Phoenix, AZ asked in Workers' Compensation for Arizona

Q: Can I still get compensation if I didn't seek medical attention right away?

I injured my back at work nearly a year ago. At the time, I thought it was minor, so I didn't report it or seek medical attention. However, months later, it is still causing pain and limiting my activities at and outside of work. I realize in hindsight that it was more severe than I had originally thought, but I don't know if there's anything I can do about it at this point

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joel Friedman
Joel Friedman
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: You have one year from the date of the injury to file a claim at the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA). You can still do that if you are actually less than 365 days out. The more serious problem from your message is that you did not report the incident or what you thought might be an injury, no matter how minor. You are required to notify your employer "forthwith," which means within a reasonable period of time. That has generally been interpreted as a matter of 2-3 days, not months or even weeks and almost never close to one year. You should make sure you did not say anything to a supervisor or manager, keeping in mind that telling a co-worker that you may have been injured does not count. It has to be someone who could have taken a report or sent you to a medical exam. You can reach me at the following e-mail if you have more questions. Thank you

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