Workers’ compensation laws are there to safeguard us from unsafe labor environments. However, many of us don’t know the specific legal details well enough to protect ourselves, especially given changes to the law passed in both 2011 and 2013.

An employee must take specific action when hurt in order to stay within the requirements of Kansas law.

If you suffer a job-related injury, attorney Paul Post explains that many employees don’t act quickly enough to be compliant with “the notice requirement, which provides that you must give your employer notice of the injury.” Post, whose workers’ compensation firm is based in Topeka, recently explained the guidelines of the notice rule on his blog.

Act quickly with work injuries

You need to notify someone in a management position if you get hurt. Legally, an oral contract is binding. However, you may want to express your injury in writing so that there is a paper trail. You always want to report injuries of any type.

Here are the deadlines for injury reporting, based on a 2013 amendment to the Workers Compensation Act:

  • You must give notice of any job-related injury no more than 10 days after its occurrence if you no longer work for your employer.
  • You must give notice no more than 10 days after you suffered the injury if you still work for your employer.
  • You must give notice no more than 20 days after your initial appointment if you visit a doctor that isn’t authorized by the company.

As you can see, you don’t have much time to report work injuries and remain eligible for workers’ compensation. Here are two reasons you may feel unsure about turning in a notice, along with arguments for why you should:

  1. You may hesitate to report the injury, fearing retaliation. However, it is against the law for your employer to penalize you for an injury notice.
  2. You may also feel that your injury is insignificant. However, your injury may be more severe than it initially seems, particularly if it involves soft tissue.
  3. You may feel that you should wait for natural recovery before you file notice. However, remember that you only have a tight, 10-day window of protection.

Note that your employer gets to choose the medical practice you use for treatments. However, you can always make a suggestion. Plus, if you report the injury and your employer does not act, you can go to whatever doctor you want, at your employer’s expense.

Have you suffered an injury? We know workers’ compensation can be confusing, and it’s our specialty. We would be happy to answer any questions in a free consultation.