Many employees are hesitant to report accidents that happen on the job for various reasons, such as retaliation by the employer. However, when you unnecessarily delay informing your employer of a workplace injury, it could jeopardize your chances of claiming workers’ compensation benefits.
As a result, you may have to foot medical bills or contend with missed wages if your injuries prevent you from working. It can be difficult to claim these and more benefits, as discussed below.
You could be time-barred from making a claim
New Jersey workers’ compensation laws generally provide injured employees only 14 days to inform their employer of a workplace injury (although the time limit can be extended as long as 90 days under certain conditions). The only other exception to that rule is when your employer has actual knowledge of the event that caused your injuries – such as if you were taken from work by an ambulance after a fall.
Going beyond the stipulated window will make it impossible to claim any benefits for any injuries sustained.
Evidence of your injuries may get lost
Another reason you should report your workplace injury as soon as possible is to prevent the potential loss of evidence that supports your claim.
Memories are short, and people forget important details of the events they witnessed. Your employer could claim that your accident occurred outside the workplace and contest your claim if you fail to report it as soon as practical.
Protecting your interests after a workplace injury
Reporting your accident on time is one of the first things you need to get right when pursuing workers’ compensation benefits.
However, the majority of the work lies in successfully navigating the claims process and getting the benefits you need to keep your family afloat.