Why do Texas injury benefit programs require faster injury reporting than workers' compensation?

  • This is an advantage for everyone, not a penalty.
  • More immediate notice of injury has several important advantages for workers and employers.
    • Prompt injury reporting leads to:
      • Early medical diagnosis
      • Faster, more effective medical treatment
      • Better medical outcomes
    • These are simple facts supported by American Medical Association guidelines and numerous medical studies.
      • Prompt injury reporting also supports:
        • Timely investigation of the claim and availability of witnesses
        • Timely post-accident drug/alcohol testing, where desired
        • Coworkers exposed to unsafe conditions for shorter periods of time
      • Employers emphasize the reporting timeframe to their employees through multiple communication methods, including Summary Plan Description booklets required by law, highlights brochures, computer-based learning modules, wallet cards, posters in the workplace, communication from supervisors and periodic retraining. To paraphrase the U.S. Homeland Security mantra: “If you experience something, say something.”
      • Immediate notice of injury requirements must be subject to a “good cause” exception to handle unique situations. This good cause exception, coupled with the claim administrator’s duty to act as a fiduciary in application of the benefit plan’s terms, is an important “check and balance.”
      • In view of the above advantages to immediate reporting, why does Texas workers’ compensation allow 30 days (plus a good cause exception) to report injuries that the employee knows about? That works well for no one.