Employers in Florida must make the workplace as safe as possible for employees. In addition, most employers are expected to provide workers’ compensation to cover employees who get injured at work. However, regardless of how safe the employer tries to make the workplace, employees can still get hurt.
As an employee, you may be preoccupied with healing after an injury at work. However, while you have rights after an injury, you need steps to ensure that you are not denied your benefits. Our Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers have written this article to provide you with the information you need.
What Should You Do After a Workplace Injury?
Nobody hopes to get injured while at work, but the reality is that a lot of people get injured while working. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 2 million workplace injuries in 2020, with over 4,000 being fatal injuries.
Some industries are more likely to have workplace injuries than others. For example, industries such as construction, manufacturing, and logistics are some industries with frequent cases of workplace injuries.
Knowing what to do after a workplace injury is important. Unfortunately, some people don’t know what’s expected, and this often affects the outcome of their workers’ compensation claim. We’ve outlined some of the things you need to do below.
Seek Medical Attention
Get medical attention immediately after a workplace injury. Depending on the severity, you may need someone else to accompany you to the doctor. Even if you don’t think you were seriously injured, see a doctor. Some “minor injuries” could become serious a few weeks or months down the line.
In some cases, your employer may insist that you see a doctor that they choose. However, you can see a different doctor if you are not comfortable with the one they appoint.
Follow the Doctor’s Recommendations
It’s not enough to see a doctor. You must ensure that you do all that is required to help you heal faster. When you do not follow the doctor’s recommendation, the insurance company could argue that your injuries are not as serious as you claim or that your injury could have healed faster if you adhered to the doctor’s instructions.
Fortunately, you do not have to be stuck with a doctor you don’t trust or like. You can request to change doctors. However, you can only do that once. Even if you do not like the second doctor, you are stuck with them.
Report Your Injury to Your Employer
Most people will like to focus on healing after a workplace injury. While that is not an issue, your employer is responsible for providing care if you are injured at work. However, they cannot know that you were injured until you inform them.
Therefore, ensure that you report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. This could be before or after you get medical attention. In Florida, you have thirty days from the date of the accident to inform your employer. Not doing this could present problems down the road.
Without reporting your injury, your employer cannot inform the insurance company of your injury, which delays the time it takes for you to get medical attention. Furthermore, any delay in notifying your employer could make them suspicious of your injury. The insurance company may also argue that your wound was not serious enough.
Beyond helping you get compensation, reporting your injury to your employer informs them that there is a danger of an accident at work. This helps them to take steps to ensure it does not happen again. Furthermore, ensure that you fill out a workplace injury report.
Document Your Injury
You need proof to make any progress in your workers’ compensation case. However, getting this evidence means that you document your injury from the beginning. Take pictures of the wound when you go to get medical attention.
However, if you cannot do that, ask the doctor to take extensive notes of your injury. Ensure that you let them know how the accident happened and any other information they may need. This would come in handy when making a workers’ compensation claim.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
So many people leave hiring a lawyer until it’s too late. They assume that they don’t need a lawyer and try to get through a workers’ compensation case themselves. However, while you may not always need an attorney, you’re better off having one.
A workers’ compensation lawyer serves various purposes for clients. For instance, you need to be able to gather evidence to make a strong case. Doing this is a lot easier when you have a lawyer to guide you. Also, having an experienced attorney who has handled several workers’ compensation cases gives you an edge when up against experienced insurance company lawyers.
Track Your Expenses
As we pointed out earlier, you need evidence to have any chance of winning a workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, in addition to documenting your injury, you need to track and record your expenses. Since workers’ compensation usually covers medical expenses and lost wages, this would mean that you can show exactly how much you spent.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Cases?
Once you notify your employer, the employer must report your claim to the insurance company within 7 days. You don’t need to file any paperwork with the Division of Workers’ Compensation unless the insurance company denies your claim.
If your claim is denied, you must file a petition for benefits within two years of your work injury or within one year of your last wage loss or medical payment. While there’s a legal option for injured workers to seek compensation, it must be done within a specific time. This is called a Statute of Limitations, and it limits when people can file claims.
Hire the Best Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Orlando
Although your employer is responsible for providing you with adequate healthcare after a workplace injury, your actions could hurt you. Furthermore, your employer or their insurance company could deny your claim or try to devalue it. Consequently, you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help you through this process.
A competent workers’ compensation attorney is an asset when filing a workers’ compensation lawsuit. They do not only represent you in court but also help you gather evidence. At Florida Lawyers 360, our legal team combines their experience and knowledge to ensure you receive fair compensation. Call us today to set up a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Orlando.