When is it too late to give notice of an injury?
Answer: After 90 days of the injury!
You may have heard this in connection with an accident you had at work from your employer or their insurance carrier.
“I’m sorry. Because you did not report your injury immediately on the day it happened your claim has been denied and Worker’s Comp. cannot cover you.”
If you have heard this from an insurance company or an employer please know that this is not the law.
Although timely reporting of an injury may help your claim, South Carolina workers compensation laws only require that reporting of an accident and injury to the employer within 90 days of the date of the accident.
In another words…immediately means within 90 days, regardless of the employer’s policies or rules. This 90 day rule cannot be changed or altered by an employee policy or handbook. If you fail to give notice to your employer within 90 of the accident, you could lose your right to recover any workers compensation benefits.
We find that many individuals who are injured on the job are hopeful the injury will simply go away in a few days and never report it for that reason. Often these hard working individuals are more concerned with getting the job done than taking care of themselves. Sometimes the injured employee is even bullied into thinking if they report it they will be hurting the company or jeopardizing their job. Often they will work until the job is completed that day in the hopes that taking a couple days off or easing off the amount of work they’re doing for the next week will somehow allow an orthopedic type injury to heal.
Unfortunately, while the injured worker’s intent is focused on helping the employer, the delay will likely provide ammunition for the insurance company to deny your case. Don’t let that happen to you.