What to Say and Not Say When Reporting a Workplace Accident in California

BY: Koszdin | Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

Workplace accidents can take many forms. Although some workplaces tend to be more accident-prone than others, even if yours is a “boring” desk job, you could still be harmed in an accident while operating as an employee.

In California, if this happens, you may file a workers’ compensation claim accordingly. If you have a valid claim, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer should provide benefits to cover certain financial losses resulting from your accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.

There are various steps you may also take in the immediate aftermath of a workplace accident to potentially improve your chances of having your workers’ compensation claim approved. One of these steps involves reporting your accident to your employer or supervisor.

Your employer may have a specific process for reporting accidents in the workplace. However, what follows are general guidelines regarding what you should and should not say when filing a report:

Stick to the Basics

Don’t exaggerate or provide excessive detail when reporting an accident to your employer. Simply explain what happened, where it happened, and whether any witnesses were at the scene.

Don’t speculate as to the cause of the accident. Doing so could potentially impact your odds of securing workers’ compensation benefits in the future. You should also never say anything suggesting the accident might have been your fault.

Limit Any Descriptions of Your Injuries

You may not immediately notice the symptoms of an injury after a workplace accident. Certain types of injuries don’t cause victims to experience symptoms until hours or even days later. In some cases, adrenaline may also cause a victim to simply not notice the signs of an injury right away.

Never make the mistake of saying that you’re not injured when reporting an accident to your employer or supervisor. If you do notice any signs of injury, you can state this in your report, but primarily, you should focus on seeing a doctor the day of your accident and letting them determine if you’ve been harmed.

That’s an important point. Even if you feel fine, don’t put off seeing a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you receive care, the smoother your recovery may be.

Additionally, seeing a doctor the day of your accident helps establish a link between the accident and your injuries. This can prevent an insurance company from suggesting that your injuries might have been the result of an accident that occurred outside of work.

The Importance of Talking With a Lawyer

Exercising caution when reporting a workplace accident is important for one key reason: insurance companies often look for justifications to deny claims or offer less compensation than applicants seek. Making the wrong statements could thus negatively affect your chances of receiving the benefits you may be eligible for.

Keep this in mind as you take the next steps after being injured at work. Instead of working directly with an insurance company, you might consider hiring a legal professional to represent you. At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, a Van Nuys workers’ compensation attorney is prepared to offer the aggressive representation you deserve. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 818-812-5639.

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