Many know it is a legal requirement to report work-related injuries to our employers. Still, many think they don’t have any duties or responsibilities. Injured workers are entitled to payments that can help make the difference between earning enough money and suffering long-term consequences like physical pain, muscle damage, depression, or even death.
1. It’s the Law
Workers’ comp is a system of insurance coverage mandated by Law, and you cannot recover benefits unless you file a claim with the appropriate agency. The problem is that many workers only claim when injuries force them to take time off work. Many don’t realize that they could benefit from filing for long-term disability or other work injury benefits, even if it means continuing to work their regular shifts.
2. You Can Lose Out on Benefits Unless You File a Report
Many workers fail to report minor injuries because they don’t think they will qualify to receive benefits. But this is a mistake. Even if you don’t feel like filing for work injury benefits because you believe you have enough money in your savings account to pay for medical bills, you could owe thousands of dollars if you develop some long-term or permanent injury.
3. It’s the Right Thing to Do
This is why many people prefer not to file reports when injured on the job because they don’t want their employers to think that they are faking their injuries or claiming compensation when it isn’t needed. By filing a report, however, it is possible to protect the value of your future disability payments.
4. You Could Be Liable For Pain and Suffering from Some Work Injuries
Not all work injuries are the same. Some occupations are likely to include more frequent incidents of pain and suffering than others. For example, construction employees, factory workers, and even security guards can have musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by repetitive strain injuries and permanent contractures that limit their abilities to move.
5. Managers Have a Duty to Protect You from Harmful Conditions in the Workplace
Injuries occur at workplaces every day, and it is the managers’ job to ensure that they are safe. But most employers assume workers’ compensation insurance will cover them if they are injured in a work-related accident – until they realize that no report was filed or the claim was denied because of some kind of unpaid fine or citation.
6. You Could Be Liable for The Time You Are Off Work
No worker must take time off from work when they have an injury or accident. But, if you don’t report the damage, you could potentially owe a lot of money because your employer may expect you to return to work once the clock starts ticking.
7. It Can Make a Difference in Your Paycheck
Suppose your case is denied for some reason or a condition arises that causes you to extend the expected recovery period beyond the traditional six months. In that case, it makes a difference in how much money you make each week. If you receive a check, the money is yours, and you can invest it or spend it as you wish. If the case is denied due to a closed claim, there is no money to receive.
The good news is that many workers’ comp laws and regulations now require employers to protect the safety of employees, which means that those who continue to work after serious injuries like MSDs or severe back injuries) may face civil liability for pain and suffering.