my coworker accidentally fractured my arm

A reader writes:

I recently started a new job as a courier who delivers essential supplies to several businesses and industries. I am very fortunate that my job has not been affected by Covid-19 due to how important our services are, especially now.

I’m currently being trained by a woman named Melissa. She is teaching me everything I need to know to do the job by myself — how to take orders and check inventory, how to deliver everything and where to go to bring supplies in, how to get all deliveries done on time, and how to do all of this safely in the Covid era. Once I am capable on my own, Melissa will be moving on to a higher position in the company. During this time, I have learned that she is very rigid in the way she does things and can be bossy, but she’s good at her job and is clearly respected by her bosses.

Last week, we had a mix-up in our delivery schedule that meant we were not going to make one of our very important deliveries on time unless we rushed considerably. So Melissa asked me to help gather all the supplies we needed and then put it in the trunk of her car so we could drive it over there quickly, which I did.

Once we arrived, she was agitated and being very short with me, but I knew she was just worried that we wouldn’t make it so I didn’t let it bother me. We both went to the back of her car and started picking up boxes of supplies so we could rush them inside as soon as possible. Melissa got her stuff out a few seconds before me and immediately reached up and pulled her trunk lid down, which landed on my arm, as I still had my arm in there as I pulled the last box out. After that, she turned and took off inside, and I closed the trunk and followed her.

We made our delivery on time and Melissa was much more relaxed on the way back. She never mentioned my arm or apologized. I don’t even know if she realized she did it because she was so frantic. My arm hurt at that time but I knew it had been an accident, so I brushed it off and figured it was just bruised.

The next morning, though, my arm was still really sore, so I went to the doctor before work and got it X-rayed. Turns out, I have a very small hairline fracture in my wrist. I was given a splint and told to return in three weeks for another X-ray to see how it looks.

Of course, everyone wanted to know what happened at work, and I gave vague answers like, “Oh, just an accident but it’s no big deal.” Melissa still has not said a word about it.

Honestly, I’m a little upset, but this is so awkward to bring up and I don’t know what to say. I know I erred by not bringing it up sooner and I’m probably too late now with it being a week after the fact. I don’t expect anything grand — just an apology from Melissa would have been nice. Should I just let this go at this point, or should I try to say something?

Say something. She fractured your arm!

Yes, it was an accident — she’s presumably not a monster who intentionally slammed a trunk lid down on your arm. From what you’ve said, it sounds like she might not even realize it happened. But if you were Melissa and had broken someone’s arm with your hastiness, wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you feel worse if you found out the person wasn’t saying anything about it because they didn’t want to make you feel bad?

And even aside from how Melissa might feel, you should say something because she broke your arm and you deserve not to have to tiptoe around that.

You could simply say, “I’m not sure if you realized you closed the trunk on my arm the other day when we were doing that delivery to X! It turns out it’s fractured.”

I was going to add some additional language after that like, “I know you didn’t mean to, but I thought I should mention it since I think we were moving too quickly” … but I don’t think you need it. “I know you didn’t mean to” is about softening the message for her and it might make sense to say it later in this conversation, but to start you can open with just the facts: not sure if you realized, and here’s what happened.

She will presumably respond with some version of “I had no idea, I’m so sorry” and at that point you can tell her you realize it wasn’t intentional.

If she doesn’t respond with some version of that, then Melissa is a bit of a monster. If she questions you skeptically or denies it could have happened, don’t get sucked into a debate. At that point, you might as well just say, “Well, it’s my arm and I was there when the trunk came down on it, I thought you would want to know, we were probably moving too fast” and end it.

(Separately, I am assuming you have looked into workers comp, etc. since this happened in the course of your job.)

Also, please note this is the second letter I’ve received about a coworker closing a trunk on someone’s arm. Beware of your arms when you’re around coworkers!

{ 245 comments… read them below }

  1. Nobody Here by That Name*

    Also bear in mind since this happened at work it’s a Worker’s Comp claim. If that avenue is available you should report it, both because this was an avoidable accident and because these medical costs shouldn’t be coming out of your pocket/your health insurance.

    1. Nobody Here by That Name*

      Ack! Apologies, my eye skipped over Alison mentioning the same thing. My bad!

      1. Shad*

        Imo, it’s worth mentioning again.
        Any delay in reporting the cause or any inconsistency in reporting the cause will likely be used to cast doubt on the claim and can be pointed to as reason to deny it.
        Workers compensation should cover all your medical care, make sure any duty restrictions are followed (they’re generally also liable for any complications due to failure to abide by restrictions), and pay if you miss time from work or have reduced hours (within some limits).
        Always make sure to report any work injury through all proper channels!!

        1. AKchic*

          Definitely worth repeating. Because it is an on-the-job injury and nowhere did the LW mention that they have alerted any of management about it, or filled out on-the-job injury forms.

          Melissa was the trainer. And manager. She deserves to know that her haste caused an injury, and really; it was needless haste. Her .02 second speed to close that trunk saved absolutely no time and caused an injury.

    2. emmelemm*

      Yeah, I’m not so concerned about whether Melissa does/doesn’t know or whatever, but this is a worker’s comp claim and your management needs to know, and they should be paying all associated medical bills in full.

      1. emmelemm*

        Just, this OP sounds so reticent and conflict avoidant that I think Alison is making a big assumption that the OP understands that this is a worker’s comp claim and has pursued that in any way. OP seems to assume that if she even mentions this to her management, she is “throwing Melissa under the bus” or something. Absolutely not. You get injured at work doing work duties, it’s a worker’s comp claim, period, full stop. Even if, quite honestly, it’s your own damn fault.

        /person whose work tangentially involves worker’s comp, this is my soapbox

        1. MissGirl*

          That’s my worry too. She sounds so grateful to have this job, I’m worried she might not have spoken up at all.

          As someone who works in a more risky job and has been injured, the sooner you report this the better. I’d hate to see you lose benefits that are legally yours because you don’t want to make waves. This a normal thing to report and don’t feel guilty about it.

          1. emmelemm*

            Agreed on the “sounds so grateful to have this job”, and even more concerned because a job as a courier is a) likely to be relatively low-paid and b) unlikely to have medical insurance, so the visit to the doctor and x-rays are probably right now coming out of her pocket(?!) and that just can’t be happening.

        2. kittymommy*

          I was thinking the same thing. I used to work in our employee clinic which handled the medical side of WC and the amount of employees that have no idea that they should (and how to go about) reporting injuries in the workplace is astounding. A lot weren’t doing it maliciously, most just “didn’t want to make a big deal about it” or “didn’t want to hurt the company”.

          1. Paquita*

            I tripped in the parking lot at work several years ago. Skinned my knee and tore my pants a little bit. I wasn’t going to report it. Got inside and was promptly told to get myself to the approved WC doctor. Now that I think about it I still have some trouble with that knee. :(

      2. Mama Bear*

        Agreed. OP needs to file a worker’s comp claim. I have learned the hard way that injuries aren’t always what they first appear. One of my family members had a box fall, thought it was a sprain and eventually needed surgery to fully repair it. That’s a lot of time off work and $$ and thankfully there was a worker’s comp claim to go with it. You also should have some consideration for your workload with a broken wrist. OP, please speak up and get this taken care of, even at this late date. Accidents happen, which is why there’s things like insurance. You don’t need to suffer or hide it.

    3. RC Rascal*

      I’m guessing that since this is a Workman’s Comp issue it will have to be investigated. This should have been reported immediately. Also many companies track on the job safety and it can effect certain qualifications.

      Doesn’t ISO9000 have safety protocols? I’m not an expert on that but sure someone here is.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I’m not sure where ISO9000 is coming in here?

        But no, it has nothing to do with safety.

        But everywhere should have safety training and policies despite their licensing parties.

    4. Koala dreams*

      I think this is a good point. There is no need to assign blame, just describe it in a factual way, the way you describe the accident in your letter. I don’t know how you get around to filing a claim, but my guess would be that your manager or HR can tell you the correct procedure.

    5. Artemesia*

      The OP didn’t mention this. The boss needs to know and this needs to be reported immediately. This is a big deal.

    6. Legal Beagle*

      Worth repeating, since it doesn’t sound like OP reported this to HR yet, and she definitely should! It’s not personal; it’s a safety and liability issue for the company. (Not to mention any legal protection and financial coverage that OP may be entitled to.)

    7. It's All Elementary*

      I have heard HORROR STORIES about filing workman’s comp claims. One example that I have closer knowledge of is a cousin of mine hurt her back at work, filed a claim and every time she gets to the point where they might actually DO something to help her back, they assign her to a new doctor (workman’s comp doctor) and they claim they have to start the process all over gain. It’s been years and her back is still messed up. Her own PCP won’t prescribe any treatment because it is a workman’s comp issue. Is this the norm? Is she an odd case?

      1. Ann Perkins*

        I used to work as a paralegal for litigated WC claims on the defense side and that sounds unusual to have that much delay. If she’s being paid temporary disability benefits, usually they want to try to make sure a claimant is treated and back to work ASAP. Plus they’re probably paying for more appointments than necessary if they keep switching doctors. It’s not unusual for a PCP to not treat a WC issue though.

      2. Aggretsuko*

        I’ve heard some pretty bad workman’s comp stories, albeit not quite this bad. But fairly bad. Let’s just say that from what I’ve heard, I would straight up lie and say I injured myself on my own territory/time rather than report it to workman’s comp….

        Yes, I know that’s bad and not what I should do and not what you’re supposed to do. But if they make it really difficult for you to get care, it doesn’t make me want to be honest. I feel for the OP.

        1. emmelemm*

          How well worker’s comp is handled and treated varies *widely* from state to state (as with most everything we talk about around here), although an individual is unlikely to have a sense of the rules/complications/difficulty in their state prior to being injured unless they know of someone else’s case, etc.

