If you suffer an injury at work you should report it right away, whether you miss time from work or not. In Pennsylvania, there is a strict 120-day deadline for reporting work injuries. If you don’t report the injury to your employer within the 120-day deadline, you can never file a workers’ compensation claim for that injury. With this in mind, even if you’re able to continue working after a work-injury or you think the injury will heal without medical treatment, you should still inform your employer about it in case the injury gets worse and causes you to lose time from work.
You can report a work injury in a number of ways, informally or formally. You can either have your employer complete an Employer’s Report of Injury Form that the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation provides, or you can tell your Employer in person or in writing. It is always best to have some sort of a paper trail in the event that there is a dispute about whether the injury was actually reported and when. An email, letter, or even a text message is all that is necessary to establish that you reported the injury.
There are exceptions to the 120-day notice rule where you may have additional time to report the injury. For example, with some types of injuries it may not be immediately clear that the injury was caused by your work. In these instances, an injured worker has 120 days from the date that they knew, or should have known, that the injury is related to their work to report the work injury.
As a general rule, it is strongly recommended that anyone injured at work should report the injury as soon as possible and in a way that allows you to prove that the injury was reported. If you have any questions about reporting a work-injury or anything else about protecting your right to workers’ compensation benefits, please don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys.