During the difficult experience of a workplace injury, and the sometimes-complicated aftermath, you could easily become confused about the process of reporting it. But there is a time limit, along with other requirements, and you must follow the rules or you will put your claim at risk.
The time limit for notifying your employer of an injury is 10 days – but you should really do so immediately to avoiding missing the deadline, which could have costly consequences. Even if you are not sure you have a claim, you should report your injury right away. The deadline is imposed to prevent fraudulent claims and other abuses.
How Should You Notify Your Employer?
There are two formal, acceptable ways to inform your employer of an injury – written notice and constructive notice.
If you inform your employer in writing, you should include your name and address, the place and time of the injury, and the nature and cause of the injury. However, since a written notice could possibly be used against you by either your employer or by their insurance company, it is wise to contact an attorney before submitting your notice.
Constructive notice is when someone other than the victim notifies the employer. For example, if a supervisor is present during the injury and helps you in some way, the supervisor could notify the employer.
Oral notice has been an acceptable form of notification in some cases as well, but it involves no proof or witness, so it is not recommended.
If you do exceed the 10 day deadline for some reason, file anyway, because the Workers’ Compensation commission does have the power to waive the notice requirement. And again, the assistance of an attorney is recommended.
However, if the accident was the cause of a worker’s passing, it must be reported within 30 days. Or, if a fatal injury is caused by an occupational disease – such as mesothelioma – it must be reported within one year.If you have been injured on the job, or a loved one was lost in a work-related accident, please call Jeffrey S. Gross, the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at 215-512-1500 or 267-589-0090, or complete our online form for a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located in Philadelphia.