A man who worked for Waste Connections for more than a decade pulled his back out while lifting a 45 pound pallet from a conveyor belt. The day of the accident, the man was busy working and did not stop to assess the situation. He reported that he had pain in his lower back later that night, and left work early to relax. The next morning, he called a manager saying that he was in too much pain to do his job. Instead, he went to a clinic and was diagnosed with a lumbosacral strain and sciatica. The injured man was given treatments, but they didn’t seem to be helping. Eventually, he went back to the doctor, where a physician determined that he also had a degenerative disk disease. This was from a similar work accident that had happened 10 years earlier and was never treated. The doctor’s report didn’t address whether or not this man’s injury had occurred at work.
The man used seven weeks of his accrued vacation time to recover. He returned to work eventually, and then told his employers that his back injury had severely debilitated him and that he would no longer be able to labor for waste management company. At this point, the injured individual filed an injury report. In fact, he filed two: one for the recent injury and one for the injury that had occurred ten years ago. The company said that all injury reports must be filed within 24 hours of the time that they occurred.
When the man filed for workers’ compensation benefits for his injury, he was denied. This is because the Department of Labor and Industries noted that he didn’t abide by the company’s rule to report injuries within 24 hours. This is just one of the many cases where someone has lost benefits because he or she did not report the injury as soon as he or she should have. If you have been hurt in a work related accident, take action right away. File for the injury and contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York to help with your case!