After suffering an injury at work, the moments to follow may seem like a whirlwind. Depending on the severity of the injury, you might need to rush to the hospital to seek immediate medical care. Whatever the circumstances, the last thing on your mind might be reporting the injury.
However, you should communicate your injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.
Notify your employer as soon as possible
The Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations states that workers should report their injury immediately. Failure to do so within 30 days of the injury can put your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits at risk.
Workers should report the injury in writing, including the following items:
· When and where the injury happened, including date, time and location
· The nature and extent of the injury
· Your name and address
Make a copy of the written report for your own records and write down the date that you submitted the notice to your employer.
What if you don’t have a specific date of injury?
Instructions to notify your employer within 30 days seem fairly straightforward for injuries that occurred at a clear date and time. However, some injuries develop over time, complicating this process. These injuries include occupational diseases like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, hearing loss, respiratory illnesses and more.
In these situations, you should notify your employer or supervisor of the injury within 30 days of your diagnosis. The written notice of your condition should include all the same items as outlined above. Because these conditions can develop over weeks, months or even years in some cases, the Division of Workers’ Compensation outlines that you should file your workers’ compensation claim within two years after the condition is “reasonably discoverable.”
Protecting your rights to compensation
The time immediately following an injury is filled with questions – most importantly, how will you make ends meet when you’re unable to work? A workers’ compensation attorney can be instrumental during this time to answer your questions, help you understand key deadlines and pursue the compensation you deserve.