Providing proper notice of a work injury matters

When you are injured on the job, providing proper notice of a work injury to your employer matters. This article references notice content more than time frames. I have written about time frames for providing notice of a work injury and you can read that here.

Sometimes injured workers have fear in reporting a work injury. They fear retribution, termination of employment, or harassment if they report a work-related injury. Of specific note here, those reasons above, should they occur, are illegal in their own right and an employer can be held liable in a separate civil cause of action.

I have seen clients report the injury to the employer that it did not happen at work. I have seen clients tell initial medical providers that an injury occurred, but did not report that it happened at work. All because they fear losing their job. The problem with that is it creates significant hurdles in the workers’ compensation case.

When you initially report a work injury as not work-related, then later claim that it is, it will certainly trigger the insurance company to issue a workers’ compensation denial. That means you will have to file and litigate a Claim Petition.

During the litigation, you will testify in front of a Workers’ Compensation Judge. I can assure you it will be brought up that you initially did not report the injury as a work-related injury. You can provide testimony that you feared for your job or feared retaliation. You can explain that rationale. However, the fact you flipped flopped from your initial reporting will likely cause credibility issues with the Judge. When issuing a decision on a Claim Petition, as part of the Judge’s decision, the Judge will make credibility determinations of those that have testified in the case. Flip flopping makes it appear that you are being dishonest. It is a significant hurdle to getting your claim granted. Do not do it.

If you have been injured on the job, follow these five steps.

    1. Report the injury to your employer immediately.
    2. Seek medical treatment right away.
    3. Get work restrictions and provide them to your employer.
    4. Write down details of you injury.
    5. Call Mooney Law.

Importantly, be sure to report the injury immediately to the employer and be truthful and concise how the injury happened. There is no reason to be intimidated. If you are, then simply even the score. Call Mooney Law for an absolutely FREE CONSULTATION. We stand ready to fight for you. We have been representing injured workers for decades, have recovered tens of millions of dollars in weekly wage loss benefits, medical benefits, lump sum settlements, and more. In Pennsylvania workers’ compensation, Mooney Law is experienced, trusted, proven, and results driven. Call us today at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656. You can also visit our website and complete the Schedule a Consultation form. We are ready to help you.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.