Worksite accidents are not uncommon and often cause severe injuries like lacerations, burns, broken bones, spinal damage, or brain trauma. Workers sometimes attempt to tough it out neglecting that immediate care can impact their health and livelihood. Extensive medical treatment, time off of work, and possible long-term complications can temporarily or permanently affect their ability to return to their job or perform specific workplace duties. That is why all states provide employees with workers’ compensation benefits to ensure workers are not left alone to deal with the short or long financial impact on on-the-job injuries or illnesses.
Workers’ compensation claims often require legal assistance due to denials or inadequate compensation because injured employees are subject to the system as the insurance company seeks to pinch pennies. With the help of an experienced lawyer, the injured individual may appeal a rejection or pursue a third-party personal injury claim. Below are steps to take immediately after experiencing a worksite injury to secure coverage of medical bills and lost wages.
The insurance company providing workers’ comp benefits will have a list of approved doctors, but the individual does not need to see the approved doctor if they are experiencing an emergency. Instead, they must visit the nearest emergency room. If the injury does not require urgent medical intervention, notify the employer to request information on receiving medical attention.
Seeking immediate care after an injury is vital, as it preserves the employee’s health and establishes a record of the injury and diagnosis. Examples of a non-emergency injury may include back or joint pain caused during work. Documenting medical attention after a workplace injury is an integral part of receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
When meeting with the doctor and speaking with medical intake staff, remain fully transparent. Explain in full detail what occurred so that the medical report reflects with certainty that the injury was work-related. Discuss with the doctor work-related tasks and request information from the doctor on returning to work and performing tasks.
Notify the employer before seeking non-urgent medical care to obtain the name of an approved physician. If urgent medical treatment is needed, immediately seek treatment and notify the employer as soon as possible. In Florida, employees have 30 days to report an injury to their employer, but it is generally better to inform them as quickly as possible.
The employer has seven days to report the accident. If the employer fails to report the accident, contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
After the employer contacts the insurance company to report the incident, the insurance company will contact the injured individual. The employee will receive information on the claim, including a report of the incident based on the employer’s submission that they must review and verify. The employee must fill out any forms they receive to complete the claim.
Do not sign the incident report if any of the details concerning the accident or injuries are incorrect. Instead, contact the insurance company to amend the information. The insurance company will request information about the medical treatment, so the employee must seek a proper diagnosis and save the medical records.
Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits may be a smooth, straightforward process, but there are times when it’s essential to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. Experienced law firms help victims receive compensation for the injuries they experience at work, such as falls, electrocution, shock, and being caught in between objects or in equipment.
If the insurance company denies the claim, it may be because of missing paperwork like a medical document. But, the denied claim may indicate that the employer is disputing the claim. Working with an attorney to appeal a denied claim can provide insight into the situation, and the lawyer may recommend additional steps.
Third-Party Personal Injury Claim
An injured employee cannot sue the employer for compensation related to an injury occurring at work, but they can pursue compensation against a third party. For example, the employee may recover compensation from the manufacture of a faulty tool involved in the accident. A lawyer will investigate the workplace accident to determine if a third-party claim is possible, which is essential as worker’s comp benefits may not cover all the damages experienced in a severe work injury.
In many cases, injured employees are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If the injury is work-related and a worker has received medical attention from an approved physician after the workplace accident, they may be eligible for compensation. Employers in Florida, as well as in many states, must also provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees when an injury occurs during the course of employment.
While an injured worker will receive compensation from the workers’ comp insurance network, it is worthwhile to speak with a qualified lawyer about your claim. A legal representative can advise you on eligibility for benefits and the details of the claim, such as how long you need to wait after filing a claim before receiving benefits. In some cases, applying for disability benefits can help an injured worker receive payments while they are recovering.