Being injured at work can be overwhelming and scary. You may wonder how you will make ends meet and how you will cover the costs of medical treatment for your injuries. While this can be a confusing time, if your injury occurred on the job, you could likely receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Sometimes, receiving the benefits that you are entitled to is a simple process. However, this isn’t always the case. If you have questions or are experiencing problems getting these benefits, our Orlando workers’ comp lawyers from Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. can help.
Protecting Your Claim for Benefits
Many people don’t realize that the things they do in the hours and days after being injured at work are critical. If you make a mistake, it can cause big issues in the future.
Having to spend time away from work for days, weeks, or months because of a workplace injury is something most people can’t afford. If you don’t receive workers’ compensation benefits, it can be challenging or even impossible to pay your bills and take care of your family. If the claim you file with your employer for these benefits is denied, you will also have to cover all your accident-related medical costs.
You may turn to your health insurance provider; however, they won’t want to cover this medical treatment because it was caused by a workplace accident. In fact, the insurer will likely request information regarding what you did to jeopardize your workers’ compensation claim to have it denied.
Instead of dealing with this, let our Orlando workers’ comp lawyers help ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to.
By retaining the services of our legal team, you can feel confident that you have someone on your side working for you to ensure your claim is approved. You don’t have to worry about your attorney making the same type of mistake you may make on your own.
If your workers’ comp claim is denied after that, you can have confidence that it wasn’t because of a mistake you made. It means the insurance provider and your employer did not have the intention to pay your claim.
Avoiding the Most Common Mistakes
Part of avoiding common workers’ comp mistakes is knowing what they are. The most common include:
Failing to Report the Accident and Your Injuries Immediately
One of the first (and biggest) mistakes you may make after a workplace accident is failing to report it immediately. While the company’s policy related to workplace injuries may require that you report it within 30 days, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to have your claim approved.
Failing to report the incident within a few days of your injuries allows your employer to argue that the injuries did not occur at work. They may also argue that you were not involved in any type of workplace accident.
In this situation, they can claim you were injured on personal time and are just trying to get workers’ compensation to cover the costs. Unfortunately, this scenario occurs regularly, so your employer will be hesitant to approve a workers’ compensation claim if you take days or weeks to report it.
Failing to Get Medical Treatment Immediately
Medical treatment is essential evidence for any workers’ compensation claim. While you have to see an approved doctor (more about that later), if the accident requires emergency treatment, you are allowed to go to the ER. If you don’t seek treatment within a few days of the accident, your employer may argue that you were not injured or that your injury was not as severe as you claim.
Failing to Document the Details of the Accident
To ensure you have a successful workers’ compensation claim, you need to document all the details of the accident you can remember. As time passes, you will likely forget the details of what happened. You should note what you were doing before the incident occurred, when the accident happened, and right after it happened.
If someone saw your accident, be sure to write down their names. You can also note any conversations you had before, during, or after your on-the-job accident. All this information will be beneficial when trying to secure workers’ compensation benefits.
Waiting too Long to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Florida
It doesn’t matter how long you wait to report the accident and your injury to your employer; you do not want to wait too long to file an official workers’ compensation claim. The Orlando workers’ comp lawyers you hire can help you with this process.
Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, you should never wait this long to file. Who could wait two years after being injured to file a claim – this just doesn’t make sense.
With the help of Orlando workers’ comp lawyers, you have someone who will ensure your claim is filed right away. There’s no reason to wait more than a few days before filing your claim. You may only have to wait longer than this if you need documentation from your doctor.
If You Were Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
While this is something that should be clear, if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when your workplace accident occurred, you wouldn’t receive workers’ compensation benefits. This is one reason many employers are suspicious of workers waiting over a week to report the accident and injuries.
If a worker was under the influence of drugs when the accident occurred, they are aware they will be drug tested and may intentionally wait to report the incident. That’s because they believe that the drugs won’t show up on the test if they wait. Employers are more than aware of this tactic.
You should never assume you won’t be given a drug test. If the workers’ compensation claim is big enough, your employer and insurance company may require you to take a blood or hair follicle test instead.
Not Getting Treatment from a State-Approved Workers’ Comp Doctor
If you are hurt on the job, you must seek treatment from a state-approved workers’ compensation doctor. Your employer or the insurance carrier will let you know what doctor to visit. Florida has clear guidelines on this (along with virtually every other state). If a different medical provider treats you, your medical costs won’t be covered. Because of this, you must use the services of our Orlando workers’ comp lawyers at the beginning of your claim.
You do have options if you don’t believe the doctor you were assigned is competent or if you are not comfortable with them. In this case, you can contact your attorney, and they can get in touch with the insurance company to request a new physician.
Not Keeping Documentation of Your Treatment
Collecting copies of all your medical records, including tests and X-ray reports, MRI reports, CT scans, prescriptions, and all medical bills, is smart. It’s also necessary to keep a record of all the costs you incur related to the accident and your injuries. This includes the lost wages you experienced because you could not return to work.
While you can request that your attorney take care of collecting this documentation on your behalf, doing it yourself will help you save time and money. It will also help to reduce the possibility of making mistakes.
Waiting to Talk to an Attorney
Were you injured on the job and are still having issues getting approved for the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to? If so, you should contact our Orlando workers’ comp lawyers immediately. It doesn’t matter if your workers’ comp claim has been denied or if you are concerned it will; you need an experienced attorney working on your case. They can review all the paperwork you submitted and the messages and correspondence you received from your employer or their insurance provider.
Many people don’t realize they can make a simple mistake early in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and have it jeopardize the benefits they should receive. It could mean trouble if you have been out of work for over two weeks and still haven’t received benefits. You must have Orlando workers’ comp lawyers handle your claim to ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to. They can fix any mistakes you have made and ensure the remainder of your claim is handled properly.
Get in touch with our Orlando workers’ comp lawyers from Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, immediately after an on-the-job accident. We will review the facts of your case and help gather evidence to ensure you secure the benefits you are entitled to. We offer free initial consultations to all clients.