Not Reporting a Work Injury Right Away
If you get injured on the job, it’s important to report it to your employer right away. Failing to promptly report a work-related injury can potentially lead to major problems down the road.
At Mottaz & Sisk Injury and Work Compensation Lawyers we have years of knowledge and industry experience. Call us at 763-421-8226 today for your free consultation.
1. Delayed Medical Treatment
Getting prompt medical attention is crucial after suffering any type of injury at work. The quicker you see a doctor, the sooner you can get an accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and start the healing process. Delaying treatment by not reporting your work injury can allow the injury to get worse.
For example, if you hurt your back lifting a heavy object but try to “tough it out” without reporting it, you may continue to strain the injured area and cause more harm. Or if you cut your hand but don’t get stitches right away, the wound may become infected.
Reporting the injury right away prompts a medical evaluation, so problems don’t go unaddressed. Early treatment also helps facilitate the recovery process.
2. Denial of Workers’ Comp Benefits
Failing to promptly report a work-related injury or illness can jeopardize your ability to claim workers’ compensation benefits in Minnesota. Most states require you to notify your employer within a certain timeframe after the incident occurs.
In Minnesota, you generally must report the injury to your employer within 14 days. Not meeting this requirement can give your employer grounds to deny liability for the claim. The same goes for federal workers’ compensation claims, which must be reported on Form CA-1 within 30 days.
Without prompt reporting, you’ll lack documentation to back up that the injury happened on the job. Your employer may argue the injury occurred off work premises or try to claim a preexisting condition is to blame. This can result in denial of your claim and loss of vital wage replacement and medical benefits.
3. Missed Time Limits for a Lawsuit
If an employer wrongfully denies your workers’ comp claim, you may need to take legal action. However, strict statutes of limitations apply.
In Minnesota, you typically have just 3 years from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit against your employer. Other states have filing deadlines ranging from 1 to 6 years.
Not reporting immediately can eat up a lot of this limited time frame. You also likely won’t consult a workers’ comp attorney right away if you haven’t made your employer aware of the injury. This can further delay taking action until you’re up against the statute of limitations.
Being denied benefits then not realizing the deadline is nearing could prevent you from being able to fight the decision in court. Meeting all legal time requirements hinges on prompt injury reporting.
Key Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
To protect yourself after an on-the-job accident, be sure to take these important steps:
Report it immediately: Alert your supervisor right away that you’ve been hurt. Provide details on what happened and the nature of the injury. Get the name of any witnesses.
Seek medical help: See a doctor as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor at first. Having prompt medical records will support that the injury is work-related.
Document details: Write down exactly when and how you got injured. Take photos of the accident scene. Save any bloodied clothing or broken equipment.
Talk to an attorney: Consult a workers’ comp lawyer for guidance on claim filing, dealing with insurer delays or denials, and pursuing legal action if necessary.
FAQ: Reporting Workplace Injuries in Minnesota
1. What is considered a work-related injury in Minnesota?
Any injury or illness is considered work-related if it was caused or aggravated by your job duties or conditions. This includes strains, cuts, repetitive stress injuries, respiratory issues from chemical exposure, and more.
2. When do I need to report my injury to my employer in Minnesota?
You must provide written or verbal notice of your work injury to your employer within 14 calendar days. Notification should include details on when, where, and how you got hurt.
3. What if my injury doesn’t seem serious at first?
Even if an injury seems minor initially, it’s still crucial to report it promptly. Symptoms of strains, sprains, and other issues sometimes worsen over time. Prompt reporting safeguards your ability to claim workers’ comp later on if needed.
4. What information do I need to report about my injury?
Provide your name, the date/time/location of injury, witnesses present, the circumstances of how you got hurt, a description of symptoms, and any medical treatment received. Photos, incident reports, and other documentation also help.
5. Could I lose my job if I report a work injury?
It’s illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for filing a workers’ comp claim in good faith. If you believe reporting your injury led to firing, demotion, or other adverse action, contact an attorney immediately.
Selecting a Workers Comp Attorney in Minnesota
Reporting a workplace injury promptly is critical to getting medical treatment quickly, securing your workers’ comp benefits, and preserving your right to take legal action if needed. Don’t delay—notify your employer as soon as possible after any on-the-job accident. Protect your health, finances, and legal rights by speaking up right away.
Mottaz & Sisk Injury and Work Compensation Lawyers has 20+ experience dealing with worker’s compensation matters. Please call us at 763-421-8226 for a free consultation if you have experienced a work related injury.