I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you are hurt at work, report it! One of the biggest mistakes you can make if hurt at work is to try to ‘shake it off’. If you do not report an injury at the time it occurs, the chances are very good that your employer, or its insurance company, will deny that the injury happened at work.
One of the most common reasons that an employer denies an injury is work related is failing to report it on time. If you injure your back lifting on a Friday and decide to see how it feels over the weekend before saying anything, it will cause problems. Even if your employer believes you, the workers’ compensation carrier can still deny the claim under the presumption you must have injured yourself at home over the weekend.
In New Jersey you technically have 90 days to report an injury, but even waiting 24 hours can be too long. The best thing you can do is report the injury, and if it truly turns out to be nothing you will look like you worked through it and didn’t complain. If you don’t report an injury, you’re the only one who knows you’re hurting. Sometimes all it takes is some lighter duty work for a few days and you’ll be better.
Reporting accidents can affect your employer’s workers’ compensation premiums and risk rating. However, you need to protect yourself, because when it comes down to it, you are oftentimes expendable – especially if you can’t perform your job any longer due to an injury that you cannot obtain treatment for.
Most issues regarding accident reports can be remedied over time. I have experience working through a wide variety issues that can arise when hurt at work. Please call if you have any questions regarding a work related injury. It is better to know your rights now than to learn about them when it’s too late.