Reporting Work Injuries
By: Stacy J. Crider
One of the first road bumps in Workers’ Compensation claims comes if the claimant did not promptly report the injury to their superior. When you are hurt on the job it is imperative that you immediately report the injury to your superior, even if it is not a big injury, as it can turn into something worse later and this way there is a written report to back up your account of what happened.
In some cases, this is difficult because your direct superior might not report the incident the way they should. If you report an injury to your boss and you do not think they made a written report, there are steps you can take to ensure a report is made:
- First of all and most importantly, if you experience pain, ask to see a doctor immediately! Workers’ Compensation is to ensure that you get the health care that you need and that it is provided by your employer. If at any time a workplace injury causes you an injury or pain that you feel should be treated by a doctor, notify your supervisor of the incident and ask that they send you to a doctor. Once you are properly treated then you can make sure a report of the incident was made, but your health should be the number one priority always.
- One way to make sure a written report was made is to ask to see the written report, explaining that you just want to make sure they understand what happened and reported it correctly. In most instances employers will want you to actually be the one to write the report or at least sign it. If this did not happen, asking to see the report ensures that one was in fact made.
- If your superior does not show you their written report or refuses to report the incident at all, then it is time to go above their head and talk to their boss. Whether that is a higher manager or staff member or a corporate office, this will protect your claim by ensuring the proper people know about the incident.
Failing to have written documentation of your injury can be fatal to some workers’ compensation claims. Without this report there is no proof that your injury actually occurred at work. Then the case becomes your word against the employer’s. Don’t put yourself in this position. If you are ever injured at work, make sure you report your injury immediately.