Industry data estimates that about 4.26 million work-related injuries required medical attention in 2021. In the same year, there were 5190 fatal work injuries representing an 8.9% increase from the previous year. Minor injuries, including bruises and cuts, occur quite often during the workday. For many workers, these injuries are so negligible that they don’t see any need to report them or seek any medical attention.
However, minor injuries can lead to severe problems requiring extensive treatment. It is advisable to report everything covered under workers’ compensation policies regardless of how minor the accident might seem. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Renfro & Renfro, PLLC explain why it is always a good idea to notify your employer of every work-related injury regardless of its severity. If you have questions about reporting minor injuries for workers’ compensation or filing a claim, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Four Reasons to Report Minor Incidents Promptly
When you report an incident quickly, your employer gets valuable time to investigate the case and ensure you get the necessary medical care. Besides, workers’ compensation has a timeline for filing claims for benefits, and waiting too long to report a minor injury that worsens with time may result in your claim being denied.
Here are four reasons why you should report minor workplace injuries as soon as they happen:
1. Prevents Future Complications
Whether you suffered a small or severe injury, worker’s compensation should cover your medical treatment if the incident occurred while undertaking work duties. Proper medical care is vital to reduce the possibility of a minor injury worsening. Prompt reporting allows employers to arrange for quick and proper treatment that may be needed. What seemed like a minor injury may worsen, resulting in severe complications and substantial medical expenses. If you wait for the injury to get worse before reporting, you might be too late to file a claim meaning you won’t be eligible for any compensation.
2. Creates a Safer Workplace
Apart from the need for immediate medical treatment, reporting all accidents and injuries is an effective way to create safer workplaces. Employers are obligated to investigate all workplace accidents and find their causes to prevent similar injuries from occurring in the future. If the causes are not identified and remedied, the same conditions that caused an accident will likely cause other injuries. When you ignore a minor accident or near miss, you increase the odds of a more severe accident occurring.
3. It Protects Your Self-Interest
As mentioned earlier, minor injuries can get worse over time. If you don’t take immediate steps to report your injuries as soon as they occur, your employer could use the delay against you. Since you didn’t report the initial injury, the employer could argue the current injury did not occur at work or as you describe the accident occurring and therefore deny your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. It is recommended you keep copies of your written report for reference if a written report was made. You should also document the injuries and location with videos and photos.
4. It is Your Legal Right
Regardless of what caused your injury, you have a legal right to report it to your employer and seek compensation. Virginia employers have a legal duty to accept injury reports and notify their insurance providers. The law would prohibit employers from retaliating against injured workers, even if the employee’s negligence caused the accident. If your employer pressures you to hide your minor injuries or if they victimize you because you got hurt, contact the workplace injury attorneys at Renfro & Renfro, PLLC, right away.
What is the deadline to report an injury in Richmond, VA?
Virginia state laws require workers to report work-related injuries or illnesses to their employer within 30 days of the accident. Injured workers should also file a claim with the Virginia workers’ compensation commission no later than two years after the accident.
When you fail to report within this timeframe, you will likely lose your right to compensation should the injuries worsen and require costly treatments.
Contact Richmond, Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Although you are entitled to workers’ compensation for personal injuries, your insurance company may seek unjustified reasons to reduce your compensation or deny the claim. At Renfro & Renfro, PLLC, our attorneys are ready to fight for your rights. Our goal is to get the compensation you need so that you can heal and move forward with your life. If you need help reporting your minor injuries and seeking compensation, call us today at (804) 601-4433 or contact us online for a free consultation. Let our team guide you through your claim and help you receive your deserved compensation.