The recent case of Harley-Davison Motor Co. V. Kenneth Jones addresses the issue of whether the notice given by an employee to the employer was sufficient.
Mr. Jones injured himself using a pneumatic gun. The employer had him fill out a report of injury. Mr. Jones indicated an injury to his arms/shoulder. The next day, Mr. Jones started experiencing back pain. The back pain got worst over the next few weeks. Employee mentioned the pain to the doctor treating his original injury. That doctor sent Mr. Jones to a back specialist. That back specialist diagnosed Mr. Jones with spondylolisthesis and said the work accident was the prevailing factor in causing his back pain. Employee called the employer’s health department the same day and was told to call the insurance company.
The employer then denied treatment for the back injury claiming it didn’t have proper notice. The case was tried and the judge decided notice was sufficient.
What saved the employee was that he called his employer the same day the doctor diagnosed the back condition.
What can be learned from the case? One, put all body parts on a report of injury or the notice you provide to the employer. If a body part starts to bother you after you have submitted a report of injury or given the employer notice, update your notice or report of injury as soon as possible.
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Posted in Workers' Compensation.