Properly Filing a First Report of Injury

Hi, I’m Jen Yackley, Partner and Attorney with Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A., and I’m here to talk to you today about filing first reports of injury when you’ve sustained a work-related injury. I’m going to delve in a little deeper on this topic because there are a couple types of claims where you have to really be careful as far as what is reported and the timing that is associated with reporting those types of injuries.

When you’re dealing with a specific injury, such as a knee injury, a back injury, if you fell off a ladder, if you stepped wrong and twisted your knee, that’s pretty self-evident and obvious to report the injury with your supervisor completing a First Report of Injury form. Basically, it goes without saying.

There are other types of claims that get a little more complicated as far as filing a First Report of Injury and under those circumstances, to be perfectly honest, we recommend that you consult with an attorney before trying to file a First Report of Injury on your own. These types of claims include injuries that come on over time, also known as Gillette injuries in the workers’ compensation law where there may not be a specific incident. Wear and tear that has come on over years. Gillette-type injuries typically have some different timing rules and things of that sort, as far as the level of documentation that is required.

Claims that involve heart conditions – again, those tend to get more complicated as far as what dates to use and the medical evidence you need to submit. Claims we are running into these days, most commonly, are claims that involve post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are some specific requirements under the statute as far as having a diagnosis from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, and so what we see occurring on occasion is individuals will have a tentative diagnosis of PTSD from a family doctor or from a therapist and then they will proceed in filing a First Report of Injury on their own. Sometimes the employer will do this on the employee’s behalf. Under the law, you are required to have a diagnosis from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, so there are some timing rules and some practical considerations that definitely come into play as far as what type of documentation is submitted and the timing of that on claims that involve PTSD.

Recently I will say that I have seen more frequently, clients that are submitting documentation to the employer that maybe doesn’t quite meet some of the requirements, and so they are getting a denial right out of the gate, simply because they are not meeting the evidentiary requirements for filing a First Report of Injury on those types of claims. Given the complexity of certain types of claims, generally speaking, I usually recommend the people get some legal guidance as to what paperwork you should submit.

Don’t wait to get an attorney involved if you have a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim. The process can be complex and you want to be sure you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. Contact Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A. for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation and claim evaluation. At Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, we keep our clients informed of the process as well as what to expect each step of the way. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.