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Can you wait to report an injury at work?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Sometimes, people who get hurt at work don’t tell the people around them. They may be embarrassed about making a mistake that led to them hurting themselves or may have hurt themselves after having someone tell them to be more careful and not heeding the warning.

Others may want to report the injury, but they may feel that they’ll be retaliated against for doing so. They may fear losing their job or being demoted for speaking up about dangerous conditions on the job.

If you are hurt at work, you may feel that reporting the injury right away isn’t the right choice, but it is much better if you do. Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for reporting an injury or hazards on the job. On top of that, you deserve immediate support for your injury. That injury should be recognized as a workplace injury, which can be harder to prove if you don’t seek help or report it right away.

If you report your injury, your employer has to help you with reporting that injury to the workers’ compensation insurer. This is how you begin a workers’ compensation claim.

If you wait to report an injury, it doesn’t mean that your injury isn’t serious or that your employer isn’t liable. However, it may make it harder to make your case.

What’s the longest you can wait to report a workplace injury?

By law, you have up to 30 days to report an injury that you suffered on the job. This can be helpful for injuries that don’t develop right away or that worsen over time, since people may not realize how significant the injury is until days after it occurs. This timeline is also great for people who are badly injured and who need medical care that prevents them from reporting the injury right away.

Thirty days is a long time, though. If you suddenly say that you were hurt several weeks ago but have been working since then, your employer may not want to report it. They may argue that you weren’t hurt on the job at all.