It is always best to report an injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible. However, there may be circumstances that make it difficult or impossible for an employee to report an injury on the same day (such as if a worker is unconscious after an accident and rushed to the hospital). For this reason, Rhode Island workers' compensation laws give employees 30 days to report a work-related injury.
Reasons Why People Delay Notifying an Employer of an On-the-Job Injury
There are many reasons people delay notification about an on-the-job injury or choose not to notify their employer at all. These include:
Being concerned about losing your job.
Some employees put off making an official accident report because they fear retaliation. But it’s illegal for anyone at your workplace to discriminate against you for seeking rightful workers’ compensation.
Believing your injury isn’t serious.
Always report an accident, even if you think you are not seriously hurt. By making a record of the incident, you will make it harder for an employer or insurance company to argue that you were injured away from the workplace.
Being unable to return to the job site.
You don’t have to personally deliver an incident report or fill out the report at the place of work. Notice may be given in person or in writing by a third party such as your doctor or spouse.
Being anxious about making a mistake.
You can keep your notification short and simple, noting the date and time of the accident and the people present. If you report the incident verbally, make sure a reliable witness is present.
It’s important to note that there are many different deadlines involved in filing a workers' compensation claim. You only have a month to notify an employer of your injury, but you have up to two years to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Have You Been Injured On The Job In Rhode Island?
If you've been hurt at work you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help work injury victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.