Should I Make a Workers' Compensation Claim, or Suffer in Silence?

I often wear high heels to work, not necessarily because I like them, but because I am short, and my outfits call for them. I am also not what you would call the epitome of grace, and I’ve been known to take a few nosedives in a workplace setting thanks to my heels. Luckily, besides for the blow to my ego, I’ve never been injured. My first instinct is always to take a quick look around at my surroundings to see if anyone witnessed my unladylike tumble, although if there are any witnesses, they’re probably already staring down at me and frantically asking if I’m alright. If nobody saw me, I’m more than willing to pick myself up from the ground and pretend as though absolutely nothing happened.

As a workers’ compensation attorney, I’m going to advise that you don’t do this. Oftentimes, a little stumble is just that, resulting in no injuries and warranting no further action. However, there are times when what you thought was a little ache in your ankle will turn into a continuous, sharp pain that will prevent you from doing your job, resulting in weeks or months without work. If that is the case, you don’t want to risk your workers’ compensation claim being denied because of lack of notice. Simply put, notice is letting your employer know about an injury you sustained while working. The intention is to put the employer on notice of a possible workers’ compensation claim.

Some employers have procedures in place for reporting a work injury that involves talking to human resources and filling out an incident report. Some other employers just require you to tell a supervisor. You must report your injury to your employer within 21 days in order to secure benefits. The injury must be reported within 120 days of the occurrence in order for a claimant to remain entitled to benefits at all. Many of our workers’ compensation cases revolve around the issue of notice. While it’s unnecessary for an employee to be specific about, or even certain, that an injury occurred, it is important for the employee to let the right person know an incident happened that may give rise to a workers’ compensation claim.

Notice is difficult to prove in a case where you mention to a coworker in passing that you sustained a papercut. Later on, if that papercut becomes infected, the coworker will most likely not remember that you said anything at all. However, if you report the same papercut to a supervisor and receive a list of panel doctors to receive stitches for said paper cut, establishing notice becomes much easier. If you have received a workers’ compensation denial due to lack of notice, call our office for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.

Injured on the job? Our legal team at Metzger Wickersham can help you with issues of notifying your employer and fight for the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. Call today at (888) 286-2850 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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