          Still, if you get injured on the job, it’s better to report it, because a) many places may actually be able to fire you if they find out you *withheld* the information, because it may come back to bite them in various ways and b) even if you don’t get all the treatment you need and deserve, it’s worth getting your employer bit in the ass a little bit by higher premiums on worker’s comp in the future. Unlike unemployment claims, even a few worker’s comp claims can dramatically affect a business’s premium.

      3. Not So NewReader*

        Yeah, I have heard of this where the case drags on for years. In one instance, a friend had to keep going to different psychologists/psychiatrists to accommodate this order or that order. This went on for years. Finally she just accepted a smaller settlement just to get out of the nightmare. And like you show here, the problems were stupid such as new person assigned to the investigation/case needed an update. There was already an update in the folder, but, noooo, had to get a new one.

        OP, my friend’s case was complex. It was more than a broken arm, I don’t think you will have problems to this extent. I fell UP a flight of stairs. (Some days coordination is not what it should be.) I caught myself by sticking my hand out. (Do not do this.) I landed full body weight on my thumb. Thumbs are not made for this, something had to give, so my thumb gave. By the next morning my thumb was at least double in size and I no dexterity left- I could not button a button for example.
        When I went to the walk-in medical place, I told them it happened at work. This made things easier.

        An accident is something that just happens. Your cohort had NO intention of hurting you, you can see that and I think we all can see that. She was careless, but there was no intent on her part to hurt you. A contributing factor might be that she was not used to working with someone else. Her haste was definitely a contributing factor, also. But it was an accident still.
        You can report this and you can say you know for a fact that it was a pure accident, she was not being mean and she definitely did not intend to harm you.

      4. MissGirl*

        My worker’s compensation claim was processed quickly and professionally. They were actually pretty awesome when I had some complications.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          Mine was eventually, but not at first. I sustained a severe case of tennis elbow from shipping heavy boxes. First, they sent me to a walk-in clinic. Despite the fact that I literally could not straighten my arm, the nurse practitioner just gave me an elbow support and told me to take ibuprofen and be careful.

          It didn’t get any better after a few weeks, so I went back to my boss. They finally sent me to the occupational clinic where I received physical therapy. That did the trick. They also let me order a larger hand truck and change the way I handled boxes.

          The gross part was that my boss got mad because he had to fill out extra paperwork when I went back. It still took several years to fully heal after that! The sooner you invoke WC, the better.

    8. It's mce w*

      OP, also give a copy of your medical report to HR or your manager for workman’s comp so your bill gets taken care of or you get reimbursed.

      At my museum job in NY, I had a head injury from a shelve that was placed at the side of a major traffic area for employees. My then jerk manager told me I had to decide on signing a liability waiver or not. I was shaken up and not sure what I do; I signed it.

      Thankfully, a mom-like coworker urged me to go to a doctor. I did, and under NY State law, I had to acknowledge it as a workplace injury to be treatment; I was scared but I did it. I was able to get management to pay for my doctor’s visit and also have the shelf taken down for good.

    9. Specialist*

      You need to report this and get it on worker’s comp. Insurance companies are doing a great job of reviewing records, and when they see that this happened at work, your health insurance will deny payment.

      1. tgfqh*

        Yes, this. Every time I’ve been to the ER, I’ve had to fill out an affadavit for my insurance stating who else could be responsible to pay for my injury.

        1. Pomona Sprou*

          Same here. Those insurance companies (understandably) do not want to pay for something if there’s another entity that might be liable, and there are laws governing who is liable, depending on the situation.

          When my husband was injured in a serious car accident, there were multiple forms from the hospital and doctors asking whether it was a work-related injury (no) or due to a motor vehicle accident (yes). We had coverage on our car insurance for medical expenses (thank goodness–it was another motorist’s fault, but he had only the minimal amount of liability coverage required by law, which was only enough to cover a fraction of Mr. Sprout’s medical bills). Our health insurance (again, understandably) didn’t want to pay one thin dime until after the car insurance company ponied up. (And our car insurance company also made sure the other guy’s insurance ponied up to the extent of his coverage). It was… interesting, to say the least.

          1. Pomona Sprout*

            Not sure why my screen name dropped off a letter at the end, lol!

            In any case, I wanted to add that if the o.p. obtained medical coverage through her health insurance and she does not file a worker’s comp claim, I’m pretty sure her health insurance company will NOT be a happy camper if they ever found out that they paid for services that should have been covered by worker’s comp. I’m not sure what the ramifications would be (and I presume those would cary from state to state), and it was unclear from the letter if the o.p. had insurance that they used or paid out of pocket), but I thought I would point that out.

            1. drinking Mello Yello*

              (Oh jeeze, my Job Knowledge coming into play! :P)

              When stuff like this happens and your medical plan pays for treatment related to an accident at work by mistake (because as a rule, there’s always a line that says something like “The medical plan does not cover treatment related to work-related incidents.”), they’ll send a refund request to the hospital/doctor’s billing department (or an outside vendor like my company) politely stating, “Hey dingus, this is a worker’s comp claim and we don’t cover that stuff. Here’s the Info for the patient’s worker’s comp carrier. Rebill the claim to them and send us a refund when they pay.”

              It’s one of those things that SHOULD be an easy peasy coordination of benefits fixes, buuuuuut if the WC carrier decides to be a tool and says it wasn’t a work-related incident (or if you can’t get the WC carrier info any of the other tomfoolery that happens in the medical billing world), then the patient might end up getting stuck with the bill. :/

              And insurance companies (both health carriers AND worker’s comp carriers) do these post-payment reviews years down the road as well; I don’t remember exactly how long the timely filing limits for these reviews are, but they tend to be a lot longer than the standard of one year or so (depending on the plan).

              1. drinking Mello Yello*

                Assuming the OP is in the US, I’m going to post a link to a list of all the worker’s comp timely filing deadlines for all 50 states (because they all gotta vary, of course). It looks like the the deadline for reporting the accident to your employer ranges from ASAP to 180 days depending on the state and the deadline for actually filing a worker’s comp claim ranges from 6 months to 2 years (or longer for traumatic injuries or occupational illnesses).

    10. Jessica Fletcher*

      LW should definitely talk to HR or their supervisor and file a worker’s comp claim. What if you go back for the check up, and it’s worse? It will be hard to file a claim at that point, weeks later. It sounds like you have a somewhat physical job. What if you end up unable to work, or on light duty, for a while due to this injury? You won’t be able to get compensated for that time off if you don’t establish a claim.

      Frankly, it’s already going to look weird that your coworker broke your arm, and you said nothing to anyone for this long.

      I also wonder how your coworker didn’t notice she shut the trunk on you! Did you not make any noise? Were you not rubbing your arm or something? She sounds terribly uninterested in her surroundings, to say the least.

    11. Quickbeam*

      Absolutely work comp! I handle work comp claims all day long and this would sail through.

    12. Meg*

      I’m late to this, so apologies if someone else already raised this. But you also need to report this to Worker’s Comp because if there end up being any complications, you need to be protected. I have a friend who’s family member had a minor injury at work that ended up triggering a lot of other health and disability issues for her, and the fact that she had worker’s comp coverage from the initial injury is huge. Obviously that’s not going to be the case most of the time, but you need to have the protection just in case. IMO.

  2. juliebulie*

    I definitely think Melissa should know that her impatience had consequences, even if the consequences affected OP and not Melissa.

    1. Admiral Thrawn is Still Blue*

      I can’t understand how she didn’t notice that the trunk didn’t actually close all the way. I’m pretty sure I would have squealed, at the least, too. when it came down on my wrist. Not doubting the OP at all, just don’t get it. I think she did notice, but didn’t care, her schedule was more important. And then she tried to sweep it under the car so she wouldn’t have had to deal with it.

      1. Threeve*

        I think (in the non-monster scenario) she realized that she closed the trunk of the LW’s arm, just not that it caused pain or injury.

        IMO the most likely (semi-monster) scenario is that she realized LW was hurt, but “ouch” hurt and not “go see a doctor” hurt and didn’t acknowledge it out of embarrassment or indifference.

        And the way people feel and react to pain varies wildly. Everyone around me knows if I bang into something or stub my toe because I yelp and curse a blue streak, but I once sprained an ankle badly and then carried on with my day without anyone else noticing because I was embarrassed about how it happened.

      2. Ellen N.*

        I can easily understand how the boss could have not known that she closed the car trunk on the letter writer’s arm. The boss was frantically worried about the deadline. She probably grabbed the packages, shut the trunk and ran to deliver the packages in one motion.

        The reason I can understand is that something similar happened to me. I was with my husband and a friend. I was in the back seat. They got out of the car. I grabbed the door frame of the front door as I got out. My husband shut the front door. My husband has trouble believing things to be true if he perceives them as improbable. I had to argue with him that yes he had shut the door on my hand, yes my hand was trapped and yes I wouldn’t be able to move until he opened the car door.

        1. GilaMonster*

          Hold up…. off topic perhaps…
          Your husband couldn’t see your hand trapped?
          Does he not trust your agency enough to trust you when you say you’ve been injured?
          I’ve had my hand shut in a car door and it broke 3 fingers.

          This sounds…. dangerous for you. And really disrespectful of him. I’m frankly shocked by your comment. And hope everything is OK and that you realize that what you are describing doesn’t sound OK.

    2. KR*

      Yes. OP please bring it up. I work for a utility. When we have equipment go down it not only costs us money but effects the power going to the grid so we are all hands on deck to get the equipment running as soon as we can. But even we have a sign in our office that says that no job is so important and no service is so urgent that we can’t take the time to do our job safely. It’s about taking the time to make sure we make it home in the same condition as when we left for work.

  3. passerby*

    !!! I honestly understand why you’d feel guilty and weird about bringing it up, but maybe reframe it as factual though unfortunately can’t be helped now? It’s being honest, not being rude or impolite.

