If an employee suffers a work injury, one of the most important things he or she can do is to report the injury immediately to the employer or supervisory personnel. Failure to report the on-the-job injury immediately gives the employer and/or their insurance provider more ammunition to deny that the injury is work-related. If this happens, the worker may become ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits or receive a reduced amount.
Reporting Even When the Injury Is Not Apparent
Workers should report accidents to the employer even if they are seemingly unscathed. The symptoms of some conditions can take days or longer to develop. For instance, if a worker suffers a back injury while lifting a heavy box, immediate medical treatment may not be required if it doesn’t hurt much. If the worker fails to report the incident to the supervisor, and the back starts acting up weeks later, the employer can deny treatment because the injury was not reported when it first happened. Reporting within 24 hours helps protect an employee’s right to worker’s compensation benefits if symptoms become apparent weeks or months after the incident.
Verbal Reporting Is Not Sufficient
Verbal reporting puts an injured worker at risk to have a negative consequence in their claim. A worker should not rely on indications by the supervisor that the injury will be reported to a manager or human resources. It’s important to file an internal accident report form and a Form C-1, Nevada’s Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease-Incident Report. Form C-1 needs completion within 7 days from the time of the injury.
If, after verbal reporting, the supervisor does not prepare a report or fails to provide an accident reporting form, the injured worker should write a letter explaining how the injury occurred, where and when it occurred, and which area of the body was injured. The worker should date the letter, make a copy of it, and deliver the original copy to the supervisor.
Consulting a Doctor
After a workplace injury, it’s crucial for workers to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Under Nevada law, injured employees must get medical care from a doctor selected by their employer. During the visit, the injured employee should tell the doctor how the work injury was caused and discuss any symptoms experienced. If the injured worker is not satisfied with the care received at the visit, the worker can choose an alternative physician within 90 days after the injury.