REPORT YOUR ACCIDENT RIGHT AWAY
Often, a worker will injure himself and not report it hoping it gets better. Then, when the pain continues, he will report it the next day, or worse, the Monday following the Friday accident. The Employer or Insurance Company will often be skeptical. They will argue that you really got hurt at home or after work and are trying to get free medical care.
Report your injury right away. Insist that your supervisor, “safety guy” or human resources do an accident report and ask for a copy. Make note of any witnesses. The Employer will generally take you to a walk-in clinic to be examined. They are entitled to have you drug tested. If you do not report your accident right away, they will argue you were afraid of being drug tested and wanted to wait.
It is difficult to succeed in a workers’ compensation claim if you do not report your accident right away.
If you eventually end up in court, you will have to prove that your injury occurred at work. That is difficult if you did not report it immediately. Clients often tell me, “but look at my x-ray,” “or MRI.” That only proves you have an injury. You still have to prove it happened at work.
Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system. You do not need to prove that your accident and injury was your Employer’s fault, but you still must prove it happened at work.