    However, I strongly agree with Alison that you should say something, at the very least for 1) making her (and others) more self aware and careful about rushing 2) possible workers compensation policies? I don’t know how your workplace runs but the places I’ve been at required all injuries during work to be reported for liability and record purposes just in case.

    1. Reba*

      Yep! OP sometimes it can help to start an awkward convo by simply acknowledging the awkwardness in a friendly way!

      “Hey, I feel a bit awkward bringing this up now but… [Details]. I wanted to let you know because I’m going to be reporting it to Boss for workman’s comp.”

      Remember that being polite does not mean either erasing all your own needs nor permanently avoiding any uncomfortable subjects!

  4. Workers Comp Attorney*

    Workers Compensation attorney here. Report the accident and the injury immediately. Be completely honest about what happened but, seriously, stop what you are doing and report the injury to your immediate supervisor, safety person, and/or HR.

    Be ready for some questions about whether it actually happened at home and you’re just trying to pin it on this incident. Fraud is significant in WC cases. Hopefully Melissa will back you up on what happened.

    1. Detective Amy Santiago*

      Yep, I wish that Alison had addressed before the rest of her answer because it’s honestly the most important bit in my opinion.

      1. Person from the Resume*

        Yes. IMO Alison dropped the ball on not making that the paragraph deal of the her response. I know the LW didn’t ask, but the LW seems unaware that this needs to be reported to the company as a workman’s comp claim.

        Secondly LW, I doubt Melissa is evil so I think you’re being unreasonable nursing your hurt waiting for an apology when you haven’t told her she caused it. Yes, she should have apologized the moment, but you understand why she didn’t. Later is completely left her mind because to her it was minor thing. I doubt Melissa realizes that she was the cause of the splint appearing on your arm the next day.

      2. Lucia Pacciola*

        Same same same. It’s weird to me that this is being addressed as a personal issue between the LW and Melissa. I see it as a professional issue of workplace safety, liability, and worker training, that needs to be addressed ASAP.

        At the very least, I think Melissa probably needs some focused training about how rushing jobs leads to worker injuries.

    2. Ace in the hole*

      Yes, 100% agree. Frankly, even if you don’t care about the worker’s comp this is something Melissa and your employer NEED to know. Think about it this way: if you don’t say anything to them, no one is going to do anything to keep this from happening again. Melissa seriously injured someone at work. She needs to know there are serious consequences to her reckless hurrying. If she’s a reasonable person this will be the wake up call she needs to be more careful.

      1. Black Horse Dancing*

        I think you’re blaming Melissa for a lot. Melissa closed her trunk lid and didn’t know she caught OP’s arm. I wouldn’t call her reckless–hurried , yes, a bit careless but unless she intentionally did this, it was an accident. For consequences, all Melissa should receive is a review of what happened and a verbal warning to be careful unless she has a history of doing this.

        1. lost academic*

          She closed a car trunk on someone’s arm. Carelessness is something you blame people for. It was careless and unsafe. There was an injury. No one said it was intentional, but accidents have repercussions and when someone’s behavior leads to one, that’s when they need to modify it. I do a lot of safety training and consulting and this is not something that should be ignored.

          And quite frankly, do any of us want to work with someone who is so careless that they close a trunk hard enough to break and arm and don’t notice/react to it at all? Where else are they careless and dangerous when stressed?

          1. Black Horse Dancing*

            I didn’t say it should be ignored–I’ve done safety training as well and yes, this would brought up. This wasn’t something like blood spurting and bones cracking–she closed the lid, OP said nothing, and the day went on. I’ve worked a number of jobs where no one would notice unless someone told them. It’s common.

            1. serenity*

              It’s not common to close a trunk lid on someone’s arm and not notice.

              It may have been entirely accidental but Melissa’s rushed, frantic behavior led to an injury and there should be some consequences – and, at the very least, some awareness of what happened!

              1. fhqwhgads*

                I’ve had trunks closed on me several times and the closers didn’t notice because of the resistance when closing, they noticed because I screamed and were confused until I told them what they’d done. I know that’s anecdata but since it happened to me more than once, I’d not be surprised if Melissa didn’t notice because OP didn’t react loudly.

            2. Senor Montoya*

              Actually, it WAS bones cracking! I don’t understand why you are doubling down on this!

              I mean, if I accidentally close my car door on someone’s hand, I *notice* it! A trunk lid, sheesh!

              1. Black Horse Dancing*

                Then you may be unusual. Many people close doors and trunks on people and don’t notice. There are some in the comments,

          2. boop the first*

            Yeah, closing a trunk on someone isn’t as easy to do as it sounds. Yeah, it’s just one motion that is often automatic, but… who doesn’t look when they know there are other people also rifling through the trunk? Especially when there’s a 2nd person who is handy to do exactly those kinds of small finishing touches?

        2. Curmudgeon in California*

          Sorry, but if a person closes a trunk lid on someone’s arm, they are careless, period. Yes, Melissa should be “blamed” for it, she did it. It doesn’t matter “why”.

          I don’t know about anyone else, but I would feel horrible *right then* if I screwed up and closed a trunk or hatch on someone’s arm. I might make the delivery, but immediately offer to take the person to have it looked at if it was at work.

          I regularly load and unload my SUV with a team of my roomies, and we always check and/or stand back when it comes time to close up. We don’t even reach for the hatch if someone else is within a foot of it.

        3. PollyQ*

          This was an accident only in the sense that Melissa didn’t mean to injure OP, but she did intentionally close the trunk without first checking that OP’s arm was clear. All the blame is on her. IDK how I’d discipline her for that, but it’s not accurate to say that it’s just an accident.

        4. NYL*

          Reckless has a specific legal meaning (basically, that someone does something deliberately – like shutting a trunk – and disregards the obvious risks that might arise). If you close a trunk you know someone else is using without checking if they are clear, that is reckless.

      2. Perpal*

        not just that, but sometimes “little” injuries can snowball; ie, develop into complex regional pain syndrome, etc. Most likely not and I don’t mean to scare the OP, but you don’t want to be in the situation where there’s a ton of bills that should be covered by worker’s comp, but are coming back to you.

    3. CheeryO*

      The fact that Melissa might/will be questioned gives the LW a perfect angle to bring it up to her now, even though it’s been a week. They could say something like, “I just wanted to give you a heads-up that you might get asked about our delivery last week,” then finish with Alison’s script.

    4. ProcheinAmy*

      Also, you may think it is a minor injury with low cost, but if it turns into more, the company should pay for it. Actually, they should pay for all.

      At my company, you would be in trouble for not repirting a work related injury immediately.

      1. Anonnington*

        Right. And, not to scare OP, but a hairline facture can have complications. Either at the time or years later. Coverage should be sorted out now so that OP won’t have extra bills piling up should something like that happen.

    5. AndersonDarling*

      Luckily, the OP went to the doctor the next day and not a week later. There should be some notes in the medical record that repeat what the OP said, that a trunk slammed on her arm.
      And this is kind of an unusual injury, so it should be more believable.

      1. pancakes*

        The doctor’s notes aren’t necessarily going to include any details about where the trunk-slamming happened or who was responsible for it—that’s extraneous information. And I doubt very much this is an unusual injury. This should have been a fairly straightforward worker’s comp case, and the letter writer’s strange reluctance to communicate to anyone about it is going to make it more complicated than it needed to be.

        1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          Seriously. I get medical records from oncologists who have been seeing a patient for two years and still haven’t managed to mention in any of their notes which ovary is cancerous, right or left, so I have to go dig it up somewhere else. Docs are not listing that much information.

    6. Delta Delta*

      I’m married to a WC attorney. We talk about comp a LOT at my house. I read this and was a little surprised the comp issue wasn’t the #1 part of the response.

    7. It's All Elementary*

      I posted this on another thread before I saw your post here. Can you shed some light on this experience for me? I have heard HORROR STORIES about filing workman’s comp claims. One example that I have closer knowledge of is a cousin of mine hurt her back at work, filed a claim and every time she gets to the point where they might actually DO something to help her back, they assign her to a new doctor (workman’s comp doctor) and they claim they have to start the process all over gain. It’s been years and her back is still messed up. Her own PCP won’t prescribe any treatment because it is a workman’s comp issue. Is this the norm? Is she an odd case?

      1. boop the first*

        Okay, but what if it’s NOT a horror story, and employers are just left free to cause lifelong damage to their employees because people keep telling others that it’s not “worth it”?

    8. Threeve*

      I’m also a little puzzled–every time I’ve gotten treated for an injury, even as minor as a few stitches, I’ve been asked plainly and sometimes repeatedly if it happened when I was at work or in a car accident.

    9. Ominous Adversary*

      Yes to all of this. The workers’ compensation system is a benefits delivery program. It exists to protect employers from being sued in court by their employees. Filing a claim for this is no different and no more hostile to your employer than using your health insurance or taking paid leave. Making a claim isn’t saying Melissa is bad. It’s just requesting the benefits OP is entitled to because she was hurt at work.

  5. TootsNYC*

    Also, please note this is the second letter I’ve received about a coworker closing a trunk on someone’s arm. Beware of your arms when you’re around coworkers!

    I love how you assumed that YOUR readers would never be the impatient and inattentive people who would close a trunk on someone’s arm, and only warned us about looking out for ourselves around those people (instead of warning us to not BE those people).

    1. Sarah*

      What a strange thing to take away from this post…let’s not try and psychoalanyse Alison, shall we?

      1. Anononon*

        I took it to be a lighthearted comment amused at how Alison sees the best in her commenters. Nothing devious.

    2. hbc*

      I’m impatient and inattentive to the point that I’ve closed car doors on my own limbs and regularly run into door frames, so I need this warning as both the victim and the perpetrator.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      I took it as interchangeable roles- don’t get your arm caught, but don’t be the one who isn’t watching out for their cohort, also.

