Injured Worker’s Responsibility
Report Injury in Writing
Once an injury occurs, it is very important to report the injury in writing to your supervisor. This is true regardless of how minor you think the injury may be. The N.C.G.S. 97-12 specifically states that the injured worker provide written notice to their employer as soon as practical and no later than 30 days following the injury. The written notice should provide the following information: 1) name of injured worker, 2) name of employer, 3) date of injury, and 4) how the injury occurred. This written notice should be completed no matter how insignificant you think the injury may be.
A written notice of injury is the best way to document the specific time, event, and location of the injury. It also satisfies the employees statutory reporting requirement.
Unfortunately, I have seen hundreds of legitimate claims denied simply because an injured worker could not produce documentation of written notice to employer. In fact, lackof written documentation of an injury is the top reason why claims are denied, with no proof of injury by accident being the second. Insurance companies will use lack of timely written notice as a technical defense even when they know a work injury occurred. In other words, an injured worker can be denied medical care and wage replacement benefits for an injury occurring at work due to a lack of notice requirement,
An insurance adjuster will likely not explain this rule to an injured worker because the adjuster works for the insurance company. An injured worker is often left to find this out on their own when they get a denial notice (Form 61) in the mail.
This is a very important step in protecting your claim. A copy of the notice should be given to the injured worker’s immediate supervisor or someone in the human resources department. Remember to KEEP A COPY of this document. Some employers might mysteriously lose the document and then claim no knowledge of any accident. Don’t give themthe chance!