Work Comp Claims Won't Wait for You!
So you’re at working lifting a heavy box and you feel a twinge in your back, what should you do? First thing is to report the accident to your direct supervisor. This is true even if you don’t want medical care immediately, but it is especially the case when your accident causes injury that needs treatment. Document your report of injury when you can. There are several ways to memorialize your accident : (1) send an email or a text , (2) fill out a First Report of Injury, or (3) report your accident in front of witnesses. The workers’ compensation law in Florida has very specific reporting requirements. You must report an accident or injury arising out of an accident within 30 days of the accident occurring. There is an exception for injuries when the cause of the injury is not immediately apparent. In these cases, you have 30 days from the time you learn that your injury is work-related to report it.
One very common mistake is waiting to see how serious an injury is before you report it. Let’s examine this common scenario for pitfalls. Mary hurts her back at work on Friday. She’ s new to the job and she doesn’t want to cause any waves at work, so she says nothing about her unwitnessed accident. Over the weekend, the twinge she felt progresses to the point that she can barely move. So she goes to the emergency room. She tells the doctor that she just woke up and her back was killing her. The ER doctor refers Mary to her primary doctor who prescribes muscle relaxers and some anti-spasmodics. Mary’s back isn’t feeling any better, but she perseveres through work because she needs the money.
After several weeks of treatment under the care of her primary doctor with her back not improving, Mary’s family doctor refers her to an orthopedic. The orthopedic orders an MRI. Mary returns to the specialist who tells her that results of her MRI show that she has a herniated disk, and she needs back surgery. And it’s at this point that Mary decides this accident is serious and is going to require that she miss weeks or months from work, for which she needs compensation. Mary’ s got real problems now. She’s waited more than 30 days to report an accident, she needs surgery due to a work- related accident, and Mary’s about to have a denied claim and no income of any sort because she didn’t timely report her accident to her employer. Don’t get holding the bag like Mary. Report your accident immediately and consult an attorney soon after.
The Trialpros can help with your workers’ compensation claim. The consultation is free, and even after we accept your case you owe us nothing unless we make a recovery on your behalf.