If you have suffered in workplace accident, you may be confused and unsure of what to do next. In addition to suffering the pain and discomfort of the injury, you will be understandably concerned about your financial outlook. There will be the high costs of medical treatment and the possibility of lost wages for time off work — the whole ordeal can seem bleak and unbearable. Reporting a work injury in Palm Bay can be a stressful time in your life.
The State of Florida’s Workers Compensation System is in place to offer aid in this time of need. To avail yourself of this support, you will need to begin by properly reporting your injury.
If you have suffered a workplace injury and are not sure what to do next, call (786) 249-7999 and arrange for expert legal assistance from a workers’ compensation lawyer Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition.
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How Long Do I Have In Reporting A Work Injury In Palm Bay, Florida?
The first order of business will be to lodge a formal report with your employer, immediate supervisor or foreman. This must be done with all haste.
In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for reporting a workplace injury to your employer is 30 days from the time of the incident that caused the injury. This 30-day notice is in place to allow your employer the opportunity to investigate while there is still fresh evidence for examination. If you don’t make a report within 30 days there is a good chance that you miss your chance to obtain workers’ compensation.
The countdown for this 30-day time frame begins from the moment of the accident that resulted in your injuries. However, there are “occupational” diseases and conditions that can also be covered by worker’s compensation. In such a case, the countdown will begin when you are learn of the condition, i.e. The diagnosis by a qualified physician.
To Whom Should This Report Be Made?
If you have become injured on the job, you will need to make a report to your employer or immediate supervisor. You will probably find the person to whom you will make this report in your employee handbook provided to you at the onset of your employment at this place of work.
Florida workers’ compensation laws do not require that your report is made in writing, but we highly recommend that you do deliver a written report of the injury to your employer. This is because there will be times when an employer denies having been given a verbal report and a having a written report on hand provides evidence of this important step in obtaining your workers’ compensation.
What are the Employer Responsibilities After Being Notified of a Workplace Injury?
Once an employer has received the report that their employee has suffered injuries in the workplace, they are responsible to take the following actions:
Seek Medical Attention for the Injured Employee— The employer should make sure the injured employee is given medical care. This could be by calling emergency services or seeing to it that they are taken to a medical professional for examination and treatment.
Follow OSHA Recommendations — Employers are responsible to report injuries occurring in the workplace to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Accidents that result in amputations and eye-loss should be reported within 24 hours of the incident and 8 hours for those that result in death or hospitalization.
Review Emergency Plans — The employer should review any contingency plans in place for such an event and the guidelines in place to prevent these accidents from happening. If no such plan is in place, this is a good time to create one.
See to the Safety of Other Employees — if one employee was injured, there is a potential for danger and other employees should be removed from the danger zone.
Get information, collect evidence and examine photos — it is important to gather all evidence in connection to the incident that caused injury. This could mean collecting evidence in the form of photos and surveillance footage as well as speaking to employees that witnessed the event take place.
Maintain open communication — the employer should keep contact with the injured employee during the process to ensure that the injured employee is kept aware of the process as it unfolds.
What are the Employee’s Responsibilities After Being Injured in a Workplace Accident?
The following information is provided in the handbook given to employees and can also be found posted on the SBWC website. This outlines what to do in case of a workplace accident.
1. Report the injury before 30 days — the first responsibility will be to properly report the injury within 30 days of the incident — failure to do so could result in voiding your chances to obtain workers’ compensation.
To properly report the incident, make sure the following details are properly listed in the report:
Date and time the incident occurred.
Place where the incident occurred.
What the employee was doing at the time of the incident.
Symptoms that indicated the presence of an injury.
Body parts affected in the injury
Supervisors, coworkers or anyone else present who may have witnessed the incident
2. Have injuries examined by a certified WC/MCO physician — the injuries sustained in the workplace must be examined by a certified WC/MCO physician. Your employer is responsible to include the names and contact information of 6 WC/MCO physicians in the employee handbook. But you can also find a list of the certified WC/MCO physicians in your area on the SBWC website.
3. File your workers’ compensation claim — after the injury has been reported to your supervisor or your employer, you must lodge your claim with the State Board of Worker’s Compensation by filling out and submitting the WC-14 form. Another copy of this form should be filled out and filed with your employer and it is highly recommended that you also fill out a form for your own records.
Final Notes on Reporting a Work Injury in Palm Bay, Florida
The Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Palm Bay has plenty of experience in handling these workers’ compensation claims. Call us today at (786) 249-7999 and allow us to help you with the legal side of obtaining your workers’ comp while you focus your mind and effort on making a full recovery.