A lot of people wait to report a work injury for a number of reasons:
- not wanting to appear weak
- thinking that the work injury is “not that bad” or that it will heal on its own
- fear of retaliation from their employers/loss of their job
- there is no one around to fill out an injury report
I can understand why someone might want to wait to report a work injury BUT what many people don’t realize, until it is too late, is that the workers’ compensation insurance company is not going to just take an injured worker’s word regarding anything. If someone injurer their neck at work and fails to report the injury at the time of the injury and then they are in a car accident on their way to the doctor’s office for treatment of the work injury (even a minor fender bender), there is no documentation of your work injury and the insurance company will likely try to deny your claim.
I also hear about people who “tweak” their arm or shoulder at work and, then, while doing something non-work related (like playing basketball or doing chores around the yard) realize they truly are injured. The problem then becomes – did the injury come from the work injury OR the non-work related activity? If there is no documentation of the work injury it will be very hard to argue that their injury came from work and not from other activity.
ALWAYS report your injury as soon as you are able!
If you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” or call our office today (804) 755-7755.