When it comes to reporting a workplace injury, most states require you do it in a short period of time. Some states ask that you report it “promptly,” while others allow only 30 days or 90 days. In most situations, if you are late, you will forfeit your entitlement to compensation. The time limit begins on the day you are injured.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Many rules have exceptions, including reporting your workplace injury on time. There are some states that will excuse a late report, but only under very specific circumstances, and only up to a certain time. Some exceptions include the following.
- You were in quarantine and unable to contact anyone. This could happen if you caught a pandemic-level illness while at work, such as being exposed to COVID-19 while on a service call.
- You were in a coma or were otherwise mentally incapacitated and unable to understand your injuries or the fact you needed to report them.
- Your employer didn’t have workers’ comp rules and regulations posted in the workplace, so you didn’t know what you needed to do.
- Your supervisor was there for the accident and should have known about it without you having to make a report.
- You didn’t realize an injury was related to your employment until you saw a few different medical specialists over the course of a few months.
What Should You Do If You’re Late?
If you are late reporting your injury, you could try to report it anyway to see what happens. In most cases, it will get denied, but you can then appeal the decision. If you have a legitimate reason to file late, such as one of the exceptions stated above, you could include that in your claim so you don’t have to go through the appeals process after a denial.
Should You Involve an Attorney?
Any time you experience a workplace injury, it will do you good to consult with an attorney. Even if your case ends up being simple and easy, it’s nice to have an attorney by your side to walk you through the process. If it turns out you were late and decide to file an appeal, your attorney will be prepared with all the details already.
To get started by getting your questions answered, contact a work related injury lawyer, like one from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. Whether you’re late reporting, have a legitimate excuse or aren’t sure where to even start, your attorney can help you work through it.