One issue that often arises in Missouri and Kansas workers compensation claims is whether the injury was reported in a timely matter. Most states' workers compensation laws, including Missouri and Kansas, have specific rules on "notice," or how long an employee has after an injury occurs before they must report the injury. A case recently reported in Illinois shows the importance of reporting the injury promptly, because the claimant was denied benefits partly because of the delay in reporting. In this Illinois case, the claimant had three injuries over a period of time. He waited 15 weeks to report the first injury, about 7 weeks after the second injury, and a week after the last injury. Additionally, after the first injury claimant saw his doctor a few times but never mentioned the injury. Also, when he did report the injury after 15 weeks, he couldn't recall the specific work incident that caused the alleged injury.
This is somewhat of an extreme example, but it emphasizes the need to report injuries promptly. Most employers have policies requiring employees to report injuries when they happen. Nevertheless, we know that Missouri and Kansas injured workers sometimes don't report injuries, or at least not immediately, for a number different reasons. Sometimes they don't think it's serious, and therefore not worth reporting. Another reason is that employers tend to want to keep the number of work injuries down to keep their Work Comp insurance premiums down. So sometimes employees are reluctant to report work injuries because they don't want their employers upset with them. Even if you don't think it's a big deal at the time, and even though the employer may not be happy, if you have an injury it is in your best interests to report it as soon after the injury happens as you can. Even if you have a work accident and are not sure if you have sustained an injury, it is better to make the employer aware of any on the job injury. And make sure it's reported to the appropriate person, so that it is recorded properly.
Again, both Kansas and Missouri have notice statutes, and if notice is not given within the time limits, it can prevent a claimant from recovering any workers compensation benefits. If you are not sure what the time limits are for reporting injuries, you should call an attorney who practices Workers Compensation law in the state where you were injured.
The experienced Kansas City based workers compensation lawyers at Roswold Law Group have seen case after case in which delay has resulted in advantage being taken of the Missouri or Kansas injured worker if not outright denial of the employee's work injury claim. Even if the delayed notice does not prevent obtaining benefits, claims adjusters become very suspicious of injuries that are not promptly reported, which may influence their attitude toward your claim, making it more difficult to get needed benefits like additional medical treatment and TTD.
Have You Been Injured On The Job?
If you've been hurt at work on the job in Kansas City you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.