Employers Have to Report Industrial Accidents

By Fred J. Lewis

Idaho Code §72-602 requires that employers complete and file a first report of injury form no later than ten days from the date of the injury. It is actually a criminal act for your employer to refuse to file this form. However, before your employer is required to file the form, you obviously have to tell them about the accident. Under Idaho Code §72-701, you only have 60 days from the date of the accident or manifestation of the occupational disease to tell your employer about your injury. In Petry v. Spalding Drywall, the injured employee waited 18 months after the accident. Since the employer could not read the mind of the employee and know that he was hurt, they of course did not file the first report of injury. The claimant was denied benefits since it had been more than 1 year from the date of the accident until he told his employer about the accident and injury.

Idaho Code §72-702 states that the injured employee does not have to give actual written notice of their accident or injury. Under Idaho law it is okay if you just orally tell your employer that you had an accident and that you were injured.

Under Idaho Code §72-704, it is sufficient to meet the 60-day requirement if you can prove your employer knew about the accident and injury within 60 days of when it occurred or that there has been no prejudice to the employer if you delay the reporting more than the 60 days.

In Murray-Donahue v. National Car Rental, the claimant filed a workers’ compensation claim 7 months after the injury occurred. The employee gave no notice to the employer within the 60 day period following the accident. Since the employer did not have the opportunity to investigate the alleged accident and injury or to have the employee examined, the employer was prejudiced by the delay of the notice and the claimant failed to satisfy her burden of proof. The claimant’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits was denied. Conversely, in McCoy v. Sunshine Mining Company, the personnel manager of the injured employee did have actual knowledge of the accident causing the employee’s injury a short time after its occurrence. The Idaho Supreme Court held that the employer could not contend that the employee’s claim was barred by lack of notice and ordered that the claimant’s claim be accepted.

If you are hurt on the job in Idaho, tell your employer that it happened as soon as you possibly can. Do not think you’re just going to get better. No good thing comes from delaying the reporting of your claim.


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