Whether your work injury is as big as a fall from a roof or as small as a cut on your hand, it is extremely important that it is reported to your employer immediately after it occurs. Any lapse in reporting the incident to your employer could result in a denial of your claim by the workers’ compensation insurance company. After the claim is reported to the employer, it is the employer’s legal responsibility to report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance company. After the incident is reported to the workers’ compensation insurance company, it is the workers’ compensation insurance company’s duty to contact the injured worker and investigate his/her claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If you reported an injury to your employer and you were not contacted by the workers’ compensation insurance company, it is highly recommended that you contact a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Please note that a workers’ compensation lawyer should be able to provide you with the contact information for the workers’ compensation insurance company. This will permit you to file the claim on your own, in the event that it has not previously been filed by your employer.
Not only should the injury be reported verbally, but a formal incident report should also be completed. If the injury is only reported verbally and there are not any witnesses to the event, it is possible for the employer to deny that the incident ever took place. For that reason, it is important for you to document the incident, in writing, and provide the incident report to your employer. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that you ask the employer for a copy of the incident report. Often times, employers “lose” incident reports and consequently, there is no way for you to prove that it was ever completed in the first place. If you keep a copy of the incident report, there will never be a question as to whether the incident occurred.
If the employer does not provide you with a formal incident report to complete, you must take action and create your own incident report. The incident report should include: 1) The date and time of the incident and report, 2) A description of the injury, 3) The location the injury took place, 4) The body part(s) injured as a result of the incident, and 5) The full name and signature of the injured worker. Again, please make sure that you keep a copy of the incident report. If your employer refuses to provide you with an incident report and/or refuses to accept an incident report you created, it is extremely important that you contact a Glendale, WI workers’ compensation lawyer.
In sum, a workers’ compensation claim should be filed immediately after the incident occurs. If you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim, do not hesitate to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Thanks to our friends and blog authors from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into workers’ compensation claims.