Workers’ compensation aims to provide employees benefits when they are injured on the job. Usually, the benefits are available regardless of who is at fault.
According to Florida workers’ compensation law, a person’s employer must provide and pay for the medical treatment an injured worker requires. If the injury results in the worker being unable to continue working, a temporary disability benefit will replace a percentage of their lost wages. If the injury results in a permanent disability or impairment, then a disability benefit is paid by workers’ compensation.
Overall, workers’ compensation should be an easy system to use. However, it’s all too easy for injured workers to make mistakes that may impact their ability to receive the benefits they are entitled to. Getting to know what these benefits are will help you avoid them if you are ever in this situation.
It’s also recommended that you hire a West Palm Beach work injury lawyer to help with your workers’ compensation benefits. At Sternberg Forsythe, we can help ensure you get your benefits and that you are fully compensated for the injury you experienced.
Mistake: Failing to Report Your Injury Right Away
According to Florida law, an injured worker has just 30 days to report a work-caused injury. In some situations, like if the worker has a disease resulting from ongoing exposure to chemicals, the 30 days begin when the worker is aware or should have been aware that the condition was related to their work.
If you wait past the 30-day deadline, filing a workers’ compensation claim may be impossible. You should still consult with our legal team about your circumstances to see if there is a legal excuse for failing to report the incident sooner. Still, it’s not common to find a justifiable excuse for missing this deadline.
While an injured employee has 30 days to report the work injury, it’s best to report it as soon as it happens. If you wait, a few problems may arise. For example, the workers’ compensation insurance provider may say the delay was because the injury didn’t happen at work. The insurance company may also claim you were injured at home and blame the injury on an at-work accident.
You also must show proof the incident was work-related. If you report the situation immediately, you will likely have witnesses who can let your employer know what happened and how the injury occurred. As time passes, most witnesses won’t be able to remember what they saw clearly.
Mistake: Not Seeking Medical Treatment Right Away
The workers’ compensation law will typically regulate an injury that involves an employer in Florida in the state. Only a few employers (mainly maritime businesses) that the federal workers’ compensation law will govern.
According to Florida’s state law, the employer has the right to choose a healthcare provider. Most workers’ compensation insurance providers have contracted with specific clinics and doctors to provide work injury treatment. If an employee requests permission to see a doctor for their work injury, the employer or the employer’s insurance company will send them to the designated clinic or doctor.
The injured employee can only receive healthcare services at no cost if they go to the designated doctor. While an employee can go to a different doctor, they must do this and pay for the treatment themselves.
To receive employer-provided healthcare services, employees must get authorization to go to the doctor. The exception is if the employee needs to go to the emergency room because of a life-threatening accident or impairment.
You should also request permission to go to the doctor when you report the injury. Even if it seems minor, going to the doctor will provide a record that the injury occurred on the job. If it worsens over time, the doctor will create a “paper trail” that will tie your injury to your job. Waiting to see a doctor may result in the insurance company claiming something else caused it and that it is not work-related.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help and Information about Your Case
When it comes to workers’ compensation mistakes, there are more than a few you can make to ruin your ability to receive benefits. Knowing what some of the biggest mistakes are, is a good first step; however, retaining our legal services will likely benefit you in the long run.
If you have been injured on the job and need legal assistance, reach out to our West Palm Beach work injury lawyer today. At Sternberg Forsythe, you can count on our legal professionals to help you obtain the benefits you are entitled to for your work-related injury.