Advice from a Workers Compensation Lawyer in Palm Beach
We had a call from an injured worker who was seeking workers’ comp legal advice about whether he could waive his right to file a claim under work comp if he settled an employment related claim. While speaking with the caller it was clear that he would lose his claim for work comp benefits if he signed the agreement provided.
We asked why he had not filed a claim or hired a workers’ compensation lawyer. He advised he didn’t think it was the right time. When asked when he thought the right time would be to file would be, he said he didn’t know.
If you don’t know when it is the right time to file, how do you know when it isn’t the right time? Luckily, the caller made the correct decision to contact an experienced work comp injury lawyer and we were able to help.
This was not the first time we have heard callers tell us that they didn’t know when to file or provided us reasons why they didn’t file before calling us. Here are a few reasons why people do not file:
1. I wasn’t allowed to file.
Please know that if you are hurt at work in Florida your employer is required by law to report the accident or injury to their workers’ compensation carrier. They do not get to choose who gets to file a claim and you do not need permission to file a workers’ compensation claim.
2. I was worried they would fire me.
In Florida, if an employer fires, or threatens to fire, an injured worker in retaliation for requesting to file a workers’ compensation claim they are liable for damages which can be pursued in civil court. The damages that can be obtained in this lawsuit can be much greater than in the work comp case itself. In our experience, if you are injured at work and you decide to work without reporting the injury or obtaining care, you are more likely to be fired for poor performance or some other reason the employer makes up to get rid of you. If this happens, you are out of a job and will have no income from your employer or the work comp carrier.
3. It isn’t the right time.
You have to make the call to file a claim. But if you do not file a claim in a timely manner your case can be denied. You may think you are making the right call, but how can you do this if you do not know Florida’s workers’ compensation laws? Consulting an experience workers’ compensation lawyer will ensure you do not violate a reporting or filing deadline.
Remember, when you have been hurt at work you need to report your injury and file a claim. Do not rely on the employer to do this for you. They are not going to stick their necks out for you.
We are always available to speak with those who think they have been hurt at work. Call us to find out how to protect your rights and ensure you obtain the medical care and lost wages that you deserve. If you would like to speak to one of our workers’ compensation lawyers, contact Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt today!