As an injured employee, you have certain rights, and your employer has certain responsibilities to you. One of these is to report the accident to the appropriate authority in your state in a timely manner. If your boss fails to do this, it affects your ability to collect benefits from your work-related injury.
It can be very frustrating if your employer fails to live up to his or her responsibilities, especially when you did your part to report the accident according to the protocol. However, you can still get your benefits even if your boss refuses to cooperate.
What You Should Do
The first thing to do is to receive medical treatment for your injuries. You need to take care of your own needs first, and the chances of recovery for many injuries decline the longer you delay treatment. When you see the doctor, make sure to inform him or her that your injury is work-related and provide him or her with contact information for your employer.
If your benefits are delayed and you suspect that your employer may not have reported the accident, contact the governing body in charge of workers’ compensation in your state. It may be called the state Workers’ Compensation Board, but can go by different names depending on the jurisdiction. If you inform someone at the Workers’ Compensation Board that your employer did not report your injury, you will be provided with forms to fill out. From that point on, you will be asked to fill out a lot of paperwork, so make sure that you first read and understand what you are signing.
Why Employers May Not Report
While it may occasionally be a legitimate oversight, many employers purposely fail to file accident reports. They may give you excuses, claiming that repetitive motion injuries are not covered, which is not true; your injury is not serious enough for compensation, which is for a doctor to determine; or you were partially at fault for the accident, which is irrelevant because work comp is a no-fault system.
The real reasons why employers sometimes choose not to report work comp injuries are typically financial. They do not want their rates of reported accidents to go up because it will increase their premiums, or they do not carry workers’ compensation insurance at all.
In either case, your employer is breaking the law by not reporting your work-related injury. The steps involved in recovering compensation may require the assistance of an attorney. Contact a law firm to arrange to speak to a work related injury lawyer in northern New Jersey.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and what to do if your boss won’t report your injury.