Florida Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system. An accident that occurs within the workplace, while working, is covered by the Employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance policy. However, the system is designed to cause delay and to deny medical and lost wage benefits. Many companies choose to do the “wrong thing.” They sweep injuries under the rug. They fail to report the accident to their Workers’ Compensation insurance company.
Do not give up hope regardless of what position your employer takes. You’re entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits whether or not your employer reports the claim. Do not get discouraged. Your company most likely has an insurance policy to cover workplace accidents. The information simply needs to be communicated to the insurance carrier.
Here’s a Five-step guide on how to deal with an employer’s lack of reporting:
Report the accident immediately
The Florida Workers’ Compensation statute gives you thirty days to report the accident. Yes, 30 days is an arbitrary number. If you don’t report the accident within thirty days the claim is barred; subject to a few exceptions. Make sure to report the accident immediately. Tell your boss, supervisor, etc. about the injuries. That way, your claim won’t be denied or delayed.
Make sure to document the name of the representative or manager/boss you actually told about the incident. This will be crucial. We’ll be able to depose this person down the road to inquire about the initial discussions.
Document the Accident in Writing
Hold your employer accountable. Force them to fill out an accident/incident report. A manager, supervisor, or human resources representative should have the form. The first or second step after an accident SHOULD consist of filling out a report. You may be asked to take a drug test. This is a normal procedure. However, feel free to call us prior to going to the clinic and submitting to the test(s).
If we receive written evidence of injury we can send that to the insurance company as evidentiary proof of the accident. This method works best and ensures that the insurance carrier receives a description of the accident/injuries. Ask for the supervisor/manager to sign the report you fill out. That way, the insurance carrier has a frame of reference/point man/woman to reach out to. Do not worry about the title or name of the form. Tell the representative from the company about any witnesses to the accident. Give an accurate description of ANY body part injured. Remember, the insurance company relies on the employer to give it detailed information. It’s essential they know about all injuries and what needs to be treated. The insurance company SHOULD set up treatment with a doctor based on the injuries you sustain. Ensure that a document trail begins immediately after the accident.
Call the Insurance Company
If you choose to operate on your own initially after the accident, call the insurance company. Tell the adjuster about the accident(s), injuries and specify where/when the accident took place. List any and all witnesses that were present at the time of the injury. This will expedite the process. The insurance carrier has no choice but to call the employer to discuss the events you describe/report. Reaching out to the insurance company also creates goodwill on your behalf. Proactive measures are always helpful when the employer denies or delays. It may be that the employer refuses to share the information with the insurer.
Ask for medical care/go to a local clinic/hospital
Ask for medical treatment immediately after an accident. If you experience any pain whatsoever, request a doctor. If the company refuses to report the claim, go to a local clinic or hospital. You may have to initially pay for the treatment out of pocket. However, we’ll file a Petition for Benefits and request reimbursement from the Insurance Company. Many defense attorneys will ask if you sough treatment after the accident. This treatment will be documented by the clinic or hospital you visit. The adjuster will certainly ask us if you received care and where you went. This goes a long way in proving an injury occurred. Be sure to tell the medical professional that you were hurt while on the job. Any inconsistencies can harm the claim.
Hire an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Litigation Attorney
Our firm has handled thousands of Workers’ Compensation cases in Florida. We know the process is lengthy and frustrating without an experienced attorney. We’re here to ease your burden. We talk to the adjusters to ensure they receive all of the information they need to properly assess the claim. We’ll make sure the employer does right by you and reports the accident. You can sit back relax and receive necessary medical care.
However, if the insurance company doesn’t have the information, medical treatment/lost wage benefits will be delayed. The insurance adjuster may ignore your calls. We file Petitions for Benefits to ensure there is a check and balance system. Without the Petitions, the insurers have full discretion as to when the claim will be answered/investigated. Medical and lost wage authorization will be delayed as a result.
Imagine your employer ignoring the adjuster in an attempt to frustrate you enough to drop the claim. Now, stop imagining these horrible scenarios and call us. We’ll ensure full compliance on the Employer and the Carrier’s end.
Do not wait. Call us immediately to discuss. We fight large corporations like McDonald’s and we also litigate against non-insured companies. No fight is too big.
Do not despair. You may pursue a Florida Workers’ Compensation case whether or not your company reports the accident. Be sure to communicate with your employer within 30 days of the accident. Describe the accident and the nature of the injuries. Request treatment. Request a claim number. Discuss filling out an injury/accident report.
Call us and allow us to direct the information to the insurance company. The quicker we communicate the better chance the claim is accepted.