Yes, you should always report a minor injury at work. A minor injury at work may seem like a small matter, but not reporting all of your injuries can lead to a significant regret down the road.
While reporting a minor workplace injury can feel like a tedious waste of time, there could be long-term consequences for your health and finances if your injury isn’t reported. A minor workplace injury might not entitle you to receive workers’ comp benefits, what might initially appear to be a minor injury could get worse or develop into more serious injuries down the road. By immediately reporting all injuries to your employer, no matter how small you think they are, you can ensure that you’re covered if your injury ends up being worse than you think.
Is it illegal not to report an accident at work?
While generally it is not illegal for an employee to fail to report an injury at work, it is probably against your employer’s policies for you to do so. Many employers require their employees to report accidents within 24 hours. If you don’t, it could result in you being suspended without pay or reprimanded. In these cases, not reporting an accident or missing the deadline could lead to disciplinary action, reprimand, suspension, or even termination from your employment. You also won’t be able to recover workers’ comp benefits if you don’t report your injury.
Even if you don’t think your injury is very serious, it’s essential to report your accident as soon as you can to protect your workers’ comp rights. Usually, your employer will have you fill out a detailed injury report to document the accident. But even if they don’t give you your own form, request a written statement to ensure your injuries are reported correctly.
Once you do report a work related injury, under Texas Workers’ Compensation Law, you must report your injury to a supervisor or administrator within 30 days of the accident in order to qualify for medical care and income benefits. Work related illnesses must also be reported within 30 days of when you discovered them or should have known that the illness was work related.
Even though you legally have 30 days to report a work injury, you should report injuries you sustain at work as soon as it is practicable to do so. Any delay in reporting will make it more likely that your workers compensation claim can be denied. The insurance company is going to be suspicious of the gap between when you were injured and when you reported it. This can also lead to your employer or their insurance provider to conclude that you weren’t actually injured at work or the accident didn’t even happen.
And for this reason, it’s essential that you immediately notify your employer of even the most minor injuries you suffer at the workplace. You should also ensure it’s documented in writing, whether through an employer issued reporting form or a statement you submit on your own.
There are no consequences for filling out a report on a minor injury that doesn’t eventually lead to a workers’ comp claim. But if you fail to submit a report and your injury gets worse, you could miss out on the workers’ comp benefits you’re entitled to receive.
Therefore, to protect your rights, you should always make sure your employer appropriately documents any work related injuries you sustain.
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