Every year, approximately 4.1 million workers suffer a serious work-related injury.
Sadly, this number doesn’t even reflect the minor occurrences that happen each and every minute of the day in the United States.
When injured at work, you may sometimes be uncertain whether your injury is severe enough to report to your boss. Here’s our take as Dallas work injury attorneys with substantial experience in the field: it doesn’t matter if the injury was a tiny cut, a full-blown broken ankle, or a life-threatening emergency; you need to report it, and you need to report it immediately.
Here are a few reasons why you should report any injury regardless of the severity, what the potential deadlines may be, and how you can go about pursuing your claim.
Why You Should Report Your Workplace Injury
Telling your employer about a workplace accident isn’t only considerate, but it is essential to protect your interests and co-worker’s interests, even if the resulting injuries are minor. Informing your boss is a key early step in preserving your workplace injury rights. There are also a couple more important reasons why you should report your injury promptly:
- It shows consideration for your employer and coworkers. Your employer should be kept informed of any injury so that workplace hazards can be eliminated to prevent further incidents. By knowing what happened and how it happened, your employer can help keep you and your coworkers safe from further harm.
- It protects your self-interest. Minor injuries can worsen over time. If you don’t take the necessary steps to report your injuries when they occur, your employer can use your delay against you. Since you didn’t report the initial injury, your employer may infer that the injury wasn’t a result of work, and therefore not eligible for workers’ compensation.
Be sure that you keep a copy of your written report for your own records. Also, be sure to document the injuries and location with photos or videos. Hopefully, your injury heals, and your workplace is made a bit safer in the meantime. However, if your condition worsens, you have the documentation to prove that your injury originally occurred at work and that your supervisor was informed.
Remember, It is Your Right to Report a Work Accident Injury
Regardless of how your work accident injury occurred, you have the legal right to report it to your employer and seek compensation. Texas employers are required to accept reports from injured workers, notify their insurance carrier, and are strictly prohibited from taking any retaliatory action against an injured employee. If your employer pressured you into concealing your injuries or if your employer took adverse action against you because you got hurt, consult with a team of Dallas workplace injury attorneys right away.
What's the Deadline to Report an Injury?
In Texas, you must notify your employer within 30 days of the date you were injured or when you realized that your condition might be work-related. If you report your injury outside of that 30-day window, you may forfeit your right to apply for workers’ compensation benefits—at the very least, it will be difficult to prove your injuries are eligible for the benefits.
Employers also have an obligation to file an incident report within a specified time. They must file your claim with their insurance company within seven days of your initial report of the incident. If your employer fails to meet this deadline, they may not be able to dispute your claim or request an independent medical examination. They may even face fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
How Can You Pursue Your Claim With the Help of our Dallas Personal Injury Attorneys?
If you believe that your injury is not being handled appropriately by your employer, you may want to contact a Dallas personal injury attorney with experience in this often complicated field of law. At the Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, our attorneys are here to ensure you receive fair treatment while helping you better understand your rights and obligations as an injured employee. Don’t allow your employer or their insurance company to take advantage of you. If you have questions about reporting your workplace accident, we can help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and we can discuss what we can do for you.