Employers should report work-related injuries according to the timelines set by their state workers’ compensation board.


The workers’ compensation reporting process differs by state, but generally, when an employee is injured at work the employee should notify the employer and then the employer should notify the insurance provider (and state workers’ compensation board if required). Ideally, while the employer should call to report the incident, the employee should also be on the line to ensure the accuracy of personal and accident-related information.


Of course, if the injury is critical—the employer should be sure to call 911 before calling the insurance provider to report the injury.


How long does an employee have to report an injury? 


Employees should report work-related injuries to their employers immediately. Although workers’ compensation reporting deadlines vary according to state, many states advise employees to report “as soon as possible,” and this is a best practice no matter the state. Employees who fail to report an injury in a timely manner may forfeit their rights to workers’ compensation benefits.


In addition to reporting an injury when it happens, employees who choose to file for workers’ compensation benefits should also submit a workers’ compensation claim form. Injured employees should turn in the completed form, along with documentation of medical treatment, to their employer—who will then submit it to the insurance provider. The timeline for filing a workers’ compensation claim for benefits varies significantly depending on the state and can range from 1-3 years or more. It’s always best to report an incident as soon as possible—as this often reduces the time it takes to close a claim.


How long does an employer have to report an injury?


According to best practices, employers should provide the injured employee with a workers’ compensation claim form and written workers’ compensation rights within 24 hours of being notified of the injury. They should then submit a “First Report of Illness or Injury” form to the insurer as soon as possible and according to the insurer’s timeline. 


Remember, every situation is different and state workers’ compensation laws vary considerably, so be sure to do your research and speak with a trusted advisor.



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