No matter where you work, there is always a possibility that you might get injured at work. When that happens, you need to know what to do in order to protect your rights as an injured employee. In Florida, any employer in the construction industry with at least one employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Any employer in a non-construction industry with at least four employees must carry worker’s compensation insurance. If you are hurt on the job, this insurance covers your loss of income and your medical expenses incurred by the work-related injury.
Because you might be under physical and mental stress after your injury, dealing with all of the paperwork and legalities of the claim process might feel overwhelming, and there is a risk of leaving out details that might affect your claim. However, if you consult with an experienced attorney from the Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Kissimmee, FL, we can take over your case and represent you in all aspects of the claim so you can receive all of the benefits that you deserve.
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How Long Do I Have To Report A Workplace Injury In Kissimmee, FL?
According to Florida’s Workers’ Compensation System Guide, if you are injured at work, you should report this to your employer as soon as you can. By law, you must report your accident within 30 days of your injury. If you have been suffering from health symptoms of an illness that your doctor determined the illness was caused by environmental factors at your workplace, you must report this within 30 days of when your doctor made that determination. If you report this after the deadline, your claim might get denied. So, even though you have 30 days, report your injury as soon as possible.
To Whom Do I Report My Workplace Injury?
You should report your injury to your manager or to the staff who is in charge at the moment. If your manager is on-site, and there are other employees in the area who saw what happened, it is a good idea to report this in the presence of the other workers who can confirm what had happened. If your manager was not present (e.g. if you had to call him to inform him), you can include the names of the other employees who saw the accident. Do so only if you trust them to be reliable witnesses. In addition, you can follow up with this verbal report with something in writing. You can write an email to your manager confirming that you had verbally informed him. Be sure to include the date of the injury and the date when you reported it, and any names of employees who can be reliable witnesses.
If you belong to a union, you should also inform your union representative. They can also advocate for you if you need their support.
Employer Responsibilities After A Workplace Injury
First and foremost, when you are hurt on the job, your injuries must be addressed right away. If you were seriously injured, 911 should be called. If you were hospitalized, the employer must inform OSHA within 24 hours.
They should also contact the workers’ compensation insurer right away. By Florida law, they have a legal obligation to report your injury to the insurer within seven days after they receive a report of your injury. It is their responsibility to stay in communication with you and the insurance adjuster throughout the process and keep them updated on your progress. If you are able to return to work but have restrictions, they need to get a copy of those restrictions from your doctor.
If you are not able to go to work for at least seven days, or if your injury results in a permanent physical impairment, your employer has to provide the insurance company with information about your wages within 14 days of receiving the report of your injury.
Your employer has to provide you with a copy of the First Report of Injury.
If your employer has to request release of information of your social security benefits, they need to give you Form DFS-F2-DWC-14 to fill out. They send this form to the Social Security Administration office closest to your home address and also send a copy to the workers’ compensation insurer within 14 days of this request.
Your employer also must provide you with the names of the doctors who are authorized to treat your work-related injuries. There are a couple of notices called the “Broken Arm Poster” and the “Anti-Fraud Notice” that they are supposed to post where employees can clearly see them. The posters have information about the insurance company and what number to call to report a work-related injury.
Employee Responsibility After A Workplace Injury
After you are injured, you should take care of your injuries first. If you need to see a doctor, find out who the approved doctors are. Getting treatment from a doctor not authorized by your employer or the insurance company might not qualify you to have the medical expenses covered. In emergencies, seek emergency care first, then notify your employer what had happened.
After your employer notifies the insurance company of your injury, a claims adjuster will usually contact you within 24 hours with information on your next steps. You will receive a packet of forms and information that you need to review and complete. As you continue your treatment, you need to keep your employer informed of your progress and condition. Inform them of job restrictions recommended by your doctor if they apply.
Call Us Today When Reporting A Work Injury in Kissimmee, FL
As you can see, a lot goes into determining the amount of benefits you get. Dealing with your employer and the insurance company can be very stressful during a time when you should be focusing on your recovery. Instead of subjecting yourself to this stress, before you agree to anything with your employer, call us at the Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Kissimmee, FL, and discuss your case. We will take care of everything relating to your claim and represent you in all communications, and advocate for you so you will receive all the benefits that you are entitled to. Don’t risk getting less than what you deserve. Let us fight for you so you can rest easier knowing that our best attorneys will take care of you.