At Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, our workers’ compensation attorneys take pride in fighting for sick and injured workers. We work to help our clients secure the benefits and financial compensation they deserve for medical costs, lost wages, and more.
If you are injured at work, knowing what to do is essential to protect your rights. Here is a checklist of steps you should take if you find yourself in this situation.
Work Injury Checklist for Employees in Florida
Report the Incident
If you are injured at work, you must report the incident to a supervisor immediately. This is true for all accidents, including minor ones.
Some workers fail to report their accident because they believe it is minor. A few days or weeks later, they realize they suffered actual harm from the accident.
If you do not report the injury within 30 days, your request for benefits can be denied, even if you have a valid claim. Your employer should provide you with a form to begin recovering the benefits you are entitled to. You can also find the First Report of Injury or Illness form online.
Gather Evidence (if Possible)
Being injured at work can be a scary situation. However, after an accident and injury, you should try to remain calm and gather evidence related to what happened.
While Florida is a no-fault state for workers’ compensation benefits, if your employer or their insurance carrier denies your claim for any reason, having evidence of what happened can be beneficial. You can talk to people who saw what happened and take pictures of anything that contributed to the incident. All this can be used if your claim is denied.
Seek Medical Care
You must seek treatment from a hospital or doctor your employer has authorized immediately. Workplaces must post a list of approved doctors and facilities somewhere all employees can see them. Usually, they are found in the break room or by the time clock.
You have to act quickly when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits. Waiting to seek treatment may lead to your claim being denied (as mentioned above). The insurance company may claim your injury did not occur at work or that it was not as serious as you claimed.
If you want your claim to be successful, it is necessary to have a full medical record that documents your injuries and treatment. This can be used to show how serious your accident and injuries were.
Ensure Your Employer Files a Claim on Your Behalf
Once you have reported the accident and injury to your employer, they must file a claim to their workers’ compensation carrier within seven days. The carrier will send out an informational brochure to you within three days of a claim being filed. When you receive this brochure, you can feel confident that your employer reported your accident and injury.
Your employer may refuse to report your accident and injury. If this happens, you can report it yourself. While this is true, it can also be beneficial to seek guidance from an attorney.
Complete the Recommended Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
After your claim is approved, you will start treatment for your injuries from the authorized provider selected by your employer or their insurance company. You must complete the treatment plan for your injuries. This is important for two reasons:
- You will heal and recover faster.
- You can avoid issues with your workers’ compensation benefits.
If your claim is approved, you can begin to receive temporary or partial total wage replacement benefits. While this is true, there is a seven day waiting period, which means benefits start on day eight. You do not receive benefits for the first seven days of your recovery unless you have to spend more than 21 days away from work because of your injury.
In Florida, most injured workers receive two-thirds of their weekly wage in benefits if they are awarded temporary total benefits. This could change when your doctor reports you have reached MMI (maximum medical improvement). At this point, you can receive permanent impairment benefits or permanent total benefits. This is the case if you are still unable to work or if the injury caused an issue you are still dealing with.
If an accident at work results in a person’s death, the dependents of the deceased worker can receive compensation benefits from the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Provide Your Employer with Updates
You must ensure you give your employer updates about your condition, treatment, and recovery. Test results and follow-up appointments can help document what you are doing. This can also show you are following the doctor’s treatment plan and that your condition keeps you from returning to work.
File an Appeal
You can appeal this rejection if your workers’ compensation claim is denied. However, it is recommended that you have representation from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The appeals process can be complex and confusing. Without legal representation, it may be challenging to achieve the desired outcome.
Contact a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help Getting the Benefits You Deserve
If you are injured at work, you have legal rights. You should hire an experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer from Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, for help with your claim.
Our legal team will work to help you secure the maximum benefits you deserve after a workplace accident. We are on your side and have a record of aggressively fighting for our clients. The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.
We are here to fight for injured workers and will ensure you have the best possible outcome for your situation.