Not Reporting a Work Injury Can Hurt You
Whether you’re a teacher or a construction worker, you can get hurt at work. If you do, you should report it as soon as possible, no matter how minor the injury may appear.
There is never a question about filing a report if you require immediate medical attention or your employer has a mandatory injury reporting procedure. However, if you don’t think it’s a significant injury or aren’t sure that you have to file a report, you may think it’s okay to wait and see how it turns out.
Sometimes there is pressure not to report an injury to keep the company’s “record” clean. Failing to report your injury or even waiting too long can be a big mistake that puts your health, your job, and your finances in jeopardy.
Reporting an accident is the first step toward being eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation is a form on insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment.
Say you drop an object on your foot or strain your back while picking something up. Your injury might not seem like a big deal at the time, so it doesn’t seem worth going out of your way to fill out paperwork and make a report. Days later, you may realize you have a fractured foot or wake up with a stiff back one morning. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to file an accident report and receive work comp benefits for your injury.
In Missouri, any work injury must be reported to your employer in writing within 30 days of the accident. Your employer may have much shorter guidelines for reporting an injury, which is why it’s best to make a report immediately. Your employer should also have a company injury report form that includes your full name, the nature of your injury, and the time, date, and place it occurred. If you’re a member of a union, report your work injury to your union representative too. It’s also a good idea to file the report in the presence of a reliable witness.
When you are injured at work, follow your employer’s protocols and report the accident immediately. Doing so will remove some obstacles and make it easier to get the assistance you need to recover from your work injury.
The S.E. Farris Law Firm in St. Louis has experience helping injured workers and their families receive the work comp benefits they need and deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case. Call 314-252-9937 or submit your case details online.