By When Do I Need to Report a Work Injury?

Whether you work at a construction site or at a home office, it’s possible that you may experience an injury or illness related to your employment. Nearly every employer carries insurance coverage for workers’ compensation benefits, which can cover lost wages, medical costs, and other expenses if you are injured due to a job-related injury. However, these benefits are not distributed automatically. Every U.S. state has important deadlines concerning how quickly you must report any work-related illness or injury if you want to be awarded benefits. Insurance providers can deny a claim from an employee if they report their injury late. There can be some exceptions to this general rule, but it is a rule that you’d do best to avoid testing. If you’ve been injured due to work-related circumstances, speak with an attorney about filing a claim as soon as you possibly can.  

Verify State Deadlines

Every state in the U.S. has unique statutes of limitations regarding the two important deadlines for workers’ compensation claims. The first deadline is the date by which you must inform your employer of an injury, and the second deadline is for actually filing the workers’ compensation claim. It is important to understand and verify these deadlines for your state. Most employers expect that you will report any work-related accident or illness promptly so they can investigate potential unsafe working conditions, but the actual deadline for this notification might be 30 days or more. 

Understand Occupation-Related Conditions

As an experienced New York construction accident lawyer – including those who practice at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. – can confirm, while some injuries are obvious from the moment that an accident occurs, other work-related conditions may arise over time. If your state has a 30-day deadline to provide notice of an injury to your employer, that means that you have a clear deadline to notify your employer of an injury from an accidental fall. But what if you develop a repetitive stress injury from frequent lifting or carrying, or wrist pain from constant use of a specific kind of tool? The actual date that your condition was sustained may be less clear.

For occupation-related conditions, deadlines usually begin once your doctor diagnoses that your injury or illness was caused by work-related activities. When you learn that a health condition relates to your work, you need to report this to your employer immediately to begin the workers’ compensation claim process.

Explore Possible Exceptions for a Late Claim

States may be flexible on late reporting of an employment-related illness or injury under certain circumstances. There might be a good reason that you were unable to inform your employer—for instance, if you were incapacitated by your injury. If your supervisor witnessed the accident, or if your employer did not post or share legally required notices about workers’ compensation guidelines, you might also have a possible exception for late reporting. Connect with an attorney to learn more.