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If proper notice of an injury is not given there may be serious consequences that could jeopardize your claim.

When I was 19 years old I suffered a fractured tibia playing soccer. I knew something bad had happened but the pain was not excruciating. I tried to keep playing until my leg started to collapse from under me. I would describe the pain as unique. I decided to hide my injury from my parents and sit in my room for most of 10 days while on break from school. I was hoping that sheer will power and the sounds of The Police and U2 would cure whatever it was that had happened to my leg. The thought of not playing soccer for a number of weeks or months was like a death sentence. After 10 days I finally had to admit defeat and visit the doctor. A fractured leg was diagnosed. I was chastised for waiting so long and risking further damage to the leg. The leg was placed in a cast.

A fellow blogger on Injuryboard describes medical opinions as the fuel that runs a workers’ compensation claim. Following that analogy, immediate medical care and a proper initial history to a medical provider is the ignition. If you are injured in a work related accident it is essential to seek immediate medical care. A lapse in time between the injury and medical care can be fatal to a claim. The longer an injured worker waits to seek medical care the harder it will be to “start” the claim and achieve a successful result. The greater the delay in reporting the claim, the greater is the employer’s suspicion that your injury may not be work-related. In addition, it is essential to immediately notify an employer that you have been injured, even if you are unsure of the extent of the injury or attempting to will away the pain. When an injury occurs from repetitive activity at work, it is important to notify the employer once the symptoms develop. In Illinois and Iowa, for example, there are time limitations for giving notice.Once you decide to seek medical care it is important to provide all doctors, triage nurses or other medical providers with a proper history of how you were injured and a description of your work duties.

When I broke my leg, a job and salary were not at risk. I did not have to worry about receiving benefits or filing a claim. An injured worker does not have that luxury. He must immediately report the injury and seek medical attention. Every effort should be made to provide all medical providers with a detailed and accurate account of the accident. Anything less can result in a loss of benefits and a lost claim.

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