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How Delaying to Report an Injury Hurts Employee and Employer

Sep 23, 2021

The moment an employee is injured on the job, the clock starts ticking for them to alert their employer and begin the process of filing a Workers鈥 Compensation claim. In most states, the deadline to submit a Workers鈥 Compensation claim to a company鈥檚 insurance provider is 2 to 3 years but varies by state. However, the deadline for employees to submit a first injury report to their employer is much shorter鈥攐ften just days or weeks.听

Delays in submitting these initial reports can have serious impacts on both the employee and their employer and can .听

First Injury Reports: What Are They?

The Workers鈥 Compensation system was designed to support employees who are injured or contract a communicable disease while on the job. Not only does Workers鈥 Compensation enable employees to pay for medical treatment, but it also helps replace wages if they need to take time away from work to recover.听

The first step an employee must take to access their Workers鈥 Compensation benefits is notifying their employer of an injury in a written report. Typically this is a standardized form with information about the day, time, and location of the injury, the circumstances around the injury, whether any co-workers were present, and whether or not the injury has been treated.听

Missed Deadlines Can Mean Increased Costs and Lost Benefits

Prompt injury reporting protects the company, as well the employee. According to a study conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), claim costs rise when reports are submitted after an employee is injured. It can also open a company up to litigation risks if employees feel forced to take action to prove a claim. , when reports are submitted the day an accident takes place, attorneys are involved in just 12.8% of claims. This number rises to more than 31% for claims made later than four weeks.

The responsibility, however, is on the employee to submit the initial report, and many don鈥檛 realize how little time they have to report before the deadline. Missing that deadline can mean having their Workers鈥 Compensation claim benefits reduced or denied outright.听

Different states have for when these initial injury reports need to be completed鈥攁nd they can vary greatly. Colorado, for example, requires employees to report an injury within 4 days, while Nevada gives 7, and California allows 30. Other states, like Connecticut and Delaware, don鈥檛 give a specific timeframe but ask employees to report as soon as possible.听

Even in states with extended deadlines, the sooner a report is filed, the better. The longer an employee waits to file, the more problems they can run into trying to prove an injury is related to the job, and the greater the potential risk of an injury developing into something more serious. A relatively minor injury that might have been easily addressed through physical therapy, for example, could require surgery months down the line if left untreated. And by then, it may be difficult for the employee to prove it was a result of an earlier workplace injury.听聽

Beyond the financial and productivity impacts, however, encouraging quick reporting gives employees confidence that a company has their best interest at heart and cultivates a culture of openness and trust. If an employee鈥檚 unreported and unaddressed minor injury turns into something more serious, it could mean the difference of being unable to work for a few days or several weeks, impacting team morale.

How Companies Can Encourage Early Reporting

Companies can actively encourage employees to report accidents and injuries by making employee safety a part of regular conversation, streamlining the reporting process to make it as quick and easy as possible, and recognizing or rewarding prompt reporting. All these things lower the barrier for injury reporting and reinforce the message that employee safety isn鈥檛 just a set of regulations or requirements, but actually a company priority.听

麻豆放映免费 is a niche wholesaler that has specialized in monoline Workers鈥 Compensation for 16 years and counting.听 Our expert brokers understand the unique rules and regulations associated with all 50 states and extend that knowledge to our retail agency partners.听 No business operation or risk is too challenging for our team to properly protect and insure.听 Contact us today to speak with one of our experts.听

The 麻豆放映免费 Workers' Compensation Insurance Team

The 麻豆放映免费 Workers' Compensation Insurance Team

Workers鈥 compensation is not a generalist鈥檚 game. 麻豆放映免费鈥檚 dedicated division of industry-leading workers鈥 compensation experts understands every facet of this complex coverage line 鈥 from multi-state operations and high-hazard risks to United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (USL&H), and everything in between. No matter your clients鈥 industry, state, experience modification factor, premium size, or class code, the 麻豆放映免费 workers' compensation team has you covered.
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