An injured worker suffers a scratch at work. Why should he report this as an injury? After all won't his fellow workers laugh at him and won't management ignore him? Won't he be considered a complainer?
This brings to mind the story of an "injured claimant" I represented him in a Virginia Workers Compensation hearing. The only defense raised by the insurance company was that the claimant had not reported his injury.
The day before Thanksgiving the claimant was in the shop. The claimant scratched his right thumb on a sharp piece of metal. The claimant knew about his duty to report every injury. However, he chose not to a report his scratched thumb. He thought the injury was insignificant.
A few days later the claimant's hand was throbbing and swelling. It was very painful. He decided to go to the Emergency Room. The ER doctor took one look at the claimant's thumb and put the claimant in the hospital. He stayed there for 10 days while he was administered antibiotics to bring down the infection. His medical bills were over $38,000.
He reported this to his Employer and the claim was turned over to the insurance company. They denied the claim. They said his injury was not immediately reported to a supervisor at work. He came to see me.
I represented the claimant in a Virginia Workers Compensation proceeding. We were able to persuade the Deputy Commissioner that the claimant had a reason for not reporting the injury right away. He had regarded the injury as "trivial." Virginia Workers Compensation law requires injuries to be reported in writing to your employer within 30 days of the date of the injury. Most employers like the claimant's employer require an injury to be reported "immediately" to management. Fortunately, in the claimant's case, the Deputy Commissioner believed claimant. He believed the injury did occur at work. He believed the claimant had not reported it right away because he legitimately thought the injury was trivial.
The claimant dodged the bullet in this case. He was lucky the Deputy Commissioner believed him. However, he would not have had any problems or delays if he had just reported his injury to management right away.
The morale of this claimant's story is report your injury right away (no matter how significant the injury appears to be).
If you want a free consultation on your Virginia Workers' Compensation Case: call now at804-358-4766 or 1-800-256-8862 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org