Ocala, FL Common Workers' Comp Mistakes
When an employee is injured at work, they have the right, under Florida law, to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. While these benefits are meant to cover lost wages and medical expenses related to the injury, they aren’t automatically awarded. The Ocala workers’ comp lawyers with Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli detail six common mistakes employees make and how to avoid them.
Not Being Your Own Advocate
To be your own advocate, it’s crucial to be specific in both describing the situation and nature of the injury and to press for further treatment if the injury doesn’t improve with prescribed methods. This may include telling the medical professional the nature of your job, how pain has developed over time, and what relief — if any — you’ve been able to find for the pain. Document this interaction and ensuing recommendations and results. If it doesn’t help, press the medical professional for a different course of treatment or a referral to a specialist.
Not Reporting An Injury
No matter how minor an injury appears, report all workplace and work-related injuries to your employer. While employees are generally guaranteed workers’ comp benefits under Florida law, to receive the benefits, an injury must be reported in the first place. But, if you fail to report a work-related injury before another injury occurs, outside of work, for example, your employer and/or the insurance company can claim the initial injury didn’t occur in the workplace and therefore doesn’t fall under a workers’ comp claim.
Only Verbally Reporting An Injury
It’s not uncommon for people to mishear — accidentally or intentionally — what another person is saying. When it comes to reporting a work injury, always notify an employer both verbally and in writing. Whether you handwrite the notice or send it through email, make sure to keep a copy for your records. The employer should also provide a work injury claim form for you to fill out; keep a copy of this also.
Reporting An Injury After The Deadline
Any workplace injury must be reported to an employer within 30 days of the injury. Reporting on day 31 or anytime afterward will generally result in a denial of workers’ compensation medical impairment benefits, among other benefits. Remember to report any illness or injury in writing, as this creates a record of the notice and keep a copy for your records.
Waiting To Seek Medical Treatment
Even if a work-related injury or illness doesn’t appear or seem to be serious, waiting to seek medical treatment often works against you. The workers’ comp insurance company can view a lack of medical treatment as a reason not to approve any benefit claim since the injury didn’t impact daily work responsibilities. Or, the insurance company may offer a benefit amount but at a significantly lower amount than what is needed to cover related medical expenses.
Attempting To Handle A Workers’ Comp Claim Yourself
Florida workers’ compensation law is complex and ever-changing depending on the legislative session. Unless you understand every aspect of the laws, filing a workers’ compensation claim or accepting a settlement can be fraught with avoidable pitfalls. The Ocala, FL, attorneys with Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli are up-to-date on legal changes and can assist at any point during the workers’ comp claims process. Our attorneys advocate for your best interest at all times and aren’t satisfied until an appropriate settlement has been reached.
Workers’ Compensation Law Firm In Ocala
Making any mistake, many of which are entirely unintentional and unknown, when filing a workers’ compensation claim can be the difference between claim approval and denial of benefits. Even if you’ve followed the step-by-step process of filing a claim, a workers’ comp attorney can review the claim and provide guidance for what to expect going forward. Contact Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli, an experienced Ocala workers’ compensation law firm, today to schedule a free consultation.