2 Things You Need to Do if You are Injured at Work
Work-related injuries can be devastating to an individual’s income—especially if you need your pay to make ends meet.
Being able to pay for necessary medical care while still supporting one’s family while not working can be critical for many workers.
Just The Basics: Worker’s Compensation in Florida
Worker’s compensation is designed to provide injured workers with some wage replacement and coverage for medical care, as well as other benefits that an injured or sick employee might need due to a work-related injury or illness.
Each state in the nation has its own worker’s compensation laws. Understanding those laws and what they cover can be confusing at best. Plus, having a claim approved is not always a straight-forward process. You can run into delays and obstacles that can frustrating and confusing. Working with a Florida worker’s compensation lawyer can be of enormous value to an injured worker trying to navigate the worker’s compensation maze.
In Florida, you can receive worker’s compensation if you are injured or contract an occupational disease on the job. Importantly, the both the injury and any illness you contract must be work-related. To qualify as an occupational disease, the illness or disease must have resulted from the “nature of employment.” This means that the disease must be actually contracted at the job and that the nature of the employment itself was a major contributing factor to your getting the disease.
Not all companies are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, and not all workers qualify as covered “employees.”
But for those employees who do qualify and are injured or suffer a work-related illness, worker’s compensation can be of great benefit because it can pay for things such as:
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Medical tests
- Prescription drugs
- Some wage replacement benefits
It may also pay for other things like travel expenses for authorized treatments.
2 Things You Need to Do if You are Injured at Work.
If you are injured at work or contract a work-related disease, there are 2 things you must do.
- Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do if you are injured at work or in a work-related accident (for example, a car accident) is to seek medical attention. This is critical not only to address your injuries but failing to seek medical attention may get your application for worker’s compensation denied.
The longer you delay seeking medical treatment, the more likely that your worker’s compensation claim will be denied or “low-balled.” Insurance adjusters and worker’s compensation adjusters are always looking for reasons to deny or “low-ball” claims.
- File a Report
Worker’s compensation claims are time sensitive. You only have 30 days to report a work-related injury to your employer. If you are injured on the job, you should file a report with your employer within 24-48 hours of the accident to avoid having your claim denied.
If you discover you have contracted an occupational disease or sickness related to your work, you only have 30 days from the date you discovered its relation to your job to report it.
Failing to report your illness/injury to your employer within these tight timeframes can cause you to lose some or even all of your benefits.
Worker’s compensation can be very helpful if you are ill or injured because of a work-related incident. But there are tradeoffs. For example, pursuing a worker’s compensation claim means that you give up your right to receive any compensation for pain and suffering caused by your injury.
There are limited circumstances in which an employee can pursue worker’s compensation and may also file a lawsuit, so be sure to consult with a worker’s compensation lawyer for more information.
Worker’s Compensation Lawyers in Florida
John Fagan and his legal team are dedicated to helping those who have been injured due to the negligence of another. Our worker’s compensation team can help you apply for the benefits you deserve. Contact us here or simply call our firm at: 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.