      I slammed the tailgate on my father’s hand. He got over it much quicker than I did. I still cringe. Crap happens, no matter how hard we don’t want that crap to happen.

  6. Ash*

    LW, you didn’t even yell “ow” or something when the trunk came down on your arm? Jeez, find your voice please!

    1. lost academic*

      That seems very unfair. Many people don’t vocalize over things like this, or are in shock. It’s not fair to shift the blame over the lack of a reaction of the person WHO SLAMMED A TRUNK ON SOMEONE’S ARM to the person who didn’t react ‘appropriately’.

      1. Sharon*

        Also, I’ve known people so caught up in their own heads that they didn’t hear the other person yelling “Ow!”. You almost have to make them stop right there and realize what just happened.

      2. Reba*

        Yeah, some times when I’ve been suddenly hurt I just got… Very quiet? One time I believe I actually started softly whistling? IDK. Bodies are weird.

        1. Sydney Bristow*

          I was a competitive gymnast and my mom said she always knew when I was seriously hurt because I’d be totally silent immediately after it happened.

        2. SheLooksFamiliar*

          Bodies ARE weird. My ex slammed a car door on my hand once, and later told me he knew I was seriously hurt because I started laughing. ‘I think you were in a little bit of shock,’ is how he put it, and he was probably right.

        3. Mel_05*

          Yeah, I broke my leg as a kid and didn’t yell or cry. People asked me if I was ok and I started to say, “yes”!

          Mid reply I realized that I really, really was not, but in the moment of it breaking, I didn’t react at all.

        4. Not So NewReader*

          Shock is a great anesthetic. My husband was an insurance adjuster. He always said, when there is an accident DO NOT sign off on anything until you have waited a couple days. Shock will shut the body right down so it feels very little. In his time, adjusters would try to get people to sign off ASAP, before they realized that their arm/leg/head/whatever actually hurt.
          Yeah, he quit that biz.

          There are times where I have really hurt myself and in the moment I did not feel much pain. The pain in the days and weeks that followed was Not Good.

        5. DarnTheMan*

          I just recently closed a car door on my own fingers (was holding the frame to pull it closed, somehow did not put two and two together in time to realize my fingers were in the way) and although it hurt like the dickens, my only reaction was a very short intake of breath and then waving my hand around as soon as it was free from the door. Conversely something as benign as stubbing my toe on my coffee table has produced a lot of loud swearing.

      3. Black Horse Dancing*

        You’re yelling about a person who closed the trunk lid who probably has no idea she did this! You’re blaming Melissa who doesn’t know she caused any harm.

        1. lost academic*

          Yes. Her actions caused an injury. By definition it is her fault. I don’t think anyone right now is saying she should be fired or tarred and feathered, but it’s wrong to suggest that it’s somehow not her fault, or as the comment here suggested, the OPs fault for not reacting in the moment.

          1. Black Horse Dancing*

            She is responsible for it, yes. But you are the one who capitalized she slammed the trunk lid. She (probably) didn’t do it purposefully. You’re right, OP shouldn’t be blamed because she didn’t vocalize–it is the OP’s responsibility to report the incident. Melissa should be held responsible for being careless but not blamed as if she intentionally hurt anyone. In most companies I worked at, Melissa would be simply told to be more careful and aware of others. OP would be told of the need to report immediately.

            1. Anononon*

              Negligent torts are an entire category of civil lawsuits. Intent does not always matter, so saying that she didn’t do it purposefully has no relevance.

              1. Black Horse Dancing*

                It depends. And you can sue for anything civilly if you can afford a lawyer–whether you win the case is a whole different thing.

              2. Not So NewReader*

                OP isn’t suing her employer yet. So it’s not the same process that would happen in a court of law.

                Employers can and do factor intent in when making decisions on these types of things, if these matters are resolved inside the company.

        2. Lance*

          Not knowing she caused any harm doesn’t absolve her from blame; it doesn’t make her a terrible person (necessarily), but she’s still the one that slammed the trunk down without paying enough attention.

          1. hbc*

            I think it absolves her (for now) from any blame in failing to apologize or address it. Though I seem to be in a minority in thinking that it’s not crazy that Melissa could reasonably not have noticed. My trunk has certainly bounced back open before without there being any body parts stuck in there.

      4. Jennifer*

        I don’t think Ash is literally saying the OP should have said “ow” but some sort of comment to Melissa that a trunk was slammed on her arm at some point that day should have been made. Everyone reacts to pain differently but the fact that the OP said nothing is a little odd. It’s not victim blaming but pointing out that maybe they were a bit too passive.

    2. SpecialSpecialist*

      I’ve slammed doors on fingers before and it’s like all the sound got sucked out of me. I couldn’t get a sound out if I tried.

    3. Pennalynn Lott*

      Wow. This is harsh.

      I once accidentally closed a car door on a friend’s hand. He did not yell “ow.” He — very calmly — said, “Pennalynn, could you please open the door?” He was so eerily calm, in fact, that I didn’t realize anything was wrong until well after I opened the door and noticed that he was cradling his hand. He ended up having to go to a doctor and have a hole burned into the back of one of his fingernails to release the swelling.

      Not everyone reacts to sudden pain the same way.

      1. WantonSeedStitch*

        One time, a friend closed his car door on my finger, and it hurt badly enough that my first instinct was to yell out a blue streak of swears. But his young son was with us, so I swallowed the cusses and yelling, and just managed to say “my finger’s in the door! Can you open it, quick?” in a pretty normal voice.

      2. san junipero*

        Ha. That reminds me of the time I cut my finger very very badly and had to call a friend to take me to the hospital. I was so calm on the phone that my friend literally didn’t believe me, and I had to insist multiple times that I was severely bleeding and needed emergency medical help. Then he showed up, took one look at me, went pale, and rushed me into the car.

        1. An Actual Fennec Fox*

          Are we related? Same with me when I got hurt riding my bike a while ago. I went home and into the bathroom to clean up, then called for my mother very calmly to ask for help because my foot was hurt, and she came to check on me to see a pool of blood forming on the floor. She had no idea how I wasn’t screaming and crying. (end of OT-ness from me for today)

          1. Goliath Corp.*

            haha same here! I cut myself badly with a swiss army knife when I was a kid, and I guess I was scared to tell my mom (because obviously I shouldn’t have been trying to whittle a freaking stick), so I very calmly asked for a band-aid. And then she saw the blood spirting out of my wrist and FREAKED. My sister got me a menstrual pad to wrap around it and the doctor at the hospital was actually very impressed! Sanitary and absorbent.

        2. KoiFeeder*

          I was very calm and polite with the ER receptionist when my gallbladder was trying to murder me… Right before I passed out from the pain.

          Apparently I knocked my head on the reception counter when I went down and cut it open.

        3. DarnTheMan*

          I stepped on a roofing nail as a child and it took me about thirty seconds to realize it; I really don’t remember feeling any pain, and in fact only started screaming because I turned my foot around, saw the nail sticking out and then suddenly my brain went “oh that’s not supposed to be there. time to panic!”

    4. Me*

      Unsure how rudeness is helpful to the OP? Perhaps it didn’t hurt enough to say ow? Perhaps they were shocked? Perhaps you don’t have the right to dictate what the appropriate response to the situation is for another human being?

      I’ve broken several bones and not one has been done in a way that resulted in me yelling “OW”

      1. An Actual Fennec Fox*

        Not to mention sometimes you don’t notice something is serious right away. Last time I sprained my ankle on my way home from work (it happens quite a while), I felt at most a bit of discomfort right when it happened, went home, and just spent the night as usual, to wake up to a super swollen ankle and only feel pain when I put my foot on the floor to get up. From what I understand, OP’s case was a bit similar, where they felt mild pain right then and there and it got worse later.

      2. Senor Montoya*

        Yep, I slipped on ice and broke my leg a few years ago. Walked home (another 1/2 mile) on it too. When I fell, I said, literally, Oops. It was uncomfortable walking home, when I got home I put it up and alternated heat and ice. My husband made me go to the doc the next day — it really didn’t hurt that much — suddenly I’m on crutches, various devices to stabilize it. “Hard enough to break” doesn’t mean screaming pain and bones sticking out.

        Melissa is still *at fault* regardless of her intentions.
        I agree with you, chastizing the OP is not at all helpful and it’s just…perverse and mean. From the letter the OP seems to me anxious to do the right thing, worried about doing well AND KEEPING THEIR JOB, concerned not to piss off Melissa who is snappish and also admired at work where she is a longtime employee and the OP is new.

    5. anon24*

      My husband once slammed the hatch of his SUV on my *head*. I didn’t make a sound, just got very still, cradled my head and checked for blood because honestly I though he split my scalp wide open but it turned out I was fine. That F’ker hurt! Not all of us are yellers.

      1. Elizabeth*

        My DH tried to close the trunk lid while I was still putting items in, hitting across my shoulder and upper back. I cried out, but it was dark so he didn’t realize what he had done, only that the lid didn’t close. So he tried again. And hit me again. The second time, I couldn’t make a noise. It left a bruise stripe across my shoulder, and it was a week before I could lift my arm over my head.

        It’s really easy to have this happen without meaning to, but it still is her responsibility to know and respond to. OP, tell your employer and tell Melissa!

    6. GigglyPuff*

      Eh, some people just don’t make sound when they get hurt. I’m one of them. I’ve snapped my ankle ligament and chipped the bone, slipped on ice several times, badly sprained my wrist, and split my finger bone down the middle which didn’t get treated for weeks, and when the doctor started pulling and twisting, almost passed out, but didn’t scream. Never made a sound, usually too busy trying not to vomit, which I now use as an indicator that I need to see a doctor over the injury, lol.

    7. Dahlia*

      Hey! I fractured a vertebra in my spine and I said nothing when it happened! Maybe gasped like a fish a bit, but no yelling or vocalization.

