What happens if you drive for a trucking company and get hurt on the job? Or you’re hurt at an oil rig? You are funneled through Florida’s complex workers compensation system, and several employers and insurance companies are less inclined to compensate you.
Getting injured or falling ill because of your job is unfortunate, but job-related injuries happen more often than you would imagine. According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, fatal occupational injuries totaled 315 in Florida. When you suffer a job-related injury in Florida on a company’s property or while involved in a company’s business, you may have a right to recover compensation for your injury through the workers comp insurance policy held by your employer.
However, reimbursement is not automatic, and there are several rules you must follow, including reporting a work injury properly to ensure you receive payouts. If you want help reporting a work injury, a workers compensation attorney can provide assistance.
The experienced Lake City workers compensation lawyers at Florida Lawyers 360 understand the challenges injured employees face. We will help make sure you report your work injury correctly and increase your chances of receiving workers comp. Protect your rights. Call us at (786) 249-7999 for a 100% free consultation.
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How Long Do I Have When Reporting a Work Injury in Florida?
After suffering an injury on the job, you may have many questions. How does the workers compensation system work? Are my injuries covered? How long after a job-related accident do I have to report my injury?
Most employers in Florida are required to have worker’s compensation coverage, and you are eligible for workers compensation if:
- You are an employee (not an independent contractor)
- Your employer has workers comp coverage
- You got hurt or suffered an illness due to job-related duties.
While you could be eligible for workers comp after a job-related injury, recovering compensation is more complex than you might assume. To collect benefits, you must meet certain requirements, including correctly reporting a work injury or illness to your employer within certain deadlines.
Reporting a work injury to your employer is the first step to starting your workers comp claim in Florida. Under Florida Statutes Section 440.185, after a workplace accident resulting in injuries, you must report the injury as soon as possible but within 30 days, or a workers comp insurance carrier may deny your claim.
If you suffer a condition or illness that develops over time, you must report the injury within 30 days of taking time off work because of the condition or illness or within 30 days of discovering its relationship to your employment duties.
Who Do I Have To Report a Workplace Injury To?
Whether you get involved in a car accident while working or suffer other injuries on the job, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible.
Florida law requires injured employees to report an injury or their knowledge of a workplace injury no later than 30 days of their knowledge of the injury or within 30 days of a doctor determining that the injuries are work-related.
When you report a workplace injury to your employer, provide as much detail as possible, including:
- Where the accident occurred
- When the accident happened
- How you got hurt
- The symptoms you are experiencing
While you can report an injury verbally, it’s best to make the report in writing. Suppose you could not fill out a notice of injury. In that case, our Lake City workers compensation attorneys recommend you send an email to document that you reported your injury to your supervisor or manager. Remember to make a note of the supervisor or manager that received your report of the injury and the time and date you reported the injury.
After reporting a work injury to your employer, you must ask them what occupational doctor to see. In Florida, employers get to choose an injured worker’s treating physician unless the injured employee needs emergency treatment.
What Are My Responsibility After a Workplace Injury?
Florida has strict regulations regarding filing workers comp claims, and to ensure you recover the benefits you need and deserve, you must play your role. The Florida Department of Financial Services outlines the responsibilities of an injured worker after a workplace injury.
Below are the duties and responsibilities of a worker when injured on the job.
- Tell your employer (verbally or in writing) that you have sustained an injury as soon as possible, within 30 days from the injury date or initial manifestation of the condition or illness.
- Ask your employer where to seek medical care or treatment. You must see a physician authorized by your employer/workers comp insurance company.
- If it’s an emergency, and your employer is not available to direct you to an authorized doctor, visit the nearest emergency room and notify your employer as soon as possible regarding what has happened.
When you see the doctor
- Give your treating physician a detailed description of the accident or how you got hurt.
- Answer all questions the doctor might ask regarding past or current injuries or conditions.
- Discuss with your treating physician whether the injuries or illness you suffered is work-related.
- If your injury is job-related, find out if you can return to work or not.
- If you are cleared to return to your same job, ensure to get instructions from your treating physician on what duties you can and cannot do.
After seeing the doctor
- Speak with your employer and tell them what the doctor said you can and cannot do.
- If you are admitted to a hospital, contact or have someone contact your employer on your behalf to explain what happened and where you are.
- Provide your employer with the doctor’s notes as soon as possible.
- Ask your employer whether or not they have duties or roles for you to return to that do not require you to do things the treating physician said you cannot do yet.
- Contact the insurance company and notify them about the doctor’s take regarding your injuries, work status, and whether your employer has roles or duties available within your physical restrictions.
- Stay in touch with your employer and the insurance company throughout your treatment and recovery.
What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities After a Workplace Injury?
Your employer has responsibilities when you are injured on the job. These duties include:
Your employer must contact their workers comp insurance carrier and report your injury within 7 days of learning of your injury.
Your employer must post the “Broken Arms Poster” and the “Anti Fraud Poster” in a conspicuous location identifying the name of the contact information for the workers comp insurance company and instructions regarding reporting a work-related injury.
If your employer does not report your injury or job-related illness to their insurance company or doesn’t provide you with contact information for the insurance company, speak to a Lake City workers compensation to pursue other options, including calling the Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office for assistance.
Your employer must provide you with a copy of the injury report (form DFS-F2-DWC-1).
Your employer must provide the insurance company with your wage information within 14 days of learning about your injury or illness that will require you to miss more than 7 days of work or result in a permanent impairment.
If you are released to work with restrictions, your employer should:
- Get your treating physician’s list of restrictions and meet with you to see if work is available that you can do.
- Inform the insurance company when you are scheduled to return to restricted work if you will be earning what you earned before, and send the adjuster your wage information weekly or bi-weekly to determine if you are owed temporary partial benefits.
- Inform the insurance company if you are unable to return to work due to restrictions or if you cannot continue working because there is no restricted work available.
Is your employer neglecting its responsibilities after a job-related injury? Or your employer does not have workers compensation insurance and was required to do so by Florida law. Talk to the skilled Lake City workers comp attorney from Florida Lawyers 360. We can help you file a lawsuit against your employer to provide you with workers comp benefits under Florida’s workers comp law or maintain an action at law for damages.
Call Us Today When Reporting a Work Injury in Lake City
The timely reporting of a work-related injury is crucial. Delays in reporting a work injury can be detrimental to you in obtaining the necessary benefits you need and deserve.
With offices in Lake City, Orlando, and Tampa, our workers compensation lawyers are in place to protect the well-being and future of injured workers in Florida. Our team is familiar with insurance companies’ tactics for denying benefits to injured workers.
If you have questions about reporting your workplace injury and how to get your workers compensation claim started, please get in touch with Florida Lawyers 360. Put our experience, knowledge, and skills to work for you. Contact us at (786) 249-7999 right away to schedule a free consultation.