Dealing with an accident on the job can cause a lot of different emotions. You might feel embarrassed about what happened, especially if a mistake on your part led to the accident. You may also feel worried that your boss will penalize you for getting hurt at work or damaging something.
Sometimes, people feel frustration because they know that a workplace accident and injury will likely prevent them from finishing things on schedule as they planned for the day. Don’t let the emotions you experience after a workplace accident prevent you from doing the smart thing.
You should always report an accident to your employer as soon as it happens, particularly if you are aware of any kind of pain or injury after the accident. Failing to report what happened to your supervisor or employer could prove to be a very costly mistake.
Filing a report helps you collect workers’ compensation
If your injury turns out to be nothing more than a bruise, reporting what happened to your employer will have very few consequences. Overall, it may take some time to fill out the paperwork, and your employer may require safety training if the accident was potentially preventable. Sometimes, workplace injuries end up being serious.
In fact, you may not even realize how serious it is right away. Head injuries and soft tissue injuries can take some time to fully develop symptoms. It is better to err on the side of caution by filing an incident report with your employer then to wait and see if worse symptoms develop.
If you do have a serious injury, you will need the protection of workers’ compensation insurance. The benefits of workers’ compensation include medical coverage for the care you need and temporary disability if you can’t work until you recover. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, you have to report the incident to your employer within 30 days. In other words, the sooner you take action, the more you protect yourself.
Failing to report an incident could lead your employer to deny a claim
If the company you work for doesn’t have any record of the incident that led to your injury, that can cause a host of issues. When you do have to seek medical care, they could be days or even weeks after the original incident. Your employer may be more skeptical of an incident report filed substantially after the fact.
Both delayed reporting and failing to report a workplace accident could lead your employer to deny your workers’ compensation claim. After all, your employer pays an insurance premium for the coverage you receive at work. They do not want to pay a higher premium due to a frivolous claim.
For your own protection, it is critical that you always report an injury to your employer as soon as possible. If you have experienced a claim denial because of the reporting issue, it doesn’t mean you don’t have protections or rights. It simply means the process of connecting with the benefits you deserve will become more complicated, because it will require an appeal.