Q: How much time do I have to notify my employer that I was injured on the job?
Employees injured at work are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits, but certain steps must be followed to complete a claim. One of the most crucial claim elements involves providing prompt notification of injury to the employer.
Reporting Workplace Injuries
Reporting an injury to the employer is the first step in the workers’ compensation application process, and it must be done within 30 days of the accident.
There's an exception for an occupational illness that develops gradually. With these types of ailments, the time period for notifying an employer doesn’t begin until an employee discovers the medical condition and its connection to the workplace. This typically happens during a doctor visit, when a physician informs the patient the illness is work-related.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials
Regardless of whether an employee suffers a job-related injury or an illness that develops over time, a worker should report his or her condition as soon as possible. Insurance companies are often skeptical of claims that aren’t filed within a day or two after an injury, and frequently deny employee claims when injuries are reported after the deadline.
According to the Texas Labor Code, failure to report an injury will lead to a denial of benefits unless:
● The employer was aware the injury occurred; or
● The Division of Workers’ Compensation determines an employee had a good reason for failing to report the injury prior to the deadline; or
● Neither the employer nor the insurance company contests the workers’ compensation claim.
Receiving Workers’ Compensation
While it may be possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits even if you fail to report your injuries within 30 days, it’s best to notify your employer as soon as possible. You should also speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure your rights are protected to receive proper compensation. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.