A work injury should always be addressed sooner rather than later. For your part, this means getting medical attention right away. It can preserve your health, as well as a claim for benefits should you need them. You also need to notify your employer, and you should file a claim. As for your employer’s part, they need to file a Form 45 to report your injury.

Form 45 is called Employer’s First Report of Injury, and it requires them to list the details of what happened when you got hurt. It’s not an incredibly complicated form, yet many employers fail to fill one out. This is especially true in a small company that doesn’t have procedures in place to deal with workplace injuries and accidents.

Failure to fill out the form isn’t always an honest mistake, however. Some employers simply don’t care, or they don’t want an official record of your injury because they’re hoping to avoid a claim. If they don’t file this form and they say you didn’t tell them you got hurt, they can try to get your claim denied by the insurance company. The law requires you to give them notice within 45 days after an injury on the job. Form 45 is further proof that you have complied with this rule.

Even if you have a great employer, it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious and document everything yourself. You never know. When giving notice to your employer of your injury, make a record. Send an e-mail, or write a letter (keeping a copy), that has the date and a brief explanation of what happened. Your notice doesn’t have to be overly formal, and it doesn’t have to be on an official form. Just make sure you give the notice and make a record of it. If you face the frustrating issue of your employer denying that there was notice, you’ll have proof.

Not all work injuries are catastrophic. Some injured workers think their injury is too minor to require going through any process or giving notice. They assume they won’t need medical benefits or payment for lost wages. Some people are embarrassed, or afraid of being fired if they make a big deal out of it. Notifying your employer is a small task, it can be done with a quick e-mail, and it could save your claim if you end up having one. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.