You are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits if you were injured on the job. However, there are steps to take to ensure you properly file and ultimately pursue a Florida Workers’ Compensation accident. Below is a definitive guide on what an injured worker must do after an accident or injury at work in Florida to ensure a valid Florida Workers Compensation accident lawsuit is filed.
1) REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO A SUPERVISOR, MANAGER, OR CO-WORKER WITHIN 30 DAYS
Step one is crucial. You must report the injury/accident or disease/exposure within 30 days of either the accident or 30 days from the date of the workplace disease/exposure. This 30-day time limit is a hard and fast rule. Report within 30 days or your claim is invalid; subject to a few exceptions to the rule. If your boss or supervisor isn’t available, report this accident to a co-worker or two. Document the injury. It is important to notify someone on the day of the occurrence. You may report, in writing, the accident a few days after to a supervisor or manager. MAKE SURE TO REPORT, in writing, WITHIN 30 DAYS!
2) TELL YOUR EMPLOYER, CO-WORKER, OR MANAGER THE SPECIFIC INJURIES YOU SUSTAINED
It is important to specifically indicate what body part(s) were injured in the workplace accident. Your boss may ask you if you are hurt. Accidents such as slip and falls may produce immediate pain; however, a workplace mold exposure may take months for symptoms to manifest. Regardless, make sure to tell your employer about the nature of the injuries or exposure. Report the specific injury you sustained – i.e. low back injury, head pain and neck pain. Make sure to state every aspect of your pain; do not hold anything back. Most employers will call the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company immediately after you report the accident/injuries. The adjuster will rely on your description of the accident when authorizing medical treatment. BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE; SPARE NO DETAIL!
3) CALL LABOVICK, LABOVICK & DIAZ
It is extremely important to call experienced Florida Workers’ Compensation attorneys. You have two years from the date of injury to file a suit. We will be your conduit between a Workers’ Compensation claim and the claim delaying tactics of your company’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company. We fight for your medical and lost wage benefits. Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance Companies attempt to delay payment of medical treatment and lost wages. They are in the practice of denying and/or delaying initially and not paying until later. Do not be a victim of an insurance carrier. Let our experienced Florida Workers’ Compensation attorneys go to battle for you.
If you are attempting to receive payment of a medical bill or settle an existing claim, we are best suited to ensure the resolution of your claim. We will file documents to ensure payment of the bill, and we will negotiate an advantageous settlement on your behalf.
We will advise you if you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation. We will guide you from the initial reporting requirements to the ultimate settlement of your case.
WE WORK STRICTLY ON A CONTINGENCY FEE BASIS. MEANING, YOU DO NOT PAY OUR LAW FIRM A PENNY OUT OF POCKET. WE RECEIVE ATTORNEY’S FEES FROM THE LUMP SUM SETTLEMENT.
4) DOCUMENT THE ACCIDENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
You must document the accident. How can you document?
Write down the specifics
- The date of the accident
- What caused the accident/what happened
- A witness who saw the accident
- The individual to whom you reported the accident
Documenting the accident helps refresh your memory down the road if the insurance company denies the claim. It is best practice to be prepared for a Workers’ Compensation Claim. Preparing your attorney is the best scenario as well. We need the information to file our initial Petition for Benefits. We will include the nature of your accident and the nature of your injuries.
5) DO NOT AGREE TO A RECORDED STATEMENT
The insurance adjuster may call and ask you to sit for a recorded statement. DO NOT AGREE TO DO THIS. As your attorneys, we represent you and discuss the accident with your adjuster for you. The adjuster may ask inappropriate questions. Unfortunately, without an attorney, you will not have our object to the ridiculous questions that may be asked.
6) REQUEST MEDICAL TREATMENT
If you are in pain request medical treatment, your employer has a Workers’ Compensation carrier with a list of medical doctors in-network. The adjuster will most likely call you and direct you where to get treatment. We caution you to CALL US PRIOR TO SPEAKING TO THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER. You do not want to give them a recorded statement without discussing the particulars of your case with an experienced Florida Workers’ Compensation attorney!
7) MAKE SURE TO GO TO YOUR INITIAL DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT
Make sure to arrive for your initial doctor’s appointment. Fill out the intake form to the best of your ability. Inform the doctor about any and all your past injuries/workers’ compensation accidents/car accidents prior to this workplace accident. Do not hide anything – omitting information can hurt your case down the road. Be as open and honest as possible. Tell the doctor about your current pain, how you are restricted on a daily basis, etc. Now is the time to complain!
CAUTION: If you skip the appointment the adjuster may stop all benefits for medical non-compliance. We will explain the process and set up the appointments for you.
8) INFORM YOUR EMPLOYER ABOUT ANY/ALL WORK RESTRICTIONS
Your doctor may give work restrictions – i.e. light-duty capacity work, no lifting over 10 pounds. Immediately following your doctor’s appointment, call your employer and let them know about any doctor-recommended restrictions. If your boss indicates he has no work for you, you will receive temporarily lost wage benefits. You are entitled to 5 years of temporarily lost wage benefits.
CAUTION: Do not make assumptions. Be certain to make the call and ask your employer if there may be another job you could complete within the restrictions assigned by your authorized doctor.
9) DO NOT TREAT WITH UNAUTHORIZED DOCTORS
Solely treat with the doctors assigned to you by the Workers’ Compensation carrier. The Workers’ Compensation insurance company will pay for any treatment authorized by the adjuster. Any treatment you receive on your own volition will not be reimbursed. You will be stuck with the medical bill(s) if you treat outside of Workers’ Compensation.
EXCEPTION: This may change if the carrier denies your claim. We will discuss treatment options if this occurs. Moreover, if the insurance company takes too long to authorize treatment we may send you to doctors of our choosing.
10) DO NOT AGREE TO SETTLE YOUR CLAIM
We will help you negotiate a lump-sum settlement. It is perfectly fine to file a claim for purposes of settlement. However, do not attempt to negotiate on your own. Allow us to handle the proceedings. You are hiring us for the strength and breadth of our experience negotiating Workers’ Compensation settlements.
Two very important deadlines to keep in mind:
- The accident must be reported to your employer within 30 days.
- You must file a lawsuit within two years.
It is essential you file the correct paperwork to ensure Medical and Lost Wage Benefits. We have won medical and lost wage benefits for our clients. Our system is designed to do expedite this seamlessly and effortlessly once we file your Workers’ Compensation lawsuit.
Employees who are injured on the job should have one of the LaBovick Law Group Florida Workers’ Compensation attorneys review all of their documents and provide counsel prior to filing a Florida Workers’ Compensation lawsuit.
Our firm, LaBovick Law Group, has proven, time and time again, to spearhead the attack on insurance companies who mislead injured workers acting against their obligation vis a vis the Workers’ Compensation Law. We will not back down from a fight, even against a giant company like McDonald’s.
If you are an injured worker or a Personal Injury Attorney, give us a call. Let us demonstrate our value to you! Let us ensure medical and lost wage benefits for workers injured on the job. We are available 24/7/365 at (866) LaBovick or (561) 623-3681. Don’t delay, dial us today!