Under the Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Act, an employer has 10 days to notify their insurance carrier of a work-related injury from the date the injury was reported by the injured worker.
If you are injured at work no matter how minor, it is very important that you immediately notify your supervisor and insist that an accident report be completed. Whether you notice a small pain in your back, incur a scrape, or feel some pain in your arm or shoulder after lifting, this first step is critical. You may think that it’s nothing serious and hesitate to “aggravate” your employer; however, the most important thing is your health, not an employer whose obligation is to comply with the law and report work injuries.
That scrape, bump, or bruise could be the first sign of something far worse. Infections from scrapes can occur weeks after the event. Bumps or bruises can be first sign of a more serious injury that develops over time. A low back ache can become a herniated disc with conditions manifesting much later or becoming much worse as you continue to work.
Not reporting an accident in a timely fashion and not insisting that an accident report be filed can sometimes make it difficult and unfortunately, in some cases, impossible to recover in a workers’ compensation benefits. Employers will argue that they had no knowledge of the event and defense attorneys will point out the fact that the injury was not reported until weeks or months later calling into question the credibility and the honesty of the individual who was simply trying to be nice or “do the right thing.”
You can do the right thing by filing the accident report immediately and insist on a copy. Your health may depend on it.