If you were injured at work, you might be wondering what the steps are to file for workers’ compensation. Experiencing an injury at work can result in lost wages and unexpected medical conditions that can leave you stressed financially and mentally.
There are different types of injuries a worker can sustain on the job, which means they may not be noticeable right away. In that case, the reporting process is a little bit different.
It is important to know what your rights are if you are injured at work and what you should do as soon as you’re injured. Here is your guide for understanding workers’ comp rights in the state of Florida.
First Steps After Sustaining Injury
As soon as you experience an injury at work, you should report it to your HR representative. Your HR rep is responsible for explaining the workers’ compensation process and benefits that are allowed at your company.
In order to qualify for worker’s compensation, a person must meet the following requirements:
- Person must be an employee (volunteers and freelancers do not count)
- A report must be filed in the state’s timeline
- Illness or injury must be work-related
- Company must carry worker’s comp insurance
If your company does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you might have to seek extra avenues for collecting compensation through a third-party claim.
Filing your injury within the time limit is important to ensure your claim is filed quickly with the best potential outcome. In Florida, workers have up to a year to report their injuries. This is because internal injuries may be harder to pinpoint, such as physical injuries.
Common Injuries Workers’ Sustain
Depending on where you work, certain injuries may be more common than other businesses. For instance, if you work in a physically demanding profession, you may be prone to falls or other types of physical damages. If you work around a lot of chemicals and toxins, your injuries may be more internal.
Here is a list of common workplace injuries professionals in Florida experience:
- Slip and fall
- Strains or tears
- Inhaling Toxins
The type of injury you sustain can make a difference in how much you receive out of your claim, especially including its severity.
No matter what injury you face at the workplace, if you do not report your injury within the one-year timeline, it is likely your case will be dismissed, and you will not be eligible for any workers’ comp benefits. This is why it is important to report your injury as soon as possible.
What Is Encompassed In Workers’ Compensation?
Your place of employment in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, can carry different benefits for various worker’s compensation situations.
Here are the common benefits a worker in Florida can expect to receive after reporting an injury:
- Temporary benefits for lost wages
- Funeral coverage
- Medical care
- Rehabilitation benefits
You will likely not receive all of the benefits your company offers for your injury. It is your company’s job to come up with the best-case scenario for your injuries. Sometimes, your employer may try to give you a lump sum of money in a worker’s compensation situation that, of course, will look good on paper – but be wary.
The lump sum may not be able to provide you with the assistance you need in the future when the wages disappear. This is your employer’s way of trying to reduce the amount of money they spend on your injury. If your employer offers you a lump sum, think twice before you accept. If they do not budge or offer any other benefits, then you should consult with a lawyer.
How To Report Your Injury
When you go to report a worker’s compensation injury, one of the most important pieces of information you will need to have is the date the injury occurred. This is why there is a year deadline to report your injuries in Florida.
If you have sustained an internal injury, you may not know the exact date the injury started. If this is the case, you should report the first date you missed work in relation to the injury, or the day your doctor advised you about your internal injury and if they suspected it developed from work.
Once you report your injury to your HR rep, they will give you all the necessary paperwork to fill out. The sooner you fill it out and report it, the faster your claim will be processed.
The paperwork will likely include room for you to give details about the type of injury you sustained and how it happened at work and what the symptoms you are experiencing as a result of injury are. Depending on how your company operated, it is likely that the final step in the reporting process would be visiting a doctor your employer chooses for additional medical records.
What To Expect After Filing Your Report
Once you hand in the report, the waiting game begins. Your claim will pass through several reviews that will look at your medical records, review your work time and past, and analyze the information you included in your documents.
In the end, your claim will either be approved or denied. If your claim is approved, you will receive compensation and benefits that your employer feels best fits your situation. If your claim is denied or you feel as if your employer did not handle your claim properly in what they approved, you can challenge it by hiring a Palm Beach Gardens Work Injury Lawyer to review your claim and help you fight for your rights.
There is nothing worse than having a workplace deny or not assist you during a tumultuous time such as this. If this unfortunate situation arises, seek legal assistance immediately.
Other Legal Options
You have the right to file a third-party claim against your employer if you feel they are not doing their part to assist you in your time of need. However, you can only do this without accepting the workers’ comp benefits you are offered.
If you accept the workers’ comp benefits, you are essentially agreeing to your employer’s decision and “willingness” to help your injury. If your employer handles things unfairly or does nothing at all, you have the right to hire a lawyer and appeal their decisions with the help of your legal representative.
How A Lawyer Can Help
Speaking to an attorney at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers can be beneficial before you file your claim. Our firm is built with attorneys who have decades of experience fighting for the rights of those who were injured at their place of employment.
We offer a free case evaluation to all prospective clients who want to hear more about our services and how we can help their case. To get started, call our firm at (561) 800-8000 or fill out our form online to leave your contact information.
Dealing with a denied workers’ comp claim? We help fight that, too. We will guide you throughout the way to help you seek the extra compensation that you may rightfully deserve.
Contact us today to get started.