What Happens If an Employer Doesn’t Report An Accident To Workers Comp?

Reporting workplace accidents is a fundamental responsibility within the framework of workers’ compensation laws. Not only does it provide documentation necessary for an employee to seek medical treatment and benefits, but reporting is also critical for employers to remain compliant with legal regulations.

In Washington D.C., it’s mandatory for employers to report any injuries occurring on the job promptly as part of their obligations under local workers’ comp statutes. Understanding appropriate steps in incidents where an employer fails in this basic duty can help protect worker rights.

Reporting Laws and Timelines in D.C. Workers’ Compensation Claims

In Washington D.C., it’s legally required that employees notify their employers of a workplace injury within 30 days to remain within rights for workers’ compensation benefits. Once an employer is made aware of the injury, they are obligated to file a DCWC Form 8 – the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease – without delay and no later than 10 days after being notified.

An employer must file a DCWC Form 8, Employer’s First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease, as soon as possible after knowledge of an occupational injury or disease to one of his/her employees, but no later than ten (10) days thereafter

This prompt reporting allows for timely processing of claims and ensures that injured workers receive appropriate medical attention and financial support while recovering.

Employer Penalties for Not Reporting An Employee’s Injury On Time

If an employer in D.C. fails to fulfill their legal obligation by not reporting a workplace injury using the DCWC Form 8 within the specified timeline, they can face significant consequences. Non-compliance with filing this report incurs a civil penalty of up to $1,000.

Beyond the immediate penalties for not reporting, there are other accountability measures addressing a delay in benefits. If the Office of Workers’ Compensation finds that an employer or their insurance carrier has unreasonably delayed payment and determines it was done in “bad faith,” employers might be ordered to pay injured employees their entire wages from while they were out in addition to scheduled workers’ comp payments covering the period where excessive delays occurred.

In cases where OWC determines that an employer/carrier has unreasonably delayed payment of any installment of compensation in bad faith, the employer shall pay the worker their actual weekly wage in addition to any compensation due and payable during the period of delay.

Steps Every Employee Should Take To Ensure A Successful Workers' Compensation Claim

Steps Employees Should Take to Ensure a Successful Workers’ Compensation Claim

When pursuing workers’ comp benefits after a workplace accident, several steps must be followed diligently to ensure success. It’s crucial for employees not only to understand their rights but also to comply with specific reporting guidelines intended to uphold these claims.

Here’s an overview of some important actions every employee should take in order to ensure a successful worker’s compensation claim:

Documenting the Injury and Any Related Communications

One of the first steps you should take is to document your injury comprehensively. Write down your recollection related to how, when, and where your accident occurred in detail. Ideally, this step would occur sooner rather than later so you’re not racking your memory later on down the line.

Reporting the Injury to a Supervisor or HR Department in Writing

In the aftermath of your injury, it’s imperative you report the incident to your supervisor or human resources department – and this report should be submitted in writing. This creates an official record that can be referenced throughout your claim process. Make sure to include as much detail about what happened as possible.

Seeking Medical Attention and Keeping Records of All Treatments

After suffering a workplace injury, immediately seek medical attention. Not only does this safeguard your health, but it also generates timely medical documentation that can be instrumental in supporting your claim.

Following up with Your Employer to Ensure Reporting Compliance

Part of securing a successful worker’s comp claim is ensuring that all steps are properly taken from every party. It is essential to follow up with your employer or their HR department to confirm that they have reported the accident in compliance with D.C. workers’ compensation requirements. If this step is overlooked and the report isn’t filed properly, it could impede your ability to claim benefits you rightfully deserve.

What To Do If Your Employer Doesn’t Report as Required

If your employer does not comply with their duty to report a workplace injury, it is important to be proactive and take the following steps:

Keep Record of Who You Reported To

Keep records about whom you informed of your work-related injury and the method of communication used – were they told in person, via email, or through an incident report? This information can serve as evidence should there be any dispute about whether you reported the accident according to protocol.

Maintain Copies of Written Accident Reports

It’s critical to hold onto copies of any written accident reports you filed concerning the injury. These documents become a key part of your workers’ comp claim file and may be referred to throughout the process. If you’ve yet to provide a formal written account, it’s advisable that you do so immediately, detailing the specifics about the incident which resulted in your injury.

Contact an Attorney Right Away

Seek legal counsel as soon as you’re aware that your employer is not taking the necessary steps to report your injury. A workers’ compensation lawyer understands the complexities and deadlines involved in these claims and can take immediate action. Assertively pursuing every benefit you’re entitled to often requires the dedicated attention of an attorney who specializes in workers’ comp cases.

If you’re navigating the complexities of a workplace injury and suspect that your employer hasn’t adequately reported the incident as required by D.C. law, timely action is key to preserving your rights and access to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact our trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Washington D.C. today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.