Employer Notice Requirement
Many injured workers are unaware of the legal requirement to give the employer notice of an injury at work. While this requirement is oftentimes a non-issue in light of the nature of the accident, insurance companies are becoming more aggressive in seeking ways or reasons to deny claims. The work comp statute requires the employee to advise the employer of the injury within 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury.
The key language with this requirement is injury and initial manifestation. Some injured workers may clearly have an accident but the question is whether he/she sustained an injury. So, while the employer had notice of the accident, the work comp insurance company may deny benefits if the employee doesn’t initially advise the employer of the need for medical care. This occurs quite frequently when an employee doesn’t realize the extent of the injury or is afraid of making waves and potentially losing his/her job by going out on work comp.
The common response to this potential problem is to argue notice within 30 days of the manifestation of the injury. It is understood that injuries are not always known or understood right away but without treatment they may linger and worsen. Later, the injured worker seeks medical care but by then the employer denies the claim or perhaps the employee is no longer working there. This doesn’t mean you are not entitled to workers compensation benefits. However, you should always make sure to immediately report any and all accidents and injuries to your employer. Also, make sure to request from the work comp carrier any treatment you feel you need even if the treatment is necessary weeks or months after the accident.
If you or someone you know has experienced this issue and you have questions, call Nicole Hessen at The Law Offices of Nicole Hessen, P.A. for a free consultation.