I make frequent visits to company properties and quite often I’ll see a giant sign with some version of the following: THIS DEPARTMENT HAS WORKED ____ DAYS WITHOUT A WORK INJURY. Just last week I saw a company sign that boasted 95 days without a “reported” work injury. Does that mean there have been no work injuries? Maybe not.
It happens all the time: an employee gets hurt at work and decides not to report the injury right away. Sometimes the employee is pressured by a supervisor not to file an injury claim right away. You might hear, “Just shake it off,” or “Rest it over the weekend.” Do you really want to be the employee who changes the number on that “days without an injury” sign back to zero?
Maybe the injury is not that bad. Maybe it will go away in a day or two. Maybe not…
You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
While the sign is supposed promote safety, in reality it also discourages employees from filing work injury claims. The problem is, if you do not report your injury as soon as possible, your employer and the workers compensation insurance company may use that delay against you to deny your claim. Nebraska has rules about giving proper notice to an employer. By deciding to use the employer preferred “wait and see” approach, you may lose the right to have necessary medical expenses paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. If your injury turns out to be something serious, you may not be compensated for time off work, or receive benefits if you become disabled.
If you are considering not reporting an injury or taking this “wait and see” approach, you should call my office to discuss your options. The sooner the better. There is no obligation or charge to discuss your particular issues or pitfalls. The call is free and I am glad to help. Your right to be compensated for your work injury is more important than the numbers on a safety sign!
Know your rights under the Nebraska workers’ compensation law. Call our office for a free confidential conversation.
Our phone number is (402) 505-3555.