The Claimant was a delivery man in his position for approximately eight months at the time of the alleged injury. The Claimant alleged in his initial C-3.0 that he suffered back pain, but was not sure how it happened. He alleged that he woke up the next morning and could barely move. He assumed it must have been because of his job duties. He told his doctor about two months later that the pain began five months earlier and that there was no inciting incident. However, as the Claimant began to treat with the same doctors, he eventually stated that an acute accident occurred, that he tripped while loading boxes, fell, and injured his lumbar spine. The employer denied the claim, as the Claimant failed to provide notice of the accident until over two months after the alleged accident. Further, despite denying prior treatment to the lumbar spine, the Claimant had a history of sciatica.
At trial, the testimony of the Claimant was taken. During the trial, it was clear that the Claimant could not remember key details regarding the incident, his treatment and his reporting of the incident. During cross-examination, the Claimant conceded that he had been working for the employer for almost a year, but denied that he was notified of how to report an accident. He testified that he orally reported the incident the next day, and did not assert it was work-related. He testified that he did not recall the last name of his direct supervisor and that he was not directed to fill out any paperwork, despite it being company protocol. He says he eventually called the claim after his doctor told him he needed some insurance to bill, but even then, he waited another month. He stated that no one told him to complete any documents.
The Law Judge ultimately disallowed the claim based on lack of notice, noting the Claimant’s testimony that he cannot recall anyone’s last time, did not fill out any paperwork and did not call in the claim until May even though the alleged accident took place in March. The Law Judge found that the Claimant’s failure to timely report the incident hampered the Carrier’s investigation into the claimed accident. As a result, the Carrier was prejudiced, and the claim was disallowed.