Employee reports accident three months after it happened?

by Kellie
(New Hampshire)

One of my employees just came to me to tell me he went to the doctors because his leg all of a sudden swelled up. He said that he hurt his leg back in the beginning of September. He thinks the swelling is from the injury but he has not had any problems with it prior.

This employee knows our policy about filing an incident report because he filed one when he hurt his back in October. But he never mentioned the "incident" with his leg at that point either. Is this still covered under workers comp? If an employee missed the filing deadline and didn't mention his injury for 3 months, is the employer responsible? Any information you can give would be great.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Employee reports accident three months after it happened?":

Kellie (New Hampshire):

In the State of New Hampshire an employee has up to two (2) years from the date of injury to file a claim for workers compensation benefits. The following is taken directly from the State of New Hampshire’s Department of Labor Rules and Regulations governing workers compensation claims...

Statutes of Limitation for Injured Employees
Notice of Injury
RSA 281-A:19

The injured worker has two (2) years from the date of injury to notify the employer of his injury in order to make a claim for benefits. In cases where an occupational illness develops gradually and an injury is not immediately recognized by the claimant, the claimant must provide notice the date he or she knows, or by reasonable diligence should have known, of the nature of the injury and its possible relationship to the employment."

For more information about the rights of the employee and obligations of your company regarding time frames, go to this State of New Hampshire webpage.

There is a caveat for the employee which may inure to your company benefit. Because the employee took so long to report the claim it is possible workers compensation may deny it. They may do so based on two (2) contentions taken together:

1. The employee failed to report the injury within the company’s specified time period; and

2. Because of the lapse of time between his alleged injury and the time he reported it, he may have injured the leg somewhere else, apart from work.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION