A worker contacted Franks, Koenig & Neuwalt after getting injured on the job. She wanted to know what to do as her boss told her that it was nothing and to go back to work. Her friends and family told her to report the accident and to hire workers’ compensation attorney in West Palm Beach FL. However she was scared she might get fired.
Our caller’s concerns are common fears for those seeking workers’ compensation in West Palm Beach. Will my boss be mad at me if I report an injury? Will my co-workers get mad at me if I cannot do my job and they have to pick up the slack? Will I get fired if I ask for workers’ compensation to send me to a doctor?
While these are all valid questions, they should not stop you from requesting the benefits to which you are entitled to under Florida’s workers’ compensation system.
Employers are required to record workers’ accidents and injuries and report them to their work comp insurance company. If they do not promptly report the accident they can get fined. If your employer doesn’t want to report a claim due to his or her “no accident since” record or out of fear that the monthly insurance rates will go up, that doesn’t seem like your employer has your best interests at heart. It seems that the employer cares more about the bottom line than your health and doing the right thing for you.
If an employer threatens to fire you after reporting an injury or asking for medical care, the employer is then open to a retaliatory discharge lawsuit. If this happens, keep records of your conversations: with whom you speak, the time of the conversation, where you were and whether there were any witnesses.
Once you report your injury, the employer should send you to a workers’ compensation doctor. If they do not, you need to document your injuries and the incident by going to a medical provider on your own. The workers’ compensation insurance company will then have to reimburse you for any care. However, if you are offered medical treatment by your employer, or by work comp, and you choose not to receive care with that provider, the workers’ compensation carrier is not required to reimburse you, and can ignore your doctor’s recommendations.
After reporting your injury and seeking medical care, an injured worker must inform the employer as to his or her work status. If you are injured on the job and assigned a “no work” status by their work comp doctor, work comp will pay you while you are unable to return to work. If you are placed on a light duty status, where your activities are restricted, your employer may be able to accommodate your restrictions so you may go back to work. Other employers may not have light duty work available, in which case you would not return to work until after your restrictions are modified. An injured worker may be entitled to checks from the work comp carrier, from their employer and sometimes from both depending on the situation. An injured worker who refuses to go back to work is risking employment and work comp lost wage benefits.
As Palm Beach County workers’ compensation lawyers, we understand that being injured on the job can be a scary situation. We at Franks, Koenig & Neuwalt want to help you recover all of the benefits you deserve. If you think you have been injured on the job call us today to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for a free and confidential consultation today.