Depending on the nature of your illness and your prognosis for recovery, Florida Worker compensation may not provide the benefits you need, regardless of when you file a claim. However, assuming you are still employed with the same company but cannot work until you heal, your workplace illness may qualify for Worker compensation, even if you do not discover your condition until years after the toxic exposure.
For some toxic substances, a significant latency period exists between the time of exposure and the time individuals first experience ill health effects. As a result, claims related to prior toxic exposure can be very complex. Before filing a claim, consider speaking with an experienced Florida Worker compensation lawyer who can ask the questions that determine the most appropriate course of action, such as the following:
- Do you still work for the same employer?
- Are you physically capable of continuing to work now?
- If you cannot work now, do you expect to be able to return to the same or another job after receiving medical treatment?
On the one hand, the statute of limitations presented in the Employee Facts brochure available from the Division of Worker Compensation gives you up to 30 days to report your illness once you become aware of it. You generally have two years after that date to file a claim seeking benefits, ranging from the medical treatment and replacement wages you need until you heal to permanent total benefits if your illness leaves you totally disabled.
Proving that toxic exposure at your current job caused your illness can present challenges — especially when that exposure may have occurred long ago. An experienced Worker compensation attorney can help expedite your claim by ensuring you submit the evidence you may need to protect your rights to compensation and informing you of any other beneficial legal options.