You’re a 40-year-old worker who has never really been injured before. You pride yourself on “toughing it out” and working through mild discomfort. You have a physical job, after all, and this is just part of it.
But then you actually get hurt on the job. It’s more than discomfort, but you’re still tempted to keep it to yourself. This is what you’ve always done. You hope you can get through it on your own and, if you can’t, you figure that you’ll just report it later.
How long do you have, though? You don’t want to miss any important deadlines. Delaying for too long can make the workers’ comp process more challenging if you eventually need to file.
Generally speaking, OSHA and other safety experts say that you should report all injuries as quickly as you can. This often means reporting them as soon as they happen. If the injury was bad enough to send you to the hospital, you may have little choice anyway.
That said, you want to make sure you do it within 30 days. The sooner, the better. You do not want to wait so long that you miss key filing deadlines and are then unable to seek workers’ comp at all.
Even waiting a few days can make your case more difficult, though. If you don’t report the injury promptly, will your employer assume you actually got injured at home? Will it be more difficult to back up your case because you do not have a doctor’s records from the same day you got hurt? Delaying the process just increases the number of questions that people are going to ask when you do file.
The process of seeking proper compensation after a workplace injury can get to be complex. You must know all of the right legal steps to take, all of the deadlines you need to meet and how to move forward productively — especially if you run into complications where your employer does not agree with you on the scope of the injury or how it happened. An experienced legal team can help.