Injuries on the job are very common. Accidents can occur at any time even when reasonable precautions were followed. Sometimes employees develop unexplainable health symptoms that are ultimately connected with environmental conditions in the workplace. If you suffer from an injury or illness that was connected to the job that you are doing, you have rights as an injured employee. You must know your rights when reporting a work-related injury in Lakeland.
In Florida, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have four or more employees. There are two exceptions: a construction company with one or more employee, and farms that have six or more regular employees or 12 or more seasonal employees who worked at least 30 days, also must carry workers’ compensation. This insurance replaces part of the income that you lost as result of your injury and covers your medical bills for your work-related injuries.
Therefore, it is important that you understand how to get every benefit that you are entitled to. All cases are different, and sometimes issues come up around your claim. When that happens, our highly experienced attorneys at the Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Lakeland, FL, can help you navigate through these complex issues and help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Table of Contents
How Long Do I Have In Reporting a Work-Related Injury In Lakeland, Florida?
In Florida, the workers’ compensation laws require you to report your injury to your employer within 30 days of your injury. If you have an illness which your doctor has diagnosed as caused by certain conditions on your job, then you need to report this to your employer within 30 days of your diagnosis.
If you report this after the deadline, your claim is subject to getting denied. Even though the law allows you about a month to report, it is in your best interest that you inform your employer as soon as you are able to.
There are no advantages in delaying your report. A delay might even give the wrong impression to your employer that this matter is not urgent. The fact is, for your own health and safety, you should report your work-related injury Lakeland, Fl as soon as possible so you can get proper medical treatment covered by your employer’s insurance.
To Which Individuals Should I Report a Work-Related Injury?
In a medical emergency, the first people to contact would be the emergency medical responders who can come and provide immediate medical attention to your injuries. For non-urgent injuries, you should report it to your supervisor or manager.
They need to take down all of the information about how your injuries happened and report this to the insurance company. Your employer should also inform you where you should go to seek medical treatment for your injuries. You must go to an employer-approved doctor, not your own doctor, for work-related injuries if you want your medical expenses covered.
Your employer should have already posted signage at a conspicuous area at your workplace that tells workers who the insurance carrier is and where to call to report an injury or accident. This is often referred to as the “Broken Arm Poster”.
What are the Employer Responsibilities After a Work-Related Injury?
As mentioned, your employer needs to report your injuries to the insurance carrier. This must be done within seven days of the day you reported it. You will also get a copy of the injury report. Your employer also must inform you which doctors are authorized to treat your injuries if treatment is to be covered under workers’ compensation.
If you are unable to work due to your injuries, your employer needs to stay in touch with you and the insurance company until you are ready to return to work. If your doctor allows you to return to work, but with restrictions, your employer needs to get that information.
Your employer will have a conversation with you as to when you can return, whether your regular job responsibilities or work schedule will be modified based on your doctor’s orders, and anything that needs to be changed or accommodated. Your employer will forward this information to the insurance company.
If your absence from work is projected to be more than seven days, your employer will provide your wage information to the insurance carrier within 14 days of the injury report.
Your employer retains records of all workplace injuries for 2.5 years.
What are the Employee Responsibilities After a Work-Related Injury?
As the injured worker, you need to be mindful of some of your responsibilities in the claim process. When making your report, if there were other employees around who saw what happened, and you deem them to be reliable witnesses, provide their names on the report.
After you verbally inform your supervisor, it is a good idea to send an email with the same information as further documentation of what had happened. Make sure that you get treatment only from a doctor approved by the employer or the insurance company.
During your recovery, keep your employer informed of your progress. If you can return to work but require accommodations, document each request very clearly.
Call Us Today When Reporting a Work-Related Injury in Lakeland, FL
It is always everyone’s hope that any workers’ compensation claim will go smoothly. However, sometimes things can impede the progress of the claim. Whether the employer is pushing back on the claim or the insurance company is not covering certain things that you feel should be covered, this can make the claim more complicated.
Try to open a conversation with your employer if there are areas that are disputed and see if these issues can be resolved. If you tried to negotiate in good faith but you are not satisfied with the outcome and would like legal advice on your claim, call us for a consultation.
We can evaluate your case and advise you the next steps. We can also represent you in all communication with your employer or your insurance company.
Our attorneys at the Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Lakeland, FL, have represented many injured workers with their claims. Let us help you get all of the benefits that you are entitled to while you focus on your recovery.