When you get injured on the job, you must report it to your employer right away. In Pennsylvania, your employer has to file a First Report of Injury (FROI) within seven days of your first missed day at work.
But what happens if an employer does not report an accident to Workers’ Compensation? This is a question we hear occasionally from clients who discover their employer has declined to file a Workers’ Compensation claim on their behalf. It is harder to file your own claim with the state if your work injury was not reported by your employer.
Your employer may not have made an FROI for a number of reasons, including:
- Fears of insurance premiums going up with Workers’ Comp payments
- Lack of or lapsed insurance coverage for Workers’ Compensation, which is against the law in Pennsylvania
- Disagreement over the severity or circumstances surrounding your injury
Even poor record-keeping or sloppy filing could account for the lack of an FROI. But in many cases, there may be an effort to ignore your injury because the insurance company does not want to pay out for workers’ compensation.
When your company decides not to submit an FROI, this puts you in a difficult position. You cannot receive workers’ compensation — which includes part of your salary and money for medical bills — unless the injury report is filed.
My Employer Didn’t Report My Injury. What Now?
If your employer refuses to file an injury report, they are likely acting in bad faith, according to the legal community. How can you protect yourself if your employer has not filed the correct paperwork? Your first move will likely be to appeal the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Bureau, which decides which cases are eligible to receive workers’ comp in Pennsylvania.
When claims are denied, claimants have a chance to appeal the decision and go to court to ask a judge to rule on whether you deserve workers’ comp. At this hearing, you will present evidence that:
- You gave your employer fair notice about the injury
- You pursued proper medical treatment for the injury
- Your employer declined to comply with the Bureau’s standards for reporting work injuries
The judge can decide to overrule the Workers’ Compensation Bureau’s decision and give awards to a claimant. In addition, they can determine if you have suffered financial harm due to the decisions of your company in this case. This “penalty” assessed against your employer is paid in addition to any wage loss benefits and could include up to half of wage loss benefits or medical bills, or attorney payments or fees.
Contact an Attorney to Assist You
When your employer refuses to report your injury, you may miss out on money you are entitled to from Workers’ Compensation. Consulting a lawyer ensures you get the best legal advice in this complex situation.
Frommer D’Amico can help you. We specialize in Workers’ Compensation and we only represent employees. Get in touch with us today to schedule an initial consultation by calling 717-400-1000 or by filling out our online contact form.
Joe D’Amico has more than 20 years of experience fighting for injured workers. He is Certified as an Expert in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Joe is one of the very few Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys who have obtained a recovery in excess of $1.5 million for an injured worker.
Reviewed by Joe D’Amico.