According to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), about 1 in 4 construction workers fail to report workplace-related injuries every year. Unfortunately, construction workers are not alone in this, and a shocking number of workers are injured on the job and fail to report it. Far from being helpful, this behavior could seriously damage an employee’s chances at successful litigation later on.
Reporting Workplace Injuries
Under New York’s workers’ compensation law, anyone who is injured on the job must report that injury within thirty days of suffering that injury. While there is not a direct legal penalty for failing to report a workplace injury, it can seriously damage any chances at obtaining workers’ compensation. It can also make it much more difficult to seek a lawsuit against an employer, even though you can file a claim against an employer for a workplace injury up to two years after being hurt.
Why Some People Fail to Report a Workplace Injury
There are any number of reasons people might fail to report a workplace injury. Some people do not want to miss out on benefits or bonuses for continued safety. Others are actively discouraged from reporting injuries by their employer, which helps to keep insurance and other costs down. Others simply are afraid of appearing weak by complaining about an injury, or fear losing their job or future employment opportunities for reporting an injury.
The Potential Costs of Failing to Report an Injury
By failing to report a workplace injury in a timely fashion, a worker can seriously harm their ability to recover compensation for injuries they have suffered. The longer they go without reporting the injury, the harder it is to attribute the harm they suffered to that injury, giving an employer enough plausible deniability that they can claim an employee’s injuries came from elsewhere. This can leave a worker not only severely injured, but without the ability to work and without any way to cover the costs of their medical care except by paying out of pocket.
What You Should Do
If you have been injured on the job, you should report it to your superior as soon as possible. You should also seek immediate medical attention, even if it does not seem severe. This will help to establish medical evidence for any future legal proceedings. Once that is done, you should contact a lawyer with experience handling workplace injury cases, who can assist you and ensure you get the best possible outcome for your situation.
The personal injury attorneys at Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC are experienced in representing clients who have been seriously injured, and the surviving family members of those who have been fatally injured, as the result of serious accidents. The firm’s accomplished personal injury lawyers strive to secure full and fair compensation for their injured clients. With law offices conveniently located in Brooklyn and Manhattan, their personal injury lawyers can vigorously represent clients throughout the metropolitan area, including in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, and New Jersey. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call (718) 238-2400 or fill out our contact form.