Our workers’ compensation lawyers receive calls on a daily basis from workers requesting assistance with their workplace accident or injury.
These injured workers ask us what they need to do to ensure their legal rights are protected, their medical care is paid for and their pay will continue.
If you or a loved one has been hurt at work, there are several essential acts that will help preserve your claim and allow an experienced work injury compensation lawyer to get you the benefits you deserve.
First, report the accident or injury. Florida’s workers’ compensation laws require that the accident be reported within a certain timeframe and failure to make a timely reporting can bar your ability to receive any workers’ compensation benefits.
It is not enough to tell a coworker or to presume the company knows you were hurt simply because you took some time off for your back. One of the more popular lines our work injury lawyers hear from employer representative depositions is that they certainly knew the employee had a bad back, but they were never told the cause of the bad back was from a workplace accident or injury. Let us help you report the injury so that there can be no mistake as to how, where and why you were hurt and who shall be held liable to make you better.
Second, document your reporting and obtain an accident report. As workers’ compensation lawyers, we see many examples where an injury was reported properly, but the employer failed to fill out a report or submit it to the correct parties. This can cause problems down the road when the employee who received the reporting of the accident is either no longer with the company or in fear of losing their job for failing to report the injury and refuses to testify on your behalf. As work comp lawyers we can make sure that your injury is documented and prevent anyone from ever saying you didn’t do what was required by law.
Third, get medical care and report all injuries, even if they seem minor at first. Workers’ Compensation adjusters love to deny claims if they can. By doing so, they save money and actually earn interest on their unspent money (contact a financial advisor to learn more about earning interest). If you don’t report an injury at the onset, they may deny care down the road saying that any new complaint is too far out from the accident to be related.
We see this occur when multiple body parts are injured yet more attention is paid to the most severe injuries and the seemingly minor problems are ignored. By the time work comp finally gets around to those seemingly smaller injuries, they will look for ways to close your case and pressure the doctors to say the need for care is not caused by the industrial accident.
Fourth, get your work restrictions from the workers’ compensation doctor and keep a copy on you at all times when working. If you tell a supervisor or boss that you can’t do something, be prepared to back it up with a doctor’s note. Saying you can’t work or perform and not having that note may cause a simple matter to escalate and may lead to your termination for refusal to comply with a superiors order or instruction. Don’t let them fire you because you don’t have you work restrictions. And don’t rely on the corporate office telling the onsite supervisors, foreman and bosses what is going on with your work comp case. Be prepared, just in case.
Fifth, if your workers’ compensation insurance company denies your case, call a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. Our work injury lawyers are here to help you. Based on our more than 80 years of combined workers’ compensation experience, if you have been hurt at work, we can help.