    8. Anonnington*

      Holy victim blaming. People are responsible for not harming you. If someone does harm you, there is no required reaction.

      1. White Peonies*

        Depending on the reaction you want there is a required reaction. You have to let them know they hurt you in some way, especially if you want an apology. Not having any reaction added to not saying anything to the person who done it and then making up excuses to everyone else for days is the wrong reaction unless you are trying to pretend it didn’t happen.

        1. Julia*

          Some of us were met with further hurt whenever we said something. My father often shoved me and when I said “ow”, he would tell me I was being dramatic and overly sensitive and he hadn’t even touched me. If you grow up like that, you don’t yell “ow” at a coworker.

          1. White Peonies*

            There are other ways than saying “ow” to let someone know you are hurt. The point was that the OP has to let her co-worker know that she was hurt by her in some way (at this point ‘ow’ is off the table) to get the apology she wants. The OP said she doesn’t believe her co-worker even noticed she hit her with the trunk door, so if she doesn’t let the co-worker know there won’t be an apology.

    9. dawbs*

      Or maybe just say something later.

      It’s unhelpful to try to dictate what someone’s “startle”/”pain”/whatever reaction is.

      (Me, I work with kids. Everyone in my house knows that if I hop around and swear, it hurt but I’m probably OK. If I suck my teeth, go silent, and start being very VERY calm and quiet it’s much more likely I’m hurt badly. Because I have worked hard to make sure my reaction is something that doesn’t scare kids or require me to get angry phone calls from parents after kids learn new and exciting vocabulary words.)

    10. Good work everyone*

      This is hilarious. Ash, you said exactly what Alison said to to the letter writer in the previous letter (that she linked to!), and everyone is jumping all over you. Good work, commenters!

      1. Myrin*

        I mean, I agree with the essence of Ash’s message (as do several other commenters in different threads), but it really could’ve been stated much more productively and kindly, which is what Alison actually did in the linked letter: “You and Jane both behaved oddly in this situation — neither of you said anything when you should have! It’s weird that Jane didn’t immediately apologize and ask if you were okay, but it’s also odd that you stayed quiet about it and didn’t exclaim in the moment or say anything immediately afterwards (even just “Ouch!” or “I know that was an accident, but wow my arm really hurts”)” – that is decidedly NOT “exactly” what Ash said, even if the thought behind both is certainly very similar.

      2. Dawbs*

        Personally, I see a world of difference in saying the LW should have mentioned it then or directly afterwards and slagging the LW for not crying out immediately when it happened.

    11. CM*

      While I think “Jeez, find your voice please!” is harsh phrasing, I have to say I agree with the sentiment. OP fractured her arm in a work-related accident and her main concern is to preserve the feelings of the coworker who slammed a trunk on her. Meanwhile, it’s quite possible Melissa has no clue what happened and that OP is paying out of pocket for medical expenses that could be covered by workers’ comp. Also, OP’s workers comp claim could be complicated by the fact that she didn’t say anything either at the time or even after going to the doctor, so she may not be believed now. OP, please speak up when you’re not getting something you deserve, like an apology from Melissa or financial compensation from the company.

  7. Dave H*

    Not to excuse Melissa’s behavior in any way, but I have come across people who in a moment of panic could conceivably do something like this and not even notice it in the moment. I’m hoping it’s just that, and the OP should receive a proper apology from Melissa if/when she brings it up. Hopefully workers’ comp has been filed and she can recover from this without any out of pocket expense.

    I definitely agree that Melissa needs to be made aware how her recklessness injured her coworker and will hopefully take it to heart. The next time something like this happens, the outcome could be even worse.

    1. Sharon*

      I’ve encountered people like that too. It’s like they have no awareness of their surroundings. You really have to be wary of them accidentally smacking you or bumping into you or closing doors on your fingers or whatever. I’m very aware of everything so these people tend to mystify me.

      1. HoHumDrum*

        I’m one of the unaware ones. It is not uncommon for me to find all kinds of scrapes/bruises/bumps/etc all over my body and have absolutely no idea how I got them. I think the issue for me is poor spatial awareness combined with ADHD. I’ve never seriously injured anyone else that I’m aware of, but I could envision a scenario where Melissa truly has no idea she caused injury.

        But to the LW’s situation: if I had hurt you and didn’t realize I would absolutely want to know so I could apologize profusely and try to make amends. If Melissa is at all a decent person she would want the same. And if she reacts poorly to you then she is not a decent person, and you need to know that too. Accidents happen but responsible, decent people take responsibility for their accidents and try to mitigate the consequences as much as they can.

      2. Ted Mosby*

        I’m one of these people and so is my best friend and we just perpetually bump and klunk each other and we both find it hilarious. Its hard for me to be aware of the same way how math or language just didn’t make sense to some people no matter how hard they try. I apologize on behalf of my kind!

      3. KoiFeeder*

        I’m one of these people, which is why I try to be really, really careful when I’m around people.

        In my case, I have nerve damage- my awareness of where my body is isn’t actually the same “shape” as the space my body actually takes up. I spend a lot of time walking into things.

    2. Koala dreams*

      Yes, I hope Melissa will apologize when she realize what she’s done. Don’t feel bad about telling her, most people would want the chance to apologize.

      1. The Supreme Troll*

        I agree; nothing here suggests that Melissa had any bad intentions or that she would become defensive.

  8. LunaLena*

    The warning at the end reminded me of the photo of the sign on a fridge that says “Check for cat arm b4 closing”. You can find the story and photo on Bored Panda, just search for “Meet Carrot, The Cat That’s Gone Viral For Giving His Owners Anxiety”

    1. Elizabeth West*

      Hahaha, I saw that picture but not the post; thanks for sharing.

      I also like the one with Tango, the Stupidest Horse Ever.

      1. Black Horse Dancing*

        Except Tango isn’t stupid at all. The owners–well, that’s another story.

          1. Black Horse Dancing*

            Grass clippings from a mower should not be fed to horses–they are often contaminated with oil and can ferment and can cause colic, a often deadly occurrence to horses. Also, it’s common for horses to stand out in bad weather. Most horses do stand outside in bad weather–as long as they can get into shelter, a healthy horse can choose to stay outside the barn. Doesn’t mean they are stupid. And horses sleep on their sides when they sleep deeply. If you look at those fences around Tango, they are not in good shape at all. I understand being poor–I am–but those fences need repair or replacing before Tango gets hurt.

  9. lost academic*

    I don’t know what kind of place you work but as it happened on the job it’s probably a reportable incident and you would then need to notify someone about it. Even if you don’t want to file for worker’s comp (and you have expenses related to this, so you probably need to consider that) your company can get in trouble for not handling this right.

    1. Glitsy Gus*

      This was my thought. It is very likely that, even if you don’t need to file for workman’s comp, your company has an incident tracking policy and you need to make sure you handle this and get it documented the right way.

      It is possible by not following the process you could end up getting in trouble yourself depending on how the process is laid out in your company, so speak up! Today! I know that several warehouses I worked for explicitly said that incidents must be reported as soon as possible and absolutely within 72 hours, even if a doctor’s visit isn’t needed. It isn’t about placing blame or anything else, it’s about documenting what happened so there is a record and if any process changes need to happen to help protect employees, evidence is needed to guide those changes. It can also affect the company’s insurance if they find out folks are getting hurt and it isn’t being reported.

      I know it can feel awkward to talk about stuff like this when you’re brand new and all, but it’s important to look out for your safety here as well as covering your own back on the reporting front. You aren’t telling Melissa she’s a sucky person, you’re just reporting an accident.

      1. Glitsy Gus*

        I hit send to soon. Also be prepared for them to ask why it took you so long to mention this. A week is a long time to wait to mention a broken arm. Just be honest, you’re new, and you weren’t sure of how to handle it and the whole thing felt awkward. You know it was a busy time and didn’t want to make Melissa feel bad. Basically, be honest. But be prepared for not necessarily skepticism, but questions about why you didn’t say anything the next day after going to the doctor.

  10. Black Horse Dancing*

    Since OP mentioned she wasn’t sure if Melissa even noticed, you need to tell her! I mean, I’d be mortified and no one can blame Melissa if she doesn’t know what happened. Report it to your supervisor and Melissa so they can file a workers comp claim.

  11. san junipero*

    I’m echoing the calls for Workers Comp because I am very afraid that your reluctance to give a direct answer extends to HR. OP, if you haven’t gone that route, get on it NOW.

  12. 'nother prof*

    Maybe I’m a bit of a monster as Alison says, but if I didn’t notice hitting someone’s arm, and that person didn’t mention what had happened at all for a week only to suddenly say, “I’m not sure if you realized you closed the trunk on my arm the other day when we were doing that delivery to X! It turns out it’s fractured,” I’d be skeptical. There wasn’t any reason for the OP not to mention it right when it happened or even shortly thereafter, so suddenly bringing it up like that would seem weird and passive-aggressive to me, especially since it sounds like the two work closely together (so she already knows that the arm is fractured).

    If someone said something like, “By the way, I know we’re really busy right now, but rushing like we did on [the day in question] was what fractured my arm – it was caught under the trunk when you shut it” during a busy period at work, it would sound a lot more natural/less passive-aggressive, at least to me.

    1. Black Horse Dancing*

      This! It’s been a week–good chance HR will be skeptical and Melissa defensive. All my workplaces have stated “Tell us immediately–even if there’s no injury, we want to know if you fall or something so that if two days later, it swells, we know and can use Workers Comp.”

