In California, employees are expected to report accidents and seek medical treatment within 30 days of an accident and injuries when possible. Attorney Joseph Kritzer knows, however, that sometimes injuries are not immediately apparent after an accident and symptoms do not begin to appear until a later date.
Delayed onset of injury symptoms does not mean that you have lost your right to collect workers’ compensation; however, collecting compensation may be a little more difficult. It is important to take immediate action when you discover that you have sustained injuries in a work accident to protect your rights and preserve your claim.
Protecting Your Claim
If you have been injured at work, you have work comp rights. To protect your claim, you should go to a doctor even if you think you only sustained minor injuries such as bumps and bruises. Medical professionals are in a better position to evaluate your health and discover any injuries of which you may not be aware.
You should also report every workplace accident, whether you believe that you were injured in the accident or not. Your report makes a record of the accident so that if delayed injury symptoms appear, there is evidence that the accident did occur.
As soon as you recognize that your injuries are not going away or you discover delayed injury symptoms related to your accident, notify your employer. You should also seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Consult A Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Scheduling a consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney will also help to preserve your claim and protect your rights. Attorneys will advocate for you by making sure that all necessary documents and evidence are submitted on time. They can also help if your claim is challenged or denied. They will work to make sure that you get the care and compensation to which you are entitled.
Injuries With Delayed Symptoms
After an accident, employees may not experience any sign of injury, or they may brush off their injuries as just being sore from the accident and resulting bumps and bruises. Injuries that sometimes lead to a delayed onset of symptoms include the following:
- Concussions can be difficult to discover and diagnose. Headaches, dizziness, and sleep trouble are often the first signs of a concussion. These symptoms may appear right away, but they can also appear days or even weeks after an accident.
- Whiplash and other types of neck and back injury symptoms can appear days or even weeks after an accident has occurred.
- Nerve damage symptoms can take time to manifest. You may discover these injuries when you begin to experience tingling, numbness, pinching, and pain.
- Abdominal pain sometimes develops after a couple of days when accident injuries resulted in internal bleeding or organ damage.
Delayed Injury Symptoms And Collecting Benefits
If delayed injury symptoms kept you from immediately reporting your injuries after an accident, do not let your employer or insurance company tell you that it is too late to file a claim. There are exceptions to the 30-day reporting guidelines, including for injuries that were not discovered immediately after an accident.
As an employee in California, you have work comp benefit rights. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the claims process and get the recovery that you deserve.