When employees get injured on the job, they have to report these injuries to their employer. Once the employer finds out, they then have to report it to the proper authorities. But how long does a worker have to make that initial report?
Generally speaking, employees should try to talk to their employer in the next 21 days. This starts on the day that the employee gets injured or when they become aware of the injury or disease that they are facing. There are some cases in which a workplace illness or injury will have delayed symptoms, so workers are not always aware as soon as the injury takes place.
The outside limit to keep an eye on, though, is 120 days. After this has passed, unless the person has a progressive disease, the law says that they should not get any workers’ comp benefits. So delaying that report is very risky for employees, who could be putting their own benefits in jeopardy if they have a valid claim.
Reporting injuries right away
Even though employees do technically have time to make the report, it is typically best for them to report any on-the-job injuries immediately. This gets the process started and ensures that they won’t miss an important statute of limitations. It also makes it less likely that the employer will accuse them of trying to defraud the system – getting injured at home and then claiming that it is a workplace injury, for instance.
Making this claim is just the first step in the workers’ comp process. Employees need to be aware of every step they should take and all of the legal options at their disposal.