There are many myths surrounding workers’ compensation. One damaging myth is the idea that your workplace injury needs to be “serious” to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You might feel awkward asking your employer to pay for costs associated with a minor sprain, for example, but that’s why the program exists. It’s better to report a minor injury right away. If you wait for it to either go away or worsen, you risk your claim being denied. Since many injuries do worsen over time, play it safe: file your claim as soon as possible.
The Risk of Not Reporting within the Statute of Limitations
In 2017, the statute of limitations for reporting a workplace injury was reduced to one year. If you have an occupational disease, the statute of limitations is still two years. While that might seem like a lot of time, many workers wait too long to file. When their injuries persist and their medical bills pile up, they’re disheartened to find there’s no legal recourse.
Whether your injury is mild or serious, it is important to file your workers’ compensation claim as close to the date of injury as possible to ensure that your claim is taken seriously by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and to prevent your injury from worsening.
Why Would Someone Delay Filing?
- Employer pressure and fear of retaliation. Although retaliation is illegal, many employees fear that filing for workers’ compensation will make them a company target. Others are pressured to use their own health insurance for their medical bills. Employers might use guilt as an approach, claiming that their premiums will go up too high and put them out of business. These are red flags. Talk to an attorney right away—and make sure you file for the benefits you are due.
- Fear of missing work and lost income. Some employees worry that filing a claim and missing work will mean that they can’t make ends meet in the short term. Unfortunately, working during your recovery period could make your injuries worse.
- Hoping they’ll get better without treatment. Finally, some people forego the doctor simply because they don’t like them. They hope that they’ll get better on their own. It’s always best to see a doctor right away—with any luck, your first appointment will be the only one you need. If the injuries get worse, you’ll be glad you went when you did.
For assistance with your claim, contact one of the worker’s compensation attorneys at Nager, Romaine, & Schneiberg Co. L.P.A. today.