Is there any way to get around an employee’s failure to report an injury?

I was injured at work as I have a job that requires frequent lifting. I injured my shoulder and had surgery (work-related) and about a month after coming back, I injured my back (disc herniation) that required surgery. Although the back injury did happen at work, I did not report it as such because I was afraid of retaliation. I felt that paying for the surgery and recovery was better than losing my job. Is there any way to get around that failure to report as I have since injured my back again and required spinal fusion?

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Personal Injury, Iowa


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to speak with an attorney. You absolutely may be extinguishing your rights if you don't go through the proper channels and proper procedures to ensure you are taking advantage of your rights. Your employer may use your failure to report as an affirmative defense to refusing your claim or defending its position against your claim. Speak with a worker's compensation attorney to help you sort through the timeline.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I would consult with a worker's compensation attorney with respect to your disc herniation surgery and have him or her review your medical records with respect to it before and post surgery. Depending upon what is stated in your medical records, you may be able to file a retroactive worker's compensation claim for the second work related injury and not be barred from any recovery as to it.

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