Florida workers’ compensation laws are found in Chapter 440 in the Florida Statutes. According to these laws, nearly all Florida businesses and employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to help cover on the job injuries and illnesses suffered by their employees. An injured worker can then receive compensation for lost time at work, reduced wages, and medical expenses. If the injury is severe and life changing, they may qualify for additional benefits.
When filing a workers’ compensation claim in Florida, workers often make serious mistakes that can significantly jeopardize their claims and their ability to collect the benefits they deserve.
Waiting to Report Injury
Many employees wrongly hesitate before reporting an injury to their employer. Many people worry that they’ll be reprimanded or lose their job as a result of the injury. One of the primary reasons that workers’ compensation claims are denied is because they aren’t reported in a timely manner. Remember that you cannot lose your job for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Not Notifying Your Employer
Even if you are injured at work and taken to the hospital, it is still your responsibility to notify your employer of the severity of your injuries. Many injured workers, however, mistakenly believe that the hospital or doctor will notify the employer of their work related injuries. This is not the case. After you have been treated, call your employer and begin filling out the necessary paperwork for job-related injuries.
Many workers fail to report work-related injuries that have made their pre-existing conditions worse. Any previous medical condition that was made worse by a current work injury should be reported to your employer. While these cases can be complex, these injuries should still be covered under workers’ compensation laws. It is always best to speak to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer if you are uncertain of your rights, or feel have been unfairly denied.
Failing to Follow Doctor’s Orders
When you are injured, it is important to follow all of your doctor’s orders precisely. Failure to follow orders may result in your claim being denied or delayed Be sure to fill all medications, attend all therapy sessions, and schedule all follow up appointments promptly. In addition, keep meticulous receipts of your expenses and of your appointments.
Returning to Work too Soon
Sometimes injured workers feel pressured by their employers to return to work as quickly as possible. As a result, they may return to work too soon, before they have fully healed. This can worsen their injury and jeopardize their benefits. Before returning to work, request a job description from your employer and have your doctor review this. Your doctor can then help you determine when you should be able to safely return to your job.
Injured on the Job?
If you have been injured on the job in Florida, our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys can help ensure that you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. At Sternberg / Forsythe, our attorneys have the experience and resources needed to tackle even the most complex workers’ compensation case. Contact a Florida work injury attorney at 561-687-5660.