If I Am Injured at Work, How Soon Should I Tell My Employer, and What Is the Best Way to Tell Them?
If you experience an injury or illness while at work, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation, but you need to act promptly to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. Unfortunately, many work injuries go unreported, and workers will pay out of pocket for an injury that their company’s insurance should cover.
Many workers fear that informing their employers will have a negative impact on their perceived work performance, and they’ll often downplay their own injuries rather than seeking the workers’ compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one were injured or became sick while at work, you need to seek the benefits you’re entitled to, and you don’t want to wait and lose your opportunity for compensation.
The Importance of Notifying Your Employer
The amount of time an employee has to inform their employer about an injury differs from state to state. In Louisiana, employees have 30 days to inform their employer, while Mississippi requires workers to inform their employers within 10 days. Regardless of the amount of time your state allows for you to report your injury, you need to act as quickly as possible to increase your likelihood of receiving workers’ compensation.
States require employees to inform their employers within a certain window of time in order to prevent fraudulent cases in which employees claim a non-work-related injury occurred while on the job. You need to report your injury as soon as possible in order to express concern over your sustained injuries and to avoid suspicion of fraud.
Additionally, you may not be able to gauge the severity of your injuries at the time in which they occurred. You may think that you’re only experiencing mild back pain, but that pain could become increasingly worse and become indicative of a serious problem. You don’t want to miss your window for receiving compensation even if it seems like a mild injury. You shouldn’t have to cover the injuries you sustained while at work, so you need to act fast.
How to Inform Your Employer of a Work Injury
When informing your employer, there are steps you should take to increase your likelihood of receiving compensation:
- Seek medical attention and report all injuries to your work even if they are not severe.
- Inform your immediate supervisor, manager, and/or assigned health professional about your accident.
- File an entry in your workplace register to give the time, location, injury, cause of injury, and other relevant details in order to have them on file.
- Contact a safety authority in case you file a workers’ compensation claim.
There are multiple methods in which you can report a work injury. You can have a conversation with your employer, or you can inform them in writing. When informing an employer in writing, it’s critical to include all relevant information in the letter. You should include your name and address, or if you’re representing someone else, include their name and address. You should also include the time and place of the injury, the injury itself, and the cause of the injury.
When writing a letter to an employer about a work injury, it’s best to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer beforehand. The written notice of an injury can be scrutinized by insurance companies that may attempt to undermine your coverage or make a case that your injury wasn’t work-related.
Additionally, you should consider consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible because employers also often attempt to avoid giving employees the workers’ compensation owed to them. Employers often use tactics to evade an increase in workers’ compensation costs by insisting that employees take additional diagnostic tests in case they were misdiagnosed. They’ll also seek medical professionals that downplay the severity of the employee’s injuries so that the worker doesn’t receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation attorneys can assist you through the process of getting the compensation you or your loved one deserve for a workplace injury. Don’t let evasive insurance companies and employers keep you from workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re located in Mississippi or Louisiana, contact Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC for assistance in your workers’ compensation case. For our Jackson office, call 601-488-3975, or call 504-788-2994 for our New Orleans office. You can also click here to schedule a free consultation.
This is one of the most important things. You should tell them immediately, even if you don’t think it’s going to be a lasting or severe injury. Most important thing to do is document it. Tell them, “Hey, boss, this just happened. This is how it happened. Need to go to the clinic or I need to go to my general practitioner. I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal, but I just want to go ahead and let you all know.” A lot of people think, oh, well, I’ll go home and I’ll walk it off, or it’ll be better in a week and then it’s not. Then they try to report it a week later and they can run into a lot of problems with that, so please report it immediately to your boss and fill out whatever paperwork is necessary. If they’re not letting you fill out paperwork, send an email, send a text, send something to document that you told someone.