    2. Abbey Rhodes*

      I wouldn’t necessarily be skeptical (I wouldn’t assume that my coworker was lying about an injury), but in Melissa’s place, I think I’d be confused about why the OP is bringing this up to me a week after the fact. I’d wonder whether she expects me to chip in for treatment, or whether it’s just an FYI…and if it’s the latter, I’d certainly apologize, but I’d also really wonder why it wasn’t mentioned to me earlier. I agree with ‘nother prof in that bringing it up in an organic way (like a warning about rushed action…or if OP brings it up in the context of informing Melissa of a worker’s comp claim) makes more sense than mentioning it in a way that will, to Melissa, seem out of the blue.

      1. Bella*

        yeah… I think there’s a disconnect in this letter b/c OP seems convinced Melissa knows what she did, whereas I’m fairly convinced Melissa didn’t make the connection (if she realized it shut on her arm at all).

        OP is looking for a way to address Melissa’s lack of apology, when really what’s needed is to address the lack of awareness. (and worker’s comp!!)

        1. Not So NewReader*

          Yeah, I am hoping that OP can separate out the apology from the rest of the story. The sad truth is people don’t always apologize when we need them to apologize. There’s many reasons for that, of course. But I know it still hurts when they don’t apologize. If you can, OP, start to detach from that feeling of wanting an apology. Maybe you can turn redirect that want into some type of self-care or maybe you can just treat yourself to something special. See if you can do something so this whole thing does not cause you even more hurt.

    3. Myrin*

      It’s certainly not very noble of me but I honestly have to say that I agree.

      I mean, I would still be very apologetic and try to make it up to her somehow if OP brought this to me more than a week later, there’s no doubt about that. And unless I had any pre-existing reason to assume that OP would lie about claims like this, I wouldn’t be skeptical about the objectivel veracity of her statement, either.

      But I would absolutely wonder to myself why on earth OP didn’t bring this up when she found out about the fracture at the latest. As such, I like your last paragraph and your proposed script a lot – I personally would probably even say something very honest, like “I feel horribly awkward about bringing this up only now and actually didn’t want to mention it because I didn’t want to make you feel bad but [explanation of situation]”, exactly to stave off any feelings of passive aggression.

    4. lost academic*

      I personally think I’d have said it, but the OP provided a lot of relevant detail about Melissa’s general demeanor and specifically on that day and during that task at hand. I think a lot of people might not have immediately spoken up in the moment (like most of the people in my family, we’re very conflict avoidant if we’re concerned about the reaction of a person who’s perceived to be the slightest bit volatile). And small fractures don’t necessarily hurt so much immediately. But you do need to know to report or document anything that might happen like that immediately in the future because of these issues and how unpredictably little things can turn out to be more complicated.

    5. sunny-dee*

      Yep, this. It just seems so weird NOT to mention it at the time or the next day, that I would have a ton of questions and wonder why she was bring it up now (and even if it was really my fault).

      Kind of related – I don’t get why the OP is upset that Melissa hasn’t mentioned it. The OP didn’t say anything in the moment (or the way home), didn’t say anything when she found out it was a fracture, and has been telling people she just hurt it in an accident. Why on earth would Melissa know or even assume that she had anything to do with it?

      1. Tired*

        You don’t get why the OP is upset that Melissa closed her arm in a door and didn’t acknowledge it at all? It’s… very odd to close someone’s arm in a door and not react to it, or to not notice that you did it! And to be new to a job and be the recipient of that weird behavior… I can completely see why the OP didn’t know how to react.

        1. Black Horse Dancing*

          If Melissa didn’t notice–which is actually pretty common and OP states she may not have noticed–why would Melissa acknowledge it? I’m confused because OP is upset that Melissa hasn’t acknowledged it when OP admits Melissa may not know. Melissa would, most likely, be mortified she hurt a colleague and apologize immediately. But Melissa can’t do that if she has not idea what happened.

          1. Batgirl*

            I think shes upset that Melissa is too impatient and careless to have noticed. I’m also guessing she’s not among the people who have asked OP what happened. Melissa is pretty wrapped up in her own stress to the point of being short with OP before injuring her. OP was willing to put up with a short demeanour and a slightly bruised arm but now she’s gone over her limit.

            1. Black Horse Dancing*

              OP told people it was an accident. If Melissa doesn’t know the trunk lid landed on OP, why would she connect anything except believing OP who said it was an accident? If someone tells me they injured their arm in an accident, I believe them. Most likely, I’d think it happened at the their house, etc. And if they said “no big deal,” I think they didn’t want to talk about it and wouldn’t ask more.

      2. Not So NewReader*

        “I don’t get why the OP is upset that Melissa hasn’t mentioned it. ”

        If someone I am working with shows up with a large bandage or cast that they did not have yesterday, I’d want to ask them if they were okay. Especially if the job is physical, I’d want to make sure that we could keep working for the entire shift and what will it take to do that. Some people say, “I’m fine, I just can’t get the bandage wet” or similar type of thing. Perfect! Now I know what needs to happen so this person can keep working.
        I find it odd that Melissa did not ask OP something about her arm in regard to doing the work scheduled for the day.
        I think Melissa was careless with the trunk lid. And I think that no inquiry on her part shows disregard for a fellow human being. I know a lot of people prefer to have medical stuff kept confidential, but when you are doing a physical job with someone else, it’s good to know of any limitations. I have had cohorts who were allergic to bees or had to keep bandages dry, or could not lift over x pounds, etc. Just tell me, and I will cover that, no problem. But please don’t keep working and injure yourself further so I can do first aid, call 911 etc. Doing that emergency stuff can be really scary and I have done plenty of it. I’d rather just prevent emergencies.

        1. sunny-dee*

          People did ask. The OP said she hurt it in an accident. Why would Melissa assume the OP was lying, and really she had slammed the OP’s arm in a trunk days before?

          1. Koala dreams*

            Clearly the OP wasn’t lying, her arm got hurt in an accident at work, an accident that Melissa also was involved in. It’s a bit weird that Melissa caused an accident, knew that the OP got hurt, and never connected the dots. Now there are some explanations how that could happen in the comments above, but still.

            1. Black Horse Dancing*

              But she didn’t know she hurt the OP. She may not have even known OP’s arm was caught and OP admits that. All Melissa may know is OP came to work in a cast and said she was hurt in an accident.

            2. sunny-dee*

              Not lying about *being* injured but lying about why it happened. The OP says Melissa didn’t notice she had closed the trunk on her arm and wasn’t aware she had hurt her at the time. The OP didn’t mention it then or on the drive home, and then didn’t mention the next morning when her arm still hurt or after she went to the doctor and came back to work. When directly asked what happened, she just said it was an accident on not a big deal.

              From *Melissa’s* perspective, nothing happened during the trip — so why would she even think,” huh, OP and I were together the day before her injury, and I don’t remember anything happening on that trip — but it must be me!”

              There are no dots to connect for Melissa, yet the OP is still mad at her for … believing what the OP says?

              1. sunny-dee*

                I should clarify – not lying about the trunk. Lying that she injured in an accident that was no big deal.

    6. Threeve*

      Really? If someone told me “I feel awkward and wasn’t sure whether or not to bring it up, but…” I wouldn’t doubt them at all.

      Many people, myself included, are highly conflict-avoidant. At the time of the accident, it didn’t seem like there would be any point to drawing attention to it except making Melissa feel bad, and OP had no reason to want that.

      It’s only later become apparent that bringing it up could be a matter of workman’s comp, future safety, and figuring out whether a colleague is a terrible person or just an oblivious one.

      1. pancakes*

        This is a good illustration of how being conflict-avoidant can create needless conflict! One good reason to draw attention to the incident when it happened would’ve been to let Melissa know what happened — to let her know that her rushing about compromised her situational awareness to the point she closed a trunk on someone’s arm. Choosing to not say anything about it even after learning the arm is fractured created at least 3 potential problems:
        1. Injuries sometimes worsen rather than heal quickly, and if additional care is needed here, the letter writer has cast needless doubt on their workers’ comp claim by delaying filing. Anyone involved in processing the claim now has to delve into the question of whether the incident did in fact happen at work or at someplace else.
        2. As I said, and as you alluded to regarding safety, Melissa has wrongfully been given the impression that it’s ok for her to behave this way, when in fact it isn’t, she’s a danger to herself and others.
        3. The letter writer is now unsure of what Melissa’s reaction would’ve been if she’d known she hurt them.
        4. If the workers’ comp issue becomes messy there’s a chance the letter writer will find themself rather than their employer paying for healthcare related to this.

        The idea that all this is worth sparing Melissa a moment of feeling bad doesn’t add up. Feeling momentarily bad about hurting someone is sensible. It’s not something people have to be shielded from.

    7. Chili*

      My reactions to most unexpected things is to freeze and go quiet, which has gotten me into some awkward scenarios where people don’t realize that they hurt me. I’ve learned that I need to speak up within a few minutes or immediately try to muster an” ow,” otherwise things get significantly more awkward because it’s very difficult for somebody to apologize for something if they are unaware they’ve done something wrong. Not to blame LW for this– ideally Melissa would have noticed and apologized (or been more careful and not done it)– just that if LW wants Melissa to apologize, she should let Melissa know what happened.

    8. Tired*

      It’s Melissa’s behavior that is strange here, not LW’s. I find it harder to believe that Melissa really didn’t realize she caught someone’s ARM in a door! I think OP should include that in her response. “Melissa, there’s something I wanted to bring to your attention. Last week when we were doing [x], you closed the trunk on my arm and it is actually fractured. I was confused when you didn’t acknowledge it, and I realize now you must not have noticed, so I wanted to bring it to your attention, especially as I think it was caused by our rushing.”

      1. 'nother prof*

        Melissa didn’t catch the LW’s arm in a door – it was the lid of a trunk, and Melissa had her arms full of stuff *and* was turning away as she shut it. It’s entirely possible that she pulled the trunk’s lid down and let go before it landed (not noticing that it failed to shut) or that she thought it had bounced off some of the packages that she and the LW were holding rather than the LW’s arm. The LW herself notes that “I don’t even know if she realized she did it because she was so frantic.”

