The Nebraska Workers Compensation Court mails copies of First Reports of Injury out to about 40,000 workers per year along with a letter from the court.
So if you receive one of these letters, why are you getting this letter from the court? What can this report tell you about your potential workers compensation claim?
Why are you getting a letter from the comp court?
You are getting a letter because your employer or their workers compensation insurer or claims administrator filed a First Report of Injury with the Nebraska Workers Compensation Court.
Employers are required to file a First Report when an employee seeks outside medical treatment, is killed on the job, misses work or has an injury that results in restricted work. The fact that your employer filed this report doesn’t mean that you are going to get workers compensation benefits or that your employer even admitted you got hurt at work.
But even if this report isn’t an admission of responsibility by your employer, it can tell you some important things about your workers compensation case.
The report includes the name of your insurer. It should also include a claim number for your workers compensation claim. You can give that claim number to your doctor’s office so they can turn over their bills to the workers compensation insurer.
Lack of insurance information, should be a major red flag and should lead you to call a lawyer
Reporting of injury
The report includes information about when the injury happened and when the injury reported to the employer. Remember that this report was filled out by your employer or their insurer. If the dates on the form about when the injury happened and when it was reported don’t match with your recollection you might want to contact an attorney.
Nature of Injury
The report includes a section for nature of the injury. If that section doesn’t match up with what your injuries are, that should concern you. It’s possible your employer may not be willing to cover all of your work injuries.
Discrepancies about the reporting of the injury and nature of the injury can be an indication that your employer might argue you did not give them timely notice of accident. Though this defense rarely succeeds, employers can claim lack of timely notice to defeat an otherwise valid claim.
This means one of two things: either your employer doesn’t have your current address or they didn’t fill out a First Report. Under Nebraska law, an employer’s failure to file the report extends the time an employee can file a workers’ compensation claim. It can also lead to criminal sanctions on your employer. But from a practical perspective, the fact that your employer didn’t file a First Report makes it harder to get benefits. The Nebraska workers compensation court can give you insurance information, but oftentimes contacting an insurer when a report hasn’t been filed leads to an unhelpful response from an insurer.