5 Reasons Why Most Work Related Injuries Go Unreported
Work injuries are common in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.7 million nonfatal injury and occupational illness cases reported in the private sector in 2020.
Severe work-related injuries often require expensive medical interventions or could even lead to permanent disability. While serious injuries are hard to hide, most minor work-related injuries go unreported, even if they lead to medical expenses.
So, why do most work-related injuries go unreported? Below are some reasons why employees choose not to report work-related accidents.
- Downplaying Injuries
If a worker does not see signs of severe injury, like deep cuts, severe pain, or broken bones, after a work-related accident, they may perceive their injuries as minor and hence not report the accident. However, since some injuries do not show immediate symptoms, these victims may think they only had a bruise but later experience severe health problems.
Therefore, you are not safe after an injury until a doctor examines you and says so. If you do not report a work-related accident and later experience health complications, your employer’s insurer may decline to compensate you for damages caused by your injuries, including medical expenses.
- Fearing Retaliation from Employer or Management
The main reason why employees avoid filing a workers’ compensation claim is the fear that their employer may retaliate by firing them or demoting them. Sometimes, management disapproval may come with indirect reprisals like lack of pay rise and promotion and only getting the less-desirable work shifts.
However, since the law prohibits an employer from retaliatory demotions or discharges, you can sue your employer for unfair dismissal and receive compensation for damages like emotional distress and lost wages. Consider hiring an attorney to help you if you feel discriminated against at work after filing for work-related compensation.
- Thinking That They Are at Fault
If company property was damaged during a work-related accident, you might fail to report thinking that you were at fault. Some employees fear reporting unsafe working conditions to protect their employer’s public image.
Luckily, what matters in workers’ compensation law is that an employee sustained injuries while at work, regardless of whether they were at fault or not. OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection also protects employees from retaliation for reporting unsafe working conditions.
- Lacking Knowledge in Workers’ Compensation Laws
Despite the numerous benefits of workers’ compensation laws, some employees do not know how to file a compensation claim for a work-related injury. Your employer plays a crucial role in helping you seek compensation for your injuries by providing the required paperwork, filing the claim form, and guiding you through the filing process.
However, your employer cannot initiate the claim process if you do not report your injuries.
- Avoiding the Complicated Reporting Processes
Some employees also fail to file a compensation claim due to the complexities of filing a work-related injury report. If the injuries are minor, workers may also fail to report them to avoid the time-consuming mandatory medical checkups.
Although it may seem tedious, filing a claim can help you get fair compensation for your injuries, and experienced lawyers can help you with the paperwork.
Like any other personal injury case, employees who sustain injuries at work deserve compensation for any resulting damages. Therefore, the above reasons should not deter you from filing a personal injury claim when injured at work. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you through the process.
At Frenkel & Frenkel, we boast a team of highly experienced personal injury attorneys who are dedicated to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.