Pursuant to TN law a worker must report their on the job injury within 30 days. This requirement is met if the employer is actually aware of the injury. In other words, if you fall off a roof and your employer takes you to the hospital the notice requirement is obviously satisfied.
The most common problems that we see with the reporting requirement involve repetitive motion injuries and injuries that people do not realize are serious. Repetitive motion injuries involve things like carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive back injuries or shoulder injuries. The obvious difficulty with reporting these work injuries is they generally develop over time. The law recognizes this and has given some room on the reporting requirement. Specifically, the employee should report the injury when a reasonable person knows there is a problem. Commonly this begins when a person seeks medical treatment for the work injury and the doctor discovers the cause of the problem.
As to injuries that seem temporary the law is similar. We see this a lot when someone pulls their back and believe it is simply a sore muscle. Unfortunately, when that injury doesn’t go away they often find it can be something more serious like a herniated disk. Again, as soon as you believe you may have a work injury report it. If you get better then it is no big deal, however, if you have a permanent injury that you do not report you may loose your right to bring the case.