If you are injured at work, you should immediately give notice to your employer of what happened. Typically, your supervisor is the person you should talk to first. Tell your supervisor what happened, how it happened, and what body parts you injured. Include every body part that you are experiencing pain in. Sometimes, there is not a specific incident that is causing your symptoms. If you’re ion pain at the end of the day or the end of the week because of repetitively performing your job duties, and you think your job duties are contributing to your symptoms, you should ask to fill out a First Report of Injury. The date of injury may not be exact for these types of claims (called Gillette injuries in Minnesota), but you can use the last day you worked, the first time you saw a doctor, or the first time you really noticed your symptoms. The sooner you report your injury, the more accurate your recollection of the events causing the injury will be. Keep records of how the accident occurred for yourself, as this will aide you in giving consistent reports to your doctor and the work comp insurance company too.
While you’re doing this, your Employer should be filling out a First Report of Injury form. They use this form to notify their insurance carrier of your injury and to open your claim for benefits. This form also needs to be filed with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry in St. Paul. If your Employer does not have this form, it can be downloaded from the Department of Labor and Industry’s website. It is not your responsibility to file this form, it is your employer’s responsibility. The form should be filed within 14 days of when your injury occurs.
It is important to file the First Report of Injury right away, because it controls the Statute of Limitations for filing your workers’ compensation claim. If your claim is denied, you have three years to file a claim if a First Report of Injury was filed, or six years to file a claim if no First Report of Injury was filed. If any medical benefits or wage benefits are paid by the work comp insurance company, the statute of limitations is tolled.
Minor accidents do not necessitate a First Report of Injury. For example, minor cuts and scrapes that do not result in medical treatment or any lost time from work do not require the filing of a First Report of Injury. However, you should still report an injury if you’re experiencing ongoing pain or even if you think the pain will go away or get better. Waiting too long to report an injury is a big reason why insurance companies deny claims.
If your Employer refuses to fill out a First Report of Injury at your request, contact Attorney Josh Borken immediately.