        There are certainly other folks who would respond to something like that like the LW. I’m just saying that if something like that happened with me, and the other person reacted like the LW only to speak to me a week later with the sort of wording that Alison and you are suggesting, it would come across to me as passive-aggressive and odd. That would make me wonder if there was really something else going on.

        Someone up-thread suggested framing it as, “FYI, you may be contacted regarding my worker’s comp claim. {explanation of injury}” That’s direct (not passive-aggressive) and would definitely result in an immediate profusion of abject apologies from me. Probably followed by weeks of my trying to pick things up for them.

    9. Ominous Adversary*

      Are you like Melissa – someone who is very rigid and bossy towards the people who work for you, and when you’re working with them, you get so agitated and short with them that you could close a trunk lid on their arm and not notice? If so, maybe you have no business being skeptical.

      1. sunny-dee*

        Actually, I’m absolutely nothing like that, and I’m naturally conflict avoidant, and I think the LW’s behavior would strike me as very odd.

      2. Black Horse Dancing*

        Bossy is a word used almost always with women. If Melissa was male, most likely he’d be described as direct or, more likely, it would not be noticed at all.

  13. Coverage Associate*

    Adding to the worker’s compensation issue: if you have normal health insurance, they are likely to contact the doctor and you about any claims related to an accident. Once they learn it happened at work, they won’t pay. You either have to go through worker’s compensation or pay out of pocket. With at least 2 x rays, you’re easily looking at thousands of dollars.

    1. filosofickle*

      Several years after back surgery, I started getting a series of letters on behalf of my health insurance company asking me if it that situation was due to a workplace injury. The questionnaire would go something like “was this a workplace injury?” And then a few lines later NO SERIOUSLY IS THERE ANY WAY AT ALL THIS COULD BE CONSIDERED WORKERS COMP? Nope. Someone must have been auditing old files looking for any possible payments that they could claw back from workers comp or another insurer.

      1. Threeve*

        Same! I had to go through “no, it wasn’t a work injury” and “no, it didn’t happen in a car accident” and “no, there isn’t any way I could have been in a car or workplace accident many years ago and just not noticed this injury” over and over again. They REALLY want to find a way to make someone else pay for it.

        1. Not So NewReader*

          This. When my husband was an adjuster they told him to “resist claims”. This meant find a reason, any reason why the company should not pay. Pawning liability off somewhere else was one technique they used.

      2. 3DogNight*

        Years ago, my son was chasing my daughter around the cars in our driveway, and ran into the mirror. Due to the amount of swelling, bruising and pain he was in, we went to the hospital to get x-rays. They thought it may have a hairline fracture, turns out it wasn’t. Anyway, my insurance REALLY wanted my car insurance to pay for this, because it was a “car accident”. It took FOREVER to get that sorted. Insurance companies try really hard not to pay for things.

  14. Moo*

    You also need to make sure you report it to your employer because they need to file that as a recordable incident on their OSHA 300 forms, and do a complete accident investigation. This is important. You should not blindside your employer with a WC claim when they didn’t even know an incident had happened.

    1. lost academic*

      Even if it’s not a WC claim, they need to know. Your insurance will need to know how the injury happened and you don’t want to lie to them about when/where it occurred either. In that way it could come back unannounced at your employer who won’t be happy they weren’t notified. (This almost happened to me when I had a broken foot after my horse stepped on it, and the way it happened to be documented at the doctor’s office had my insurance calling me multiple times to verify if it was or wasn’t a workplace injury.)

  15. Aurion*

    Presumably the splint does affect the OP’s work somewhat? I’d expect the arm would be sore and OP would be unable to do tasks as easily/efficiently as before. I’d proactively bring it up to Melissa, but make it about the work, i.e. “Hey, when we were doing that rush delivery, you closed the trunk accidentally on my wrist. Turns out it’s fractured, I’ll be in a splint for a few weeks, I will not be able to do x or y and will have to modify z.” That way it’s not just a “hey, you broke my wrist” ….insert awkward pause whilst you wait for a (deserved) apology.

    Melissa should apologize regardless, but making it about the work seems more natural to me, rather than saying to to get an apology a week late. And of course, hi thee to HR and OP’s boss to get worker’s comp info filled out.

    1. juliebulie*

      I mean, if I try to close my trunk and it doesn’t close, I notice that. I notice by the way it feels and by the way it sounds/doesn’t sound.

      Maybe she assumed it was okay because OP didn’t YEOW, but an attentive person would at least say “oh no, did I get you?” I know they were in a hurry, but I don’t see how you can ignore the safety of the person standing right next to you.

      1. Black Horse Dancing*

        I think it depends. Oftentimes, people grab a box, slam the lid with the other hand, and turn away. If OP’s arm with in the trunk and the lid caught her but still closed as she yanked her arm away or if pinched her wrist briefly and she yanked it back with just that clip and pinch, easily someone might miss it. Melissa may have been looking or turned away.

      2. Bella*

        isn’t it possible she thought it closed on a box ? Sounds like there was a lot of stuff back there.
        Closing a door, for me, is also automatic. I’m not always consciously focused on it. If I’m with another person or it’s not important that the door closes (like if I’m just bringing stuff from car to porch & coming back) I might not really pay attention to whether it actually closes.

        we’re also at a hindsight is 20/20 moment – we know it was bad enough to cause an injury. But if I step on someone’s toe at work, apologized, and they came in a WEEK later with their toe wrapped up, I would almost guarantee I had completely forgotten about stepping on their toe, assumed it was a minor thing, and would never connect the dots unless they told me.

        1. MsSolo*

          And if it was closed when she got back to the vehicle, why would she assume that wasn’t the direct result of her attempt to close it?

    2. Ted Mosby*

      But here’s the thing… not everyone notices the things you notice. Not everyone thinks like you.

      I’ve always been great at math, science, and logic puzzles, but I regularly put Cheerios in the fridge and milk in the kitchen cabinet. I don’t notice if doors are left open. I apologize to or thank inanimate objects daily. Some people just aren’t attuned to what’s going on around them in the physical world.

  16. Book Pony*

    Oh hey, this has happened to me too at my old job!

    A coworker was getting stuff out of her trunk for the office white elephant party, and I went to grab my belongings from the back. She slammed down the door and it hit my arm. Only difference is my coworker noticed lol. Plus, I didn’t fracture my arm. (But I’ve also been whacked at by heavier things, so ymmv.)

    I hope you feel better soon, OP, and definitely tell your employer what happened.

  17. Delta Delta*

    You absolutely must make a workplace injury report. Workers Compensation is your sole legal remedy, in terms of payment for medical bills and if you have lost wages stemming from the injury. Make the report as soon as humanly possible. You need this documentation for a) any possible compensation claim and b) if you ever have an aggravation of this injury in the future, you’ll need clear documentation of how the injury started for future compensation.

    I know AAM included this in the answer, but it is so important that it bears repeating. Do this today.

  18. Manana*

    As someone who has worked insurance claims for many years, heads up: the doctor’s office is obligated to tell your insurance where and how this accident occurred and they will deny your claim because it is workers comp related. You absolutely should have said something at the time it happened and initiated an injury claim at that time. Stop defending your coworkers feelings by trying to explain whether it was intended or whatever. Do not in any way state any type of culpability to her or your employer regarding the incident, they can and will use that against you to prevent having to pay your claim. You have already done yourself a huge disservice by avoiding bringing it up and making excuses and defenses for your coworker. File your WC claim asap and do not talk to anyone about it unless absolutely necessary.

  19. NeonFireworks*

    I had a very similar thing happen to me. At the time of the accident I knew the colleague who caused it (their slight carelessness + bad luck) felt terrible, and also a lot of other people were watching, so I shrugged it off and made a joke. But later I was in pain and called a medical helpline and, long story short, because I needed time off work to be treated, I ended up having to email my colleague, confirm that I was actually injured, and make them feel rotten about it again. Fortunately, I made a full recovery. At least it decreased the chances of anyone else later going through a repeat of all this! Also, yes, worker’s comp.

  20. Cordoba*

    Everywhere I’ve ever worked, employees are *required* to report any job-related injury that justifies more than a band-aid. “I was hurt at work but didn’t tell anybody” is not really an option for the injured person to consider; hiding an injury is one of the few true “immediate firing” type offenses that exist in my industry.

    This is because:
    1) Reporting injuries is a way to identify hazards and eliminate them by modifying procedures, hardware, whatever. This ultimately leads to fewer people getting hurt in the future.
    2) It gives the employer the opportunity to investigate, give drug tests, etc while all the evidence is still fresh/extant.
    3) It identifies employees who may be in need of additional training/discipline around safety. If Joe breaks one person’s arm it may be an accident. If he breaks three people’s arms then there might be a problem with Joe that merits further investigation. The only way to know is to report injuries.
    4) The resulting paper trail improves the employee’s position if the injury turns out to be worse than they thought. Does LW know for sure that this fracture won’t have some complication like infection or longer-term chronic pain? I doubt it, and 6 weeks from now if they find out that there’s a larger issue they will probably have a very hard time proving that it originated at work.

    LW, definitely report your injury to your employer. Whether Melissa apologizes or gets upset or whatever is not as important as getting this on the record.

    1. Nicki Name*

      5) If you’re in the US, your workplace may be required to report any injury that needs more than first aid to treat to OSHA. (Some low-risk industries are exempt from this.) OSHA takes a very dim view of injuries that are reported late. Not because it suspects a fake injury, just the opposite– it suspects the workplace was trying to cover itup.

      1. Cordoba*

        I don’t think so, since notifying of injuries is one of the primary mechanisms for resolving safety hazards.

        In a very real way not reporting an injury can increase the chance of other people being injured. As a result, injury reporting is Serious Business.

