First, take a deep breath. These things happen, and if you were injured previously you are more likely to suffer a new injury or aggravation of the old injury. Second, report your injury right away. Remember, Florida law gives you a brief period of time to report workplace accidents. If you don’t report an injury, the law may bar your ability to pursue a claim.
If you are injured while working for an employer, and you return to work with that same employer and get injured, the same workers’ compensation company remains liable for medical care and lost wages as long as they are still providing workers’ compensation coverage for the employer. If they are not, then the new carrier will be responsible for medical care.
What becomes a very important question is what did you injure. If, for example, your initial injury was to your right knee, and when you went back to work, you injured your left shoulder, you may be able to file a new claim for a new date of accident. This allows an injured worker to have separate and additional benefits to the initial injury. These benefits can include an additional 260 weeks worth of indemnity checks, new doctors, new experts and a new one time change (these new benefits are limited to the new date of accident). If, you initially injured your low back and then reinjured or aggravated your low back, there may or may not be a new date of accident. In this situation, it can depend, as everything relates back to the initial injury, but sometimes the extent of the new injury is so severe that a new date of accident must be filed.
When an injury happens at work ,the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier is responsible for medical care and lost wage checks. The fact that the injury occurred while being on light duty does not affect that responsibility. Injured workers should not fear reporting of a new claim. Many employees who are working while they have an open work comp case feel their manager, supervisor and boss’s eyes on them and the unwanted scrutiny is annoying at best. This negative attitude from the employer can be a deterring factor for injured workers seeking to file new claims due to fear of retaliation or discharge. However, if you are fired, or threatened with termination, if you seek to file a new workers’ compensation claim the employer can be sued for violation of a Florida Statute, §440.205.
If you have been hurt at work, or hurt again after coming back to work on light duty, call an expereiced workers’ compensation attorney at (561) 616-3800 today or contact them online to submit an inquiry that will be provided to one of the attorneys within minutes of your submission.