How Long Do You Have to Report an Injury at Work?
The first thing you have to do if you have been injured at work is to report your injury to your employer. The second step is to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, you should be aware of reporting deadlines because if you miss them, you could lose your eligibility to claim benefits.
In this article, we’ll identify the timelines on how long you have to report an injury at work, how to do the reporting, and how you can use to file an HR complaint instead.
Not All Deadlines Are Created Equal: A Guide
Depending on where you are located, there are different workers’ compensation deadlines. These deadlines are effective from the day of your injury. Some states have different statutes of limitations for claims, but as a general guide, here’s a table of deadlines for all 50 states:
|State||Inform Your Employer Within:||File a Workers’ Compensation Claim Within:|
|Alabama||5 days of injury and 90 days of the accident||2 years|
|Alaska||30 days||2 years|
|California||30 days||1 year|
|Colorado||4 days||2 years|
|Connecticut||ASAP||1 year (3 years for occupational illnesses)|
|Florida||30 days||2 years|
|Georgia||30 days||1 year|
|Hawaii||ASAP||5 years (and within 2 years of manifestation of symptoms)|
|Illinois||45 days||3 years|
|Indiana||30 days||2 years|
|Iowa||90 days||2 years|
|Louisiana||30 days||1 year (up to 2 years for non-immediate onset of disability)|
|Maine||30 days||2 years|
|Maryland||10 days||2 years (1 year following discovery of occupational illness)|
|Massachusetts||ASAP||4 years from discovery or causation|
|Michigan||90 days||2 years|
|Minnesota||ASAP||6 years (or 3 years from employer filing First Report of Injury)|
|Mississippi||30 days||2 years|
|Missouri||30 days||2 years|
|Montana||30 days (1 year for occupational illnesses||1 year (or 2 years for latent injury)|
|Nevada||7 days||90 days from injury or discovery of occupational illness|
|New Hampshire||2 years||3 years|
|New Jersey||14 days||2 years|
|New Mexico||15 days||1 year from claim denial|
|New York||30 days||2 years|
|North Carolina||30 days||2 years|
|North Dakota||7 days||1 year from injury or discovery|
|Oklahoma||30 days||1 year (or 2 years from last exposure for occupational illnesses)|
|Pennsylvania||21 days||3 years (or 300 weeks from last exposure for occupational illnesses)|
|Rhode Island||30 days||2 years|
|South Carolina||90 days||2 years from injury or discovery|
|South Dakota||3 business days||2 years|
|Tennessee||15 days||1 year|
|Texas||30 days||1 year from injury or discovery of occupational illness|
|Utah||180 days||1 year|
|Virginia||30 days||2 years|
|Washington||ASAP||1 year (or 2 years from diagnosis for occupational illnesses)|
|West Virginia||ASAP||6 months (or 3 years from discovery or last exposure for occupational illnesses)|
|Wisconsin||30 days||2 years (6 years for traumatic injuries and 12 years for occupational illnesses)|
|Wyoming||72 hours to report an injury to employer, 10 days to file Wyoming Report of Injury||1 year|
How to Report an Injury at Work
Reporting an injury at work comes in two steps: reporting to human resources and reporting a workers’ compensation injury. Your employer may have a standardized form that you can simply fill in. After that, you may need to file a benefits claim with your state’s workers’ compensation agency. To ensure your claim will be approved, make sure to include the following details:
- Specifics of the workplace accident, including date and time
- Events that occurred prior to and after the accident
- Co-workers who witnessed the accident
- Whom you reported the accident to, if you did
Employee’s Other Obligations
Your obligations as an employee don’t stop at simply reporting an injury at work. After that, you also need to:
- Go to an emergency room if you believe emergency treatment is needed
- Request your manager to take time off if your injuries are severe and impact your ability to work
- Follow up with your employer or your company’s workers’ compensation insurance provider
What Happens if You Do Not Report an Injury?
Many employees don’t report accidents or file complaints right away because they don’t notice serious injuries that require medical attention. Although employers are obligated to ensure safety at work, if an accident happens, it is your responsibility to report it. Regardless of the severity of the incident, any injury that results in bodily harm should be reported right away. A delayed response can result in problems such as:
- Your employer may refuse to provide medical treatments or benefits
- The workers’ compensation agency may question why the accident was not reported immediately
- Your private insurance provider may deny payment for treatment of injuries at work
When this happens, this may escalate into a legal battle. If you are afraid of possible repercussions or are unsure of how to proceed, report an injury at work through .
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