A thorough and accurate description of your work accident, including all related injuries, is more important than most realize. A generally unknown fact is that numerous perceptions and assumptions are made based on your description. These perceptions and assumptions can strongly influence the manner in which your work comp claim is handled. Potential individuals forming such perceptions may include your employer, supervisor, co-workers, the workers compensation insurance adjuster, a nurse case manager, and physicians you’re authorized to treat with through your employer’s worke’s compensation insurance coverage. Describing your injury or injuries fully and accurately is important. Doing so helps ensure that your injury or injuries are covered under work comp. A common mistake made at the beginning of a Florida work comp claim is for someone to limit reporting the full extent of the injuries sustained in the course and scope of their employment. The limitation on reporting numerous work related injuries results in the injured employee only reporting those injuries they feel are the most severe. The rationale for leaving out a reference to all parts of their body injured is often that the injured worker is under a false impression and belief. The false belief is that they can report additional job injuries related to the same accident after treatment for the most predominant sources of the pain was provided. If you fail to report all injuries sustained as a result of accident on the job, you are not likely to be covered for such injuries; regardless of the fact that you know they were caused by the same workplace accident. If you want to ensure that you report what you should and have the best chance at experiencing the least problems, contact the Dolman Law Group for a free consultation.
There are work accidents in which the mechanism of injury is obvious to anyone who witnessed the event. “Mechanism of injury,” refers to how the accident that caused your injuries occurred. Obvious examples would include a co-worker falling off the roof of a house or building, witnessing an employee cut, stab, or puncture themselves with tools used for the job, or being in an auto accident when traveling for work related purposes.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are work related accidents that occur without any witnesses at all. Some examples would include you lifting a heavy object alone resulting in injuries to your low back, neck, or shoulders. Another example could be a slip and fall while no one was watching. If the slip and fall occurs while you’re on the job but not on your employer’s premises; and is caused by the negligence of a separate company in failing to safely maintain their premises, you may be able to sue the company responsible for maintaining the premises in a safe condition. However, you must meet the criteria to be considered involved in unrelated works with the business owning the property where you sustained your injuries. If you meet the criteria necessary to be considered involved in unrelated works, you could sue the other business for damages related to your accident and resulting injuries. In addition, you would have a workers compensation claim for Florida work comp benefits as a result of being injured on the job. Obviously, work injuries in Florida can be complicated. You can be sure that the work comp carrier is not on your side in providing you information or advice. You’re welcome to contact our office for a free consultation.
Florida recognizes work related occupational diseases resulting from exposure to a toxic substance or infectious disease / bacteria. The authority can be found pursuant to Fla. Stat. 440.151.  In work related toxic exposure cases, the impact of the exposure may not be known for some time after the last date of injurious exposure. Meaning, months could pass before you’re diagnosed with a condition you sustained from work. Moreover, you may not be aware of the fact you were working in conditions where a toxic substance was present. Pursuant to Fla. Stat. 440.185 , specific time frames exist within which you must report a work related injury or illness to your employer. These time limits apply to injuries from toxic exposure as well. Failure to timely report a work accident can result in being forever barred from receiving workers compensation coverage. If you have questions about reporting your workplace accident, contact our office for a free consultation.
If the nature of your accident involved multiple parts of your body, you may be concerned about whether the medical providers you’re instructed to see are making an accurate note of the full extent of your injuries. If you have such a concern, or worry that you may forget to list a part of your body when speaking with medical providers, one options is to make a list of every area in which you are experiencing pain or other symptoms different than how you felt before the accident. Make 3 copies of this list. When you see your first work comp doctor, provide a list to the receptionist, the doctor, and retain a copy for yourself.
What if you’re taken directly to a walk in clinic and don’t have time to make a list? Sometimes employers will insist upon an immediate post-accident drug screen. Such circumstances will likely leave you without sufficient time to make such a list. In that case, slow down. Take your time when you’re filling out any initial paperwork from a medical facility. When it comes time to list the injuries you sustained, block out all other distractions. If you happen to have earbuds that are noise isolating, put them in. Imagine that the room is empty. It’s just you, the pages on the clipboard, and the pen in your hand. Focus on what your body is trying to communicate to you through your nervous system. Carefully list the parts of your body in which you’re experiencing pain.
After reviewing the information contained herein, our hope is that you are more informed about Florida’s workers compensation laws, Florida’s workers compensation system, and the significance of factors you may not have realized were important. We have a deep passion for representing those injured on the job. The passion comes from seeing too many examples of unrepresented injured employees being taken advantage of. The employee is often deceived by the work comp insurance adjuster about the benefits they’re entitled to receive and the monetary amounts they should be receiving. Such deception often occurs when the insurance adjuster seems, “just so nice and friendly,” during the course of the claim. We are not suggesting that every work comp insurance adjuster will misinform and deceive an injured employee. We are directly stating that given our years of experience, we’ve seen it occur more often than we could possibly recount. For a free, no obligation, consultation, call us at (727) 853-6275 or visit www.dolmanlaw.com.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
 https://www.floridabar.org/divcom/jn/jnjournal01.nsf/Author/0B170494A13D81BE85256F7A007637AC http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0440/Sections/0440.151.html