Ocala, FL Filing a Florida Workers’ Compensation Claim
Thousands of work injuries occur each year, resulting in lost wages, expensive medical bills, and general harm to bodily health. Unfortunately, due to fear of retaliation, loss of job, or even feelings of guilt and/or embarrassment, many employees who have been injured on the job do not always file a workers’ compensation claim. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you gain the courage, information, and evidence necessary to file a successful compensation claim in Florida.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Many employees are unaware of what workers’ compensation is and how they can benefit from Florida workers’ comp laws after experiencing a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance system that requires employers and corporations to cover any expenses related to an injury that occurs on the job, or while performing a duty of the job.
Benefits of the Workers’ Compensation System
What Benefits Am I Entitled To?
Florida workers’ compensation offers many benefits to alleviate financial, medical and sometimes even emotional concerns. Workers’ comp coverage can cover any and/or all of the following:
- Medical Benefits: medical treatment, prescriptions/drugs, hospital services, transportation expenses to and from medical offices (including ambulances), lab testing (i.e. CT scans, X-rays), physical therapy, etc.
- Monetary Benefits: lost wages, rehabilitation and retraining/education programs, compensation for temporary and permanent disabilities as a result of the work-related injury
- Death Benefits: monthly funds for children under the age of 18, spouses, and disabled children who may be over the age of 18
In order to qualify for the many benefits of the workers’ compensation system in Florida, there are specific guidelines that you should follow in order to file a workers’ compensation claim that is valid, timely and successful.
How to File A Workers’ Comp Claim in Florida
Be sure to notify your employer of the work-related accident. There are specific statutes of limitations that determine the time-frame for submission of work-related injuries to your employer. You have 30 days to report the accident to your employer. If you wait any longer, there is a strong likelihood that you will not receive compensation. After being notified, your employer should report your injury to the insurance carrier within a 7-day period.
Seek medical attention.
If you are injured at work, the first thing that you should do is seek medical attention. It is common for work-related injuries and (even pain) to occur weeks or months after the initial work accident. Therefore, to protect yourself and ensure that you are healthy, you should gain a physical examination immediately.
- Inform the medical professional of what occurred.
- Identify all of the areas of your body that was impacted by the accident.
- Gather the contact information of the medical professional who provides the examination, copies of the diagnosis, X-rays/pictures, and treatment plan.
You should also gather copies of the aforementioned information. If the medical professional that you choose is approved by your employer’s insurance carrier, you should not be responsible for any medical expenses. If the doctor determines that you have a temporary or permanent disability, you may be entitled to additional benefits for lost wages and retraining programs.
Contact a personal injury attorney.
While most workers’ compensation claims can be solved during mediation, many corporations/employers are leery and suspicious of employee injuries, and they may be difficult to work with. In such case, a court hearing may be necessary. A workers’ comp lawyer is necessary for both scenarios.
Workers’ comp lawyers are skilled in gathering evidence (including testimonial support from witnesses) and helping you present and prove your workers’ comp case to a judge. Sometimes, work-related injuries occur because of outright gross negligence. In other words, when an employer fails to adhere to basic levels of care and ensure that the working environment is clean, safe and appropriate to work in, you may be entitled to both workers’ compensation benefits and a lawsuit.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Ocala, FL
At Schatt Hesser Mcgraw, our experienced worker's compensationattorneys in Ocala, FL, understand how frightening it may be to file a workers’ compensation claim. You may be wondering: Will I lose my job? Will I cause an undue burden on my employer? Will my employer dislike me? Will my coworkers dislike me? How will my employer respond to my complaint? It is normal to be fearful of retaliation after filing a workers’ compensation claim. Know that Florida’s workers’ compensation laws protect you and your job during this process. Contact our experienced attorneys today for a free initial consultation and for assistance with the workers’ compensation system and process.