It could be something sudden, like breaking a leg while on a construction job. It could be gradual, like developing carpal tunnel syndrome while working at a computer. Whatever the injury, getting hurt as a result of your job can reduce your mobility, your ability to care for your family, and your ability to earn a living.
Worker’s Compensation is a system designed to support employees who’ve sustained injuries as a result of their job by paying for medical treatment and helping make up for lost wages. But to qualify for Worker’s Comp, your injury needs to be well documented. Follow these steps to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve.
1) Tell your employer
Florida law gives you 30 days to report an accident. Those 30 days start from the day you get hurt or the day you realize your injury is from your work activity. For example, if you get carpel tunnel syndrome from working at a computer, it may take months to develop, but once your doctor diagnoses you, you have 30 days to tell your boss.
2) Get medical treatment
To qualify for Worker’s Comp, you have to see a doctor and be diagnosed with an injury. You need to tell the doctor that it was the result of a job-related activity or accident on the job site. And you need to get some kind of documentation from the doctor that states the diagnosis. Simply saying that you got hurt on the job isn’t enough.
3) Don’t lie about prior accidents
When talking to your doctor, your employer, or anyone else involved with the case, don’t try to cover up prior accidents that may have happened either at work or away from work. Many people think that, because they had another accident of some kind years before, they won’t qualify for Worker’s Comp, so they deny any such accidents occurred. But if it comes out during the case after you’ve originally denied it, your case may be dismissed. Be honest and up-front about what’s happened to you, even if there were multiple accidents in the past. Prior accidents only hurt your case when you lie about them.
4) Document everything
Write down the name and date of everyone you talk to about your accident. It can take many months to receive your Worker’s Comp benefits, and you won’t be able to remember exactly when you talked to a certain person six months later. So when you tell your boss you got hurt, write it down, and write down what you said. If you talk to a co-worker, write it down. If a co-worker was with you when the accident happened, get their contact information. If in the end your boss doesn’t report the accident, your attorney will need to present those dates and names to the court, and having an accurate log can make a big difference.
5) Get an attorney
The Worker’s Compensation system of Florida is supposed to be “self-executing,” but the reality is that it’s very complex. There are many ways to make mistakes, and even attorneys who aren’t specialists can get it wrong. In order to be sure you’re getting the maximum compensation, contact an experienced attorney who specializes in Worker’s Compensation to help you.
At Jacobs & Goodman,
- The initial consultation is always free.
- You always get an attorney, never a case manager like at other firms.
- We have extensive experience with Worker’s Compensation claims. Our attorneys have successfully brought Worker’s Comp claims up and down the state for hundreds of workers against some of the largest insurance corporations and employers in the state. Learn more.
- We take a personal interest in your case, and help you through every aspect, including helping you deal with medical leans and debts.
- We work on a contingency basis, which means if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay.
Visit Worker’s Compensation for more details on your rights.