|Posted on January 9, 2014 at 3:40 PM|
Failure to Report an Accident
Failing to report an accident can lead to several problems. If you do not report an injury when it happens, your employer can deny the accident occurred, or may claim it happened outside of work. If you do not report an accident on time, your employer can deny you medical treatment and out of work benefits. Also, the workers' compensation insurance carrier will question why you and your employer did not report the accident on time. Further, your private health insurance company will not pay for treatment for work related injuries. For example, if you injure your back lifting a heavy box, you may not require immediate medical treatment. It might seem not worth mentioning this to your supervisor unless it reaches the point that you need to see a doctor. Then, if you wake up the one morning with severe pain or stiffness at the site of the injury, your employer can deny medical treatment because you did not report the injury when it first happened.
New Jersey Law
In New Jersey, the three Workers' Compensation benefits you are entitled to if you are injured at work: 1) medical treatment provided by your employer's Insurance company; 2) temporary disability benefits; and 3) a monetary award for the degree of permanent injury. In New Jersey, injured workers are allowed up to 90 days in most situations to report an accident, however, employers can impose much shorter internal deadlines. You may eventually be able to receive workers' compensation benefits, but if an accident is not properly reported, you will face more hurdles along the way. Many employers impose strict internal deadlines for reporting accidents, for instance, within 24 hours of an incident. If you fail to report the incident on time, you can receive a formal reprimand and/or suspension without pay. You can actually find yourself in the position of receiving a formal reprimand for not reporting an accident that your employer denies happened.
How to Report an Accident
What should you do? Report the accident to your employer, even if you think you are not seriously hurt. By reporting, you protect yourself against the employer who might claim that you were injured away from the workplace. If possible, report the accident in writing or in the presence of a reliable witness. If you are a union member, you should also report the accident to your union rep. in addition to your employer. It is also important to know your co-workers. In the event of an injury, your co-workers may be witnesses as to the happening of an accident as well as the cause. They may also be in a position to verify the happening of the accident if your account of what happened to you is challenged. Even if you are reporting an accident late, you should still follow the above recommendations.
We Can Help
If you are injured at work, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. For 35 years, I have represented working families with sound legal advice and guidance when they need a lawyer most. I work tirelessly to protect the rights of injured workers. I provide free consultations to inform you of your rights and obligations under the law and strongly recommend that you call today if you have been hurt at work. Call us at 732-286-9500