Welcome to Franks, Gerkin & McKenna, P.C., monthly series on Workers’ Compensation.
Notice of Injury
When a worker is injured, the first important step is reporting the accident to a supervisor. Co-workers are good witnesses, but the law requires telling someone in charge. Accidents must be reported not later than 45-days, but the requirement is “as soon as practicable’. Delays arouse suspicion and give rise to disputes if an injury is not obvious.
Injuries requiring prompt medical attention are obvious. Notice is not only immediate, but the emergency-room report should reflect what happened that caused the injury. However, some accidents are not clear-cut, and many workers ignore simple strains, sprains and other minor injuries to their legs, arms, and low-back. They don’t want to be a complainer or they figure it will get better after awhile. Maybe the symptom is an on-going ache that feels worse depending on the day and the work-duties. In that situation the injury might be a repetitive trauma, for which special notice-rules apply.
For obvious injuries with immediate notice and treatment, the injured worker should then carefully describe to the intake-nurse or doctor what happened and state what part or parts of the body were involved. However, even if a minor injury occurs and no treatment is being sought, the safest course is to tell the boss. Workers should state what task they were doing and that something isn’t feeling right, whether it’s a hand or a knee, or shoulder or back. Be mindful that the further away in time from something that happened, the more difficult it might be to point to an incident or instance that brought on those symptoms. The point is to “Speak-Up” no matter what. Then the employer can’t say “why didn’t you say something before?”
Follow us next month for a discussion about repetitive trauma injuries and making a Workers’ Compensation claim for any type of injury.
For more information on how Franks, Gerkin & McKenna Law can assist in all your Real Estate Law needs, call (815) 923-2107.