury. Examples of reasons why a worker might refrain from taking this step include:

- Fear of retaliation from the employer, such as termination or demotion
- Concern because the accident was the worker’s fault
- Fear that the employer or the worker’s colleagues will think they are faking an injury
- An inability to miss work to recover, either due to fear of being unable to afford the days off or fear of being terminated

Risks of Failing to Report Your Injury to Your Supervisor

Failing to report your injury to your supervisor will jeopardize your ability to receive Workers’ Compensation coverage. This can mean having to pay your expenses related to the injury out of pocket, rather than receiving the benefits you are entitled to receive.

As an American employee, you have the right to work without fear of retaliation from your employer for exercising your rights, such as your right to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. If you do face retaliation, you have the right to file a claim against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Fault is not considered in Workers’ Compensation cases. If you were injured at work, while you were performing your job, you are generally entitled to Workers’ Compensation. You also do not have to work with a lawyer to pursue your claim – though it helps, particularly if you already filed a claim but were denied benefits.

As an injured worker, you have the right to seek Workers’ Compensation to cover certain expenses related to the injury, such as your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. After notifying your employer of your accident and receiving a diagnosis, speak with an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeffrey S. Gross
As a partner with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, firm Batt & Gross, Jeffrey S. Gross has represented injured workers in the Philadelphia area since 1991. He focuses exclusively on Workers’ Compensation litigation, including subrogation matters, full and partial disability claims, lump sum settlements, occupational diseases and workplace fatalities, and he has a long record of success aggressively pursuing the best interests of his clients.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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