Employment relationships are very tricky and regulating them is a balance between the livelihood and well-being of the worker and the ability of the employer to remain profitable. Without the worker, there is no business, but without the business, there is no job for the worker. This balancing act permeates employment laws and regulations, labor unions and political debate.
This balance is the cornerstone for Florida Worker’s Compensation laws.1 When a worker is injured on the job, the debate is primarily over who is responsible: the worker or the employer. On the one hand, the worker would not have been injured had he not been performing a task for the benefit of the employer, but on the other hand, the worker is paid to perform their tasks in a manner that is safe and they often have more control over the outcome than the employer. If you discount an employee’s ability to keep himself safe then you run the risk of excessive lawsuits. If you discount the employer responsibility for accidents, you jeopardize accountability and endanger employees. Worker’s compensation laws were created to ensure that employees are protected while saving employers from unnecessary defense.
Worker’s compensation programs attempt to create a common sense approach to meet the needs of the employee and the employer. If you are injured in the workplace, worker’s compensation will fast track your resolution and allow you to be compensated for your injuries in a quick and efficient manner. At the same time, though, it restricts your sources of recovery to worker’s compensation benefits, allowing employers the confidence to know they will not face legal action. Furthermore, to ensure that workers are covered, worker’s compensation claims are paid from a special insurance pool which guarantees workers a source of recovery and keeps employers from having to worry about the financial hit of a single incident. Worker’s compensation is designed to streamline the process for all business to continue as usual, to the extent possible, after an accident.
It is important to understand the processes, rights, and limitations provided in the law. While the law helps to provide predictability in the case of injury, it also creates a unique procedure and defined list of risks. There is not as much wiggle room as there are with other types of injuries, so it is important to understand what to do and get it right the first time. If you are injured in a workplace accident, here are the things you should do.
- Report your accident to your employer. According to Florida law, your injury claim may be denied if you wait longer than 30 days to report it. The sooner you report it easier it is to link the injury to the workplace. It is important to request a copy of the report and a written acknowledgement from your employer.
- Get medical attention and follow the instructions of the doctor. If you are sent to the emergency room, you should tell the doctor that your injuries are a result of a workplace accident. If you do not need emergency room attention, you should use the doctor selected by your employer. The employer has the authority to authorize the initial visit, but all visits must be authorized to be covered.
- Make sure the doctor and your employer fully understand your pain and injuries and be sure to record as much as possible in the event that certain injuries or treatment is not covered.
- Once your employer is on notice, they are required to report the injury to their worker’s compensation provider within 7 days who will then send you a brochure within three days.
So long as you report your injuries you should be entitled to the following:
- All necessary medical treatment including follow-ups, therapy and medication that is necessary.
- Mileage to and from your doctor’s visits and appointments.
- Compensation for lost time from work if you are unable to work or unable to perform your full functions. There is a formula which calculates how much you are entitled to, but any lost time or wages should be compensated according to that formula.
- If your loved one dies within one year of the injury or within 5 years of continuous disability, you may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, compensation and education.
Contact Dolman Law Group Today for a Free Consultation.
The experienced worker’s compensation attorneys at Dolman Law Group in New Port Richey, Florida can help you evaluate the offer you receive from the insurance provider and ensure that your maximum eligibility is being met. We can also advise you when it is possible to file a lawsuit against a third party who caused your injuries. Contact us at 727-853-6275 for a free consultation today.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652