Nebraska’s workers’ compensation laws require employers to file a First Report of Alleged Occupational Injury or Illness, commonly referred to as a First Report of Injury or FROI, within ten days of the employer receiving notice of an injury.
A reportable injury is any injury or diagnosed occupational disease that results in death, time away from work, restricted work or termination of employment, loss of consciousness, or medical treatment other than first aid. The statutes define restricted work as the inability of an employee to perform one or more of the duties of his or her normal job description. First aid is defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. §48-144.01(d) and includes use of nonprescription medication at nonprescription strength; administering tetanus immunizations; cleaning, flushing or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin; using hot or cold therapy; using wound coverings, such as bandages and gauze pads, and superficial wound closing devices, such as butterfly bandages and steri-strips, using eye patches. Note that medical treatment means any treatment administered by a physician or other licensed health care professional and triggers the need to file a FROI.
Failing to file a FROI with the NWCC can subject an employer, insurer or risk management pool that is guilty of a Class II misdemeanor. Further, the two-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until the FROI is filed with the Court. Thus, if an injured worker gives notice of an injury and the employer or insurance carrier fails to file a FROI, the injured worker has no limitation in how long they have to file a claim or Petition. This highlights the need for effective communication between employees and supervisors and the employer and insurance carrier.
The FROI for Nebraska can be easily found on the NWCC website (https://www.wcc.ne.gov/publications/form1.pdf). Filing a FROI is vital when it comes to any injury that occurs at the work place. Therefore, if you run into any problems determining whether an accident or injury requires a FROI, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys.