Many companies, especially larger ones, have programs in place to deal with the fall-out of a work injury. Under workers’ compensation, you have several remedies to be made whole after you get hurt. However, none of this means anything if you don’t report your injury. The injury might seem too minor to bother with, and while keeping life interruptions to a minimum is understandable, most of the time reporting carries fewer negative potential consequences than not reporting. Keep reading to learn more about the drawbacks when you don’t report an injury and the benefits of reporting. If you were recently injured while working, remember that Essex County workers’ compensation lawyer is just a phone call away from helping you get your compensation.
How Not Reporting Might Hurt You
After getting hurt while on the job, the most important thing you can do is get medical attention, particularly if it is a bad injury. The next most important thing, however, is reporting your injury. It’s not unusual for someone to perceive themselves as only slightly injured. Sometimes, the full extent of an injury doesn’t present itself until further down the road, so you might think there’s no need to report it in the immediate aftermath. For instance, you might hurt your back lifting a heavy crate, but feel fine right after, only to wake up the next morning with severe pain and stiffness.
The problem is, when you don’t report your injury, your employer may prevent you from getting access to medical treatment or benefits you would otherwise be entitled to for time off work. Moreover, the workers’ compensation insurance company that works with your employer may question why you didn’t report your accident earlier, and similarly, your private health insurance company may not pay for your work-related injuries.
Something else to keep in mind is that, though the state of New Jersey gives you 90 days to report an injury under workers’ compensation, employers may have much shorter reporting deadlines.
Far from the months, some employers make it a company rule that you are to report your injury within 24 hours. In fact, some employers even reprimand employees or suspend them without pay for failing to report an injury on time. As galling as it sounds, you might be reprimanded for not reporting an accident that your employer denies happened by pointing to your silence on your injury.
Why You Should Report Your Injury
When you report your injury, you will find yourself entitled to medical treatment paid by your employer, temporary disability benefits, and even a monetary award based on how grave of a permanent injury you sustained. More than that, reporting means you’ve also protected yourself from your boss.
The best thing you can do is report your accident in writing or in front of a witness as soon as possible. For union members, you should report the injury to your union representative as well.