So, your employer did not report your injury to the workers’ compensation board, now what? The first step in getting workers’ compensation when you are injured on the job is to report your injury to your employer; but what can you do if your employer does not report it to the State Workers’ Compensation Board (SWB)? Employers with three or more regular employees are required by law to provide workers’ compensation coverage, and they are also required to keep detailed records in regards to work accidents and injuries. Under the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act, employers who refuse or neglect to report injuries to the SWB may be subject to penalties up to $100.00 for each instance in which a report is not filed.
According to the SWB Employee Guidebook, it is important to be mindful of the statute of limitations regarding the time in which a claim may be filed. Injured workers may file a claim themselves for workers’ compensation by contacting the nearest SWB office and filing form WC-14, or they can seek assistance in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits through an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Employer’s Duty to Report Injury to Workers Comp
For a job-related injury, the first step, as mentioned above, is to report the injury to your employer. When an employee reports his accident quickly to his employer usually makes a stronger claim in order to collect workers’ comp benefits, faster medical attention and a quicker road to recovery. Each state requires different actions regarding job injuries and has its own requirements for giving proper notice to an employer. If proper job injury reporting procedures are not followed there is a strong possibility the employee may not be eligible to collect workers’ comp benefits.
An employee will not be able to receive workers’ compensation if the injury or illness is not reported at all to the employer. While each state requires prompt reporting of an injury, most states have a strict deadline for declining job injury benefits.
Regarding giving notice to the employer, the deadlines can differ in each state. For instance, California’s deadline is 30 days and 90 days in Iowa. In other states, the deadlines may be much shorter. For example, the deadline in Colorado is just four days to report an injury and ten days in Maryland.
In cases of occupational debilitating conditions that develop gradually over time, such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, due to job activity, the deadline begins whenever you discover the condition and how it relates to your job.
Again, it cannot be stressed enough, if you delay too long in reporting your claim, you may be denied benefits, or at best, receive less. In a small variety of extenuating circumstances, there may be times when late reporting of a job injury is excused. If you have had a job injury contact Dr. Ted Greve medical malpractice lawyer for a FREE consultation.
How Do I Give Notice of a Job Injury?
Depending on the state of residence, you may have to give written notice to your employer. Some states require a particular accident form, other states may accept any written format, like email or a letter.
Still, other states may accept oral notice of a job injury. All that one has to do is report the incident to the job supervisor or Human Resources. Whether or not verbal notice is acceptable, for your sake it is more prudent to at least provide some kind of traceable written notice. If questions arise as to whether or not you reported your injury on time, you will have it documented to prove that you did.
Important information to give to your employer when making an injury report includes:
- Time and date of injury
- Contact information
- Location of the accident/injury
- How the injury happened
- Symptoms experiencing due to injury
Other Workers Comp Related Paperwork for Job Injury
In addition to reporting your injury to your employer, some states require additional information on a state standard workman’s compensation claim form. Usually, the injured employee would file the form with your state workers’ compensation agency or provide it to your employer. Some states allow filing the claim online at the state agency’s website.
Many states have strict deadlines for filing a workers’ compensation claim form. In the event that you miss the deadline, typically workers’ comp benefits will be forfeited. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer or your state’s workers’ comp agency can help you with the correct workers’ comp procedures.
Avoiding Mistakes on a Job Injury Report
Insurance companies will frequently use obvious errors written in accident reports to dispute workers’ comp claims. For example, the insurance company may compare the information with his experience and the doctor’s report as well as other evidence and try to deny your case. If some of the information you reported is incorrect or inconsistent, workers comp could be denied.
When completing your written notice or accident report, avoid:
- If you do not know how the injury happened do not try to explain how it did
- Stating symptoms that did not happen – such as losing consciousness
- Do not report an injury or any limitations you did not sustain
- Your injury report should be accurate, but not so detailed that it can backfire. In the event that it is not clear how the injury took place, you might not wish to be overly specific
- Do not provide any injury diagnosis unless your doctor has provided it to you.
Keep in mind that even minor injuries need to be reported. These symptoms include a paper cut, a sliver, bumping your head on the job and having a slight headache. Although it might seem quite trivial at the time, it could turn into something more severe down the road. IF you happen to experience a headache weeks later, or an infection in your finger due to the splinter you got on the job, but you did not report it when it happened, the insurance company might deny your claim.
Contact an Experienced Workers Comp Lawyer
If you have experienced an on the job injury and your employer did not report injury you should speak to a work comp attorney today. If you would like to speak to a workers comp lawyer, contact Dr. Ted Greve law firm for a FREE consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.