When to Report a Work Related Injury

 In Worker Compensation

Imagine you work for a construction company.

One day, while on the job-site, you are using your sawzall to cut through a large piece of steel.  While cutting through the material, a small piece of steel comes flying up underneath your safety goggles and goes right into your eye.

Would you report this as a worker’s compensation injury?

Now imagine you work at the local grocery store.

One day, while on the job, you are mopping up a spill in aisle nine. While going to put up the caution sign for customers to be aware of the slippery surface, you end up falling yourself and landing directly on your tailbone and instantly know you have shattered a bone of some sort.

Would you report this as a worker’s compensation injury?

Let’s imagine one more scenario, and this time you are working as a librarian at your local public library.

You have been working at the library now for the past 15 years and have noticed that what was once a dull irritation in your wrists, has now become a fully throbbing pain every time you are doing desk work or filing the books back into their proper home.

Would you report this as a worker’s compensation injury?

The answer to all of the above, is a resounding yes.

  1. In the first scenario, we can only assume that the injured worker is going to need some time off to recover from his injury. The employee was wearing his required safety gear to avoid such a situation, but unfortunately an injury was still sustained. He is eligible for worker’s compensation.
  2. In the second scenario, the employee is once again only assumed to be needing time off to recover from their injury. With a shattered bone, we can assume that the employee is not only going to need time off to recover, but will also need employer assistance to pay for medical expenses related to their injury. This is a classic example of a worker’s compensation scenario.
  3. In the last scenario, we are looking at things in a much different manner than the first two examples. It appears that the employee has been working for the company for quite some time, and has sustained their injuries over the duration of their employment. It is Massachusetts state law that the employee has up to 4 years from discovery of injury/causation to file a claim for worker’s compensation. This means that in this particular scenario, the librarian may have sustained her injuries over a long period of time, but as long as it’s reported to her employer when she realizes that the injury is work-related, she is eligible for worker’s compensation according to state law.

These three scenarios are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to who is eligible for worker’s compensation.

Think about your personal situation and ask yourself this single, most important question when deciding if you should report your injury for worker’s compensation:

  • Was my injury a result of working for my employer?

If the answer to this question is yes, contact us at Lipsey & Clifford for your free consultation call today!

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