Reporting Your On-The-Job Injury to Your Employer

In order to be eligible to receive Texas Workers’ Compensation benefits, you are required to notify your supervisor or someone in a supervisory role after sustaining an injury on the job. You should do this in person and document this in writing as well, either by email, text, or if you fill out an incident report with your employer ask for a copy.

Reporting The Injury or Illness

In a Texas Workers’ Compensation claim, the injured worker has 30 days to report the injury to a person in a supervisory or administrative role, otherwise the employee may not be entitled to medical care or income benefits. For work-related illnesses, the employee must report the illness within 30 days of when the employee knew or should have known the illness was work-related.

Although an injured (or ill) worker has 30 days to report a work related injury, if the employee waits a week or two before reporting the injury, the insurance carrier will (more than likely) question the gap in time in the reporting, and question the employee’s credibility as to when the injury took place. Thus, it is important to report an injury or illness right away, no matter how minor you may think it is.

If you sustain an obvious injury, i.e. a break a bone or slip and fall and think you may have torn a muscle in your knee or shoulder, more than likely you will request medical treatment immediately after the incident occurs and your employer will be made away of your injury that same day. However, we represent many injured workers that strain or pull a muscle in their back or shoulder, and end up feeling the pain later that day (or the next day), but think the pain will go away in a few days. It is very important that you notify your employer that you injured yourself as soon as you realize it and document it in writing, regardless of whether you think you will get better without medical attention. If your injury continues to get worse or it ends up being more severe than you initially thought, at least you have reported it within the initial 30 days of injuring yourself, so you are not barred from pursuing treatment and benefits under Texas Workers’ Compensation.

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Let’s Recap

If you are injured, then you should report the injury to your supervisor right away. If you wait more than 30 days to report your injury, you may be barred from being eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

If you suffer from an occupational illness or disease, then you must report the illness within 30 days of the date that you knew (or should have known) that your illness or disease was work-related. Failure to timely report will almost assuredly remove your entitlement to medical care or income benefits.

If possible, try to create paper or digital proof that you reported your injury or illness. Following up with a text message or email message or letter will help create evidence that you reported your injury or illness in a timely manner.

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Abbott, Clay & Bedoy attorneys are licensed only in the state of Texas unless otherwise indicated in the biographical section. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. We consider employment in another State only in association with co-counsel licensed in that State. References to laws are limited to federal and State of Texas law.