        If I get an electrical shock from Machine XYZ, even if my injury is minor I need to report it immediately so that Maintenance and Safety can check that machine out and either fix it or prevent other people from using it. If I fail to report I’m putting all the other users of that machine at risk, and *that’s* what justifies somebody getting walked out of the building if they don’t properly notify about an injury.

        1. Curmudgeon in California*


          Injuries in a workplace context are not really thought of as unavoidable accidents, but as safety incidents. The *employer* has a duty to train and implement processes to try to prevent said injuries. They can’t do that if they don’t know about the injuries, and often regulators take a dim view of an environment that discourages reporting injuries.

  21. Jennifer*

    OP, you’re being way too passive here. It’s okay to say “Ow! You slammed a trunk on my arm and it effing hurts!” when someone slams a trunk on your arm, even when you’re rushing to deliver something to a client. I get it was an accident but I find it hard to believe that she didn’t notice she did it. I understand being rushed and feeling frustrated, but that’s no excuse for being cold and rude. Even if somehow she didn’t notice she slammed the door on your own, not noticing you were visibly in pain after she calmed down on the ride home is nearly unforgivable. She owes you an apology.

    And of course, report it to your job if you haven’t already. It’s okay to advocate for yourself.

  22. Ted Mosby*

    Oof! I can so see being Melissa. Shutting your trunk as soon as you get what you need is one of those reflexes, like how you might light when you leave a room, even though someone is still in there, or reflexively apologize to the sign pole you elbow. I’m also fairly spacey (obviously) to the point where even if I really care about someone’s feelings I just might not notice you hate physically happening around me, no matter how hard I try.

    I would totally want a chance to apologize if I were her! Hopefully she’s a decent human.

    1. Ted Mosby*

      This was typed on my phone with a very active autocorrect and wonky view of my comment, but I turn OFF lights and don’t notice what is physically around me.

  23. Phony Genius*

    I know of somebody who was disciplined for failure to report an on-the-job accident, even though they were the only one injured. So you should definitely report it.

    Also, the converse of Alison’s advice is also true. Beware of your coworkers’ arms when you’re closing trunks!

  24. Essess*

    You definitely need to report it as a workplace injury. If there are any complications or if you need to miss any work time for doctor visits related to this they need to know so that you aren’t penalized for missing work. Also, as others mention, workman’s comp should help pick up the costs of the medical bills.

  25. Anonnington*

    I would not make any assumptions about Melissa’s intentions.

    OP, having been through similar things myself, I know that it can be shocking and it can take some time for everything to sink in. Sometimes, there’s a bit of a denial response, especially if it’s someone you generally like. Because you want people to be likeable, and when they do something inconsistent with that, you want to make excuses for them. Maybe that’s not at play here, but it’s a good thing to take into account.

    In light of the shock factor, I would be very objective about this. Let your workplace know at the same time that you let Melissa know. Give your boss and HR the facts. Send them any documentation they might need. Allow for all the possibilities – from it being unintentional and her not being aware of it to the opposite.

  26. HMM*

    I would personally frame this differently, since it has been a week since it happened. I think a natural entry point would be:

    “Hey Melissa, I’m not sure if you realized because of the rush we were in, but you closed your trunk on my arm. I didn’t think it would be more than a bad bruise so I didn’t bring it up at the time, but I was still in pain the next day and a doctor confirmed that it’s actually a hairline fracture.”

    You could wait there to see how she responds, then go into “Oh, I know you didn’t mean it. I just wanted to let you know that we need to be super careful, especially when we’re in a hurry because an injury is no joke – both for the person hurt and for the organization due to the workers comp report.”

    Hopefully she’ll respond with the proper contrition – even if she really just didn’t notice, some acknowledgement of harm caused is necessary.

    I don’t think this response is all that different than Alison’s suggestion, but to me it reads as less passive aggressive or cold.

  27. Phil*

    I used to work as a motorcycle courier moving legal papers around Los Angeles. I was injured on the job saving the bike from going down after I hit a patch of diesel. Worker’s Comp covered the injured knee and disability for the time off. No problems.
    And I literally crawled up the courthouse steps to deliver the papers because I couldn’t walk. And that wasn’t the most incredible thing that happened. The bailiffs actually helped me. They never helped up us. In fact, they used to make deliveries a hard as possible. Once they stripped searched me.
    So file the claim right now.

  28. Curmudgeon in California*

    WTF? How could she not notice that she closed her trunk on someone’s arm?

    That should get at least an “Oh, sorry. Clear now?” after re-opening the trunk to release the arm.

    The fact that she seems not to have noticed doesn’t say good things about her safe work habits.

    In general, when dealing with trunks, hatchs and doors while handling cargo, the person closing said item has the responsibility to check that all limbs and objects are clear before closing. The person not closing can aid this by stepping back, displaying hands and saying “clear”.

    Some companies cover this type of thing in their “slips, trips and falls” safety training.

    1. Black Horse Dancing*

      More common than you think. Again, if you’re not watching and OP didn’t make a noise, how will she know?

      1. Jennifer*

        That’s the point. If she wasn’t watching that’s a problem. If her head was so in the clouds she didn’t notice she slammed a trunk on someone’s arm that doesn’t say much for her concern for safety. Should she even be driving people around when she’s rushing or stressed if she doesn’t notice she slammed a trunk on someone? It would have taken two seconds to make sure everyone’s limbs were clear.

        1. Black Horse Dancing*

          It’s not about watching–numerous times I close my truck and turn away. It;s an automatic gesture. I’ve turned out lights in a room with someone in it. It’s auto reflex and doesn’t have ill intent, it simply is. And I’ve caught the edge of a box in my trunk as well and when the lid pops up, then I realize, it’s not closed tightly. If I’m with someone, had turned away and closed the trunk and the other person never tells me their arm got pinched, I wouldn’t know. Is my head in the clouds? No,, not necessarily. I’m on auto mode. Would I apologize immediately? Gods yes! I would be horrified.

          1. Jennifer*

            Of course, we’ve all made mistakes like this – myself included. But at work, rushing or not, you have to be more aware of safety, especially if your job involves driving other people around. “I was rushing” is not an excuse for not paying attention at work. A forgivable error if she truly didn’t realize it, but not if it’s an ongoing thing.

            1. Black Horse Dancing*

              You’re correct. If this has happened a lot with Melissa, then there’s a problem.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Sounds to me that the trunk didn’t actually latch, so it just slammed on the wrist and stayed open. Which you’d assume someone would notice but when you’re not paying attention, it’s a sadly common error. I’ve had to train people in this kind of BS, you think it’s common sense of course but as they say in safety trainings “common sense isn’t common.”

      1. MsSolo*

        If OP shut it after withdrawing her arm, Melissa may never have noticed the disconnect – she pulled down on the trunk lid to close it as she turned away from the car, when she returned to the car it was closed, experience suggests pulling on the trunk lid closed it.

        (Maybe it’s just the people I know and the cars they drive, but in my experience very few people still have their hand on the trunk at the point where it latches, in the same way they don’t usually have their hand in the door handle at the point when it closes, unless they’re making a specific effort to close it quietly and gently. Maybe they’re all just slammers!)

  29. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

    Yes to everything Alison said. You also mention that she was very short with you on the drive over but it doesn’t bother you. If this was a one time incident, I would let it go. But if this is a pattern when she’s stressed, something needs to be said because that it 100% not okay.

  30. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    As the forever defacto safety person everywhere I’ve been, please always be forthcoming about injuries! Saying someone slammed your arm in a trunk isn’t malicious and it won’t really get most people in a heap of trouble, accidents happen all the time! It’ll come up in the workers comp claim process and it’s so that they can flush out the root cause.

    One of the actual questions on the accident reports are always “was this caused by faulty machinery or another person?” because we need these details to improve and avoid errors.

    1. SierraSkiing*

      Agreed! It’s really important that people with power over safety things know that the accident happened. On its own, this one just seems like a bad-luck mistake. But maybe someone with a spreadsheet will be able to see that there’s often accidents with (random example) Friday deliveries because employees on the floor are heavily pressured to get them out on time. And that person with the spreadsheet might see a way to change the shipment schedule to reduce that Friday rush. Even if faulty people or equipment aren’t responsible for the injury, a faulty process might have contributed to it.

  31. Llellayena*

    Yeah, don’t hide the cause of the injury. Facial expression can help immensely if you don’t want to seem like you’re accusing Melissa. Just put on a wry smile and say “Yeah, Melissa managed to close the trunk lid on my wrist.” If it seems like you’re laughing about it it shouldn’t sound accusatory. And definitely report to get workers comp.

    Side note: My mom managed to close the lid of her SUV’s trunk on my dad’s head! Just enough for a slight concussion but it made for a very amusing story after the pain receded. There were some good jokes out of it!

    1. Mx*

      It would be weird to seem like she’s laughing at it.
      She could state that Melissa accidentally closed the trunk so it won’t sound accusatory.

  32. Rikki Tikki Tarantula*

    I saw the headline and for a moment thought it was the person injured by the bird-phobic guy (easily one of the most memorable letters ever!).

  33. Pennyworth*

    I am concerned that because Melissa apparently didn’t notice, OP didn’t react in the moment and hasn’t yet reported the injury that she might have push pack with a workers compenation claim. I hope she provided details of the cause of her injury when it was treated. I have developed a habit of audibly reacting to incidents at work – usually just yelping (or swearing), but anyone nearby knows that something has happened, and we are expected to complete an incident report for any little thing, so there is always an information trail if required. If we didn’t have a system put in place by my employer I think I would have my own personal reporting form to submit to HR as necessary.

  34. PlatypusOo*

    I’d be curious to know if the OP is a 1099 employee. A lot of couriers are, and if so they are not eligible for Workman’s Comp.

  35. Sally*

    I am so sorry this happened to you. It is one of my biggest fears. When I unload groceries, I frequently look upwards to make sure some invisible force is not closing the trunk.

Comments are closed.