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When Should You Report a Work Accident?

Feb 09, 2024

Over 4.5 million work accidents occurred in the United States in 2022. While these incidents were different in terms of their causes and the resulting injuries, all of them share a common factor — they were reported.


In Wyoming, workers are required to report work accidents in certain situations. Here is what you need to know about reporting a work accident in the state.

Understanding Employer and Employee Responsibilities After a Work Accident

The Wyoming workers’ compensation system operates by placing responsibilities on both employees and employers following a work accident. For example, those who are injured will generally need to report their accidents in a timely manner, seek treatment, follow their doctor’s orders, and comply with any requests for examination.

Employers’ obligations include carrying adequate workers’ compensation insurance and cooperating with the claims process once a worker has been hurt. Employers are expected to refrain from trying to dissuade their employees from reporting injuries to the Workers’ Compensation Division.

Similarly, employers should not dissuade their injured employees from seeking medical treatment or try to get them to use their personal health insurance.

Types of Work Accidents That Should Always Be Reported

Reporting accidents at work starts the process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. What may not be clear is whether your injury is serious enough to report and seek compensation for. Once you decide not to report a workplace injury, the window for doing so quickly closes, and so does your opportunity to seek workers’ comp benefits.

When you are in doubt about whether you should report an accident, it’s typically best to err on the side of caution and report the incident. This preserves your ability to seek workers’ comp benefits if you later decide to do so.

If you seek any medical treatment or are even considering obtaining medical care, you should report the accident. This includes accidents involving:

Additionally, if the injury is significant enough to cause you to stop working, it should be reported.

Documenting the Incident

It is important to remember to document the scene of the accident as well. Although workers’ compensation benefits are awarded to injured employees regardless of who is at fault in the accident, you may have additional legal rights beyond a workers’ comp claim.

To exercise these rights, having photographs and videos of the accident scene are helpful. If you can, obtain the names and contact information of coworkers or other witnesses who either saw the accident take place or assisted you afterward.

Your work accident attorney can review your situation and advise you whether there are other at-fault actors who may be responsible for additional compensation.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Reporting a Work Accident

Reporting your workplace incident is not always straightforward. One common error workers make is not notifying their employer about the accident within 72 hours. This mistake can significantly hinder your ability to receive workers' compensation benefits.

Another related error commonly made by workers is not submitting a Report of Injury to the Workers’ Compensation Division within 10 days. You might assume that because you reported the accident to your employer, no further report is necessary.

However, this is not the case, and failing to report your injury to the Workers’ Compensation Division can lead to a denial of your claim.

Last, it is a mistake not to get some sort of verification that you have properly reported your accident as required. You can protect yourself against a later claim that you did not make your reports as required by submitting a dated written report to your employer that memorializes when and where you reported your accident to them.

Similarly, consider submitting your Report of Injury to the Workers’ Compensation Division by mail with a tracking number or via email.

FAQs About Reporting Workplace Injuries

Being hurt on the job can catch you off-guard and leave you with several questions about your rights and the course of action you should take. A few of the more common questions received by work accident attorneys include:

Do I Only Report an Accident When Certain Parties Are Responsible?

No matter who is responsible for causing the accident, you should make a work accident report to a supervisor as soon as possible. Ideally, the report should be made both orally and in writing. Do not keep working, and do not wait until the end of the day to report your accident.

Should I Report My Accident Before Going to the Hospital?

It depends on the situation, including how seriously you have been hurt and whether you can find a supervisor quickly. If you have sustained catastrophic or life-threatening injuries, then you should go to the hospital right away. Notify your employer as soon as possible.

In any case, you must notify your employer within 72 hours of the accident and file a Report of Injury with the Workers’ Compensation Division within 10 days.

What Happens if I Do Not Report My Accident?

Failing to report your injury in a timely manner to your employer and to the Workers’ Compensation Division can lead to the denial of workers’ compensation benefits. This means any medical bills you incur would be your responsibility to pay.

Depending on your personal insurance coverage, you might also not be able to recover lost wages if your workers’ compensation claim is denied.

A Qualified Wyoming Work Accident Attorney Can Help

When you have been hurt on the job, you need a dedicated advocate on your side. The Spence Law Firm can help you take the steps you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. From helping you report your injury to assisting you with filing a claim, we can shoulder the legal stress of your accident so that you don’t have to.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.