How Soon Should Injured Workers in Alexandria, Virginia Report Their Injury?

Employees in Alexandria who have been injured at work are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, they could miss out on such benefits if they wait too long to notify their employer about their injury and accident. this is the reason any injured worker should consult with an Injured Workers Law Firm attorney early in the claim process. 

 Workers’ compensation offers benefits such as lifelong medical treatment and lost wage payments. If an injury results in a permanent disability or impairment in a person’s ability to perform their work duties, the person can also get monetary compensation for this. Other benefits injured workers can receive include vocational rehabilitation, which allows them to get training and education, so they can work in a new field. 

When to Report an On-the-Job Injury

In Virginia, workers have thirty days to file a workers’ compensation claim. And the clock begins to tick the moment they get injured. After an injury, an employee must report it to their employer, HR manager, or supervisor within this thirty-day period. Although they can wait one month to report the workplace accident, it is best to report it right away. 

If a worker incurred medical expenses following the injury, before they file a report, their employer may not pay for their medical bills. Thus, delaying an accident report can ruin one’s claim. Insurance providers will take delayed workplace accident reports with suspicion and may deny claims. 

Legitimate Excuses for Delaying a Report

If a worker fails to report the accident within the thirty-day window, they have defenses to use. Depending on how persuasive their argument may be, they can still collect benefits even if they missed the deadline. The following are legitimate excuses they can use:

  • Actual notice. If the employer witnessed the accident, the insurance company cannot deny a claim using a lack of notice as a reason. 
  • Incapacity. If the workplace accident led to a coma or brain injury, the injured person may have a valid excuse for not reporting the accident on time. 
  • Waiver. An employer’s payment for the injured worker’s medical expenses or lost wages can substitute a written notice. 
  • Reasonable excuse. An injured worker may still have a valid workers’ comp claim even if they missed the deadline if they can show they have a reasonable excuse recognized by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Reasonable excuses include the submission of related medical records, a lack of a medical diagnosis, and the belief the work-related injury would heal on its own. 

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