There are many reasons minor work injuries aren't always reported. Some workers don't believe in making a fuss over a minor injury or pain. Others are so caught up in their work, they quickly forget the injury. Whatever the reason, failing to report injuries is risky because some serious injuries don't cause extreme pain at first. Soft tissue injuries involving the back, spine, neck, and joints aren't always painful at first. However, subsequent inflammation induces excruciating pain, and continued work may cause further damage to the injury.
Delayed or mild initial symptoms aren't just limited to soft tissue injuries. Brain injuries can have very mild symptoms at first. The long-term consequences of an untreated brain injury include loss of memory, impaired thinking, or difficulty in reading, writing, or speaking. Other consequences include loss of coordination, weak muscles, and some forms of mental illness. Death is also possible. Even something as small as a headache should be taken seriously after a head injury.
Why Reporting Seemingly Minor Injuries Is Important
As mentioned above, serious injuries can have minor symptoms at first. If a serious injury is causing your minor symptom, waiting too long to report the incident can make it difficult for your employer to confirm that the injury happened at work. Witness memories fade and work sites change with the passage of time. This can make your accident too difficult to investigate and could lead to a denial of your worker's comp claim.
On the other hand, reporting the accident immediately and seeing the company nurse or physician gets the date and nature of your injury, as well as the site of the accident on record. You benefit because early attention and treatment of your injury speeds up recovery time and allows you to get back to work sooner. Your employer benefits because a faster recovery time reduces medical costs, which keeps the cost of workers comp insurance down.
If your employer is obstructing your access to full workers compensation benefits, get legal help from the experienced lawyers at Odegaard Braukmann Law. Contact us today.