To offer a different perspective on the subject of injury reporting, we turned to our Legal Analyst with the firm, Vanessa Washington. Vanessa has extensive experience in the insurance industry with a focus on workers’ compensation. Vanessa’s primary role with Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A. is to support the attorneys by analyzing the value of each case, providing case law research, and facilitating negotiations.
It’s important to report your injury in a timely manner. Failure to do so may have significant financial implications for the insurer and it will start your claim off on the wrong foot. An adjuster has only 14 days to investigate your claim. Investigations include, but are not limited to:
- Requesting medical records
- Reviewing medical records
- Talking with you by phone
- Talking with your supervisor or department to gather additional information
- Reviewing your wage information
Failure to report your claim in a timely manner will result in delayed handling of your claim.
After the adjuster has completed their investigation, they are required to apply what they have learned through that investigation to the statutory case law to determine whether or not your claim is compensable and will be accepted. As an employee, it is your responsibility to first know what are your employer’s requirements in terms of timely reporting.
Your employer’s requirements may be different than those that are required by the law. Most employers have a 24-hour reporting period. It is important that you know that the law requires that you submit your injury report to your employer in writing. Now why that is important is IF this is a situation where you were to report your injury verbally to a supervisor and that information is NOT recorded or reported to the insurer, it could become a situation of he said, she said at a later date. Again, please do report all injuries in writing. Nowadays, written communication may be a text message, an email. It doesn’t have to be a standard written form on a piece of paper, but it is important that you document when you are reporting your injury to your employer.
In terms of your statutory requirements, it’s important to know that you are required to report your injury within 180 days. Failure to do so will automatically result in in denial of your claim, almost 100% of the time by the insurer.
As with many things in workers’ compensation, there will always be exception to that rule, such as situations where there may be cumulative trauma, repetitive-type injuries, or occupational diseases.