Chattanooga Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Advise When to Tell an Employer About Injuries
Any delay in informing your employer about an injury can result in postponement or even rejection of claims
Getting injured on the job brings about a whole host of emotions, issues and concerns: How will I heal? Who will pay for my treatment? Will my employer replace me while I’m healing? Because of these swirling thoughts, combined with the trauma of an injury, it isn’t uncommon for workers to wait to mention the injury to their supervisor or employer. This is a counterproductive impulse. Knowing your rights as an employee under Tennessee workers’ compensation laws can help assuage your fears and doubts, so you can promptly report any issues, seek medical help and not have undue concerns about your job security. If things do not go smoothly, then the Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyers of Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law are here to help.
If you are hurt, report it right away
Employees sometimes hesitate to report injuries to their employers out of fear of retaliation. This may be a concern especially in the case of a progressive condition such as the development of back pain over time. It may also be the case if you believe your injury such as a stubbed toe is minor, and you wish to avoid “causing trouble” by reporting it.
In fact, one of your responsibilities in a workplace injury case is to report the injury to your employer as soon as it happens or as soon as you are aware of it. Do not “wait and see if you feel better” after hitting your head on a doorway or cutting yourself with a tool at a construction site. Your workers’ compensation claim could be denied if you failed to report the injury as required, in a timely manner.
The very first step is to report any incident, accident or injury as soon as possible to your employer, no matter how minor or trivial the situation may seem. The “wait and see” policy can not only lead to more physical damage, particularly in head or spinal injuries, but it can also lead to delays or even rejection in workers’ compensation claims. The specific statute is that you must report the issue to your employer within 5 days of the originating issue or when a medical professional has determined that your problem is work-related. You will be asked to fill out a Tennessee Employer’s First Report of Work Injury or Illness form, Form C-20 explaining what happened. Filling out this form as close to the original circumstance as possible protects you by ensuring that the most accurate information is recorded.
Your employer then has certain obligations, in terms of allowing you to have time for treatment without penalization or potentially loss of position. Not every employer is thoroughly familiar with, or necessarily interested in, following the letter of the law in regard to workers’ compensation. If you are having any issues with your employer after a work-related injury or problems with your workers’ compensation claim, you may wish to discuss the particulars of your situation with an attorney.
Contact honest and accessible workers’ compensation attorneys today
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, our goal is to use our knowledge and experience to make a positive impact in every client’s life. We are interested in helping real people with real problems. If you or a family member has questions about or issues navigating the workers’ compensation system, speak with an experienced Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyer at 423.799.3532 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We also offer effective legal services to clients in Northern Georgia, Cleveland, TN and the surrounding counties. One conversation is often all that’s necessary to determine whether we can help you with your case.