Are There Rules as to Time Limits to Report a Workplace Injury?

Written by on 11/9/2016 3:13 AM in , . It has 1 Comments.

Delays in reporting workplace injuries can be frustrating for employers, putting other employees at risk in the event dangerous situations go unreported. Delays also complicate workers comp claims due to lackluster information and coworker testimony from details lost to the passage of time.

Is there any limit on reporting workplace injuries?
Injured employees (or their representatives) are expected to tell employers immediately on the occurrence of accidental injury, or as soon as possible thereafter. If they fail to do so, they are typically required to report injuries within 90 days of occurrence to be eligible for compensation. Failure to report injuries in a timely manner could lead employees to lose compensation benefits for physician fees incurred prior to reporting.

Exceptions
Reasonable excuses given to the Commission for failure to give notice are taken into consideration, provided the Commission is satisfied the employer is not prejudiced. Case law points to decisions being liberally construed in favor of claimants. Occupational diseases also have further leeway: Claimants should give notice when they become disabled and their condition is discovered to be compensable.

Exceptions to the exceptions
The “reasonable excuse” clause is not in effect indefinitely. Claimants have 2 years following discovery of compensable injury to file workers’ comp claims, including 2 years following a diagnosis of compensable injury, and 2 years following the date of death for compensable injuries.

Estoppel
Employer acts may constitute estoppel (read: render the 2-year cap null and void) if employers mislead claimants in a way that thwarts them from reporting workplace injuries within the statutory period.

Rules for workplace injuries left you scratching your head? Sort it out with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

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