If an employee experiences a work accident and believes they may need to file a claim under Workers’ Compensation, the first step should be to notify the employer. Sometimes an employee does not realize the injury is serious until after they have left work for the day. By law, the employee must give notice to the employer within 10 days of the accident in order to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
How to Notify an Employer
An employee can notify their employer verbally or in writing if injured on the job. If written, the notification should include the name and address of the injured employee, state where and when the injury occurred, and notify the employer of the type of injury and its cause.
Employees should be aware that this written notification can be used against them by the employer or their Workers’ Compensation insurance company. An injury must be work-related to receive Workers’ Compensation. The insurance company often tries to prove an injury was not work-related and can use the employee’s own words to try to do so. Therefore, it is best to contact an experienced lawyer before sending any written notification to the employer.
In many workplace injury situations, constructive notice is provided to the employer due to the circumstances of the accident causing the injury. For example, even if a worker did not provide written notice, their supervisor may have witnessed the accident or its aftermath, resulting in constructive notice. The supervisor may have called 911 and/or helped the injured employee. Although the employee did not actually “notify” his or her employer via written notice, the supervisor’s presence and knowledge of the injury may constitute constructive notice. Moreover, if an employee verbally notifies his or her employer of the workplace injury, that oral notice has been held to be sufficient.
The notice requirement can, in some circumstances, be waived by the Workers’ Compensation Commission and sufficient reason must be provided as to why the notice could not have been given in the required time frame. Also, it must be shown that failure to give timely notice did not prejudice the employer or its insurance company.
What Happens if an Employee Does Not Notify the Employer?
Sometimes, an injured worker is unaware of the 10 day notice requirement until the 10 days have passed. In that situation, it may be best to contact a lawyer. If the workplace accident was fatal, notice must be provided to the employer within 30 days of the death. If the death resulted from an occupational disease, the employer must be notified within one year.
Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Represent Victims of Workplace Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, our experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers in Delaware County are prepared to help you. At McCann & Wall, LLC, our legal team can assist you with your Workers’ Compensation claim and help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offices at 215-515-2236 to schedule a free consultation.