The workers’ compensation system was established in Florida to provide benefits to workers who suffered on-the-job injuries. If you ever suffer a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to these benefits. But this does not mean that you will automatically receive a check in the mail after suffering a work-related injury. There are a number of steps you must take to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, and the first step in the process is filing a workers’ compensation claim.
When should you file a workers’ compensation claim in Florida? How can a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney help? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
What is the Deadline For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida?
Your first priority after suffering a work-related injury should be seeking medical attention. This is especially important if you have suffered a serious or life-threatening injury. But your next priority should be notifying your employer so you can start the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Your employer cannot report your injury to their workers’ compensation insurance company unless they are aware that it happened. For this reason, it is important to notify your employer as soon as possible after an injury.
The law gives you 30 days from the date you were injured or the date your doctor told you that your injuries were work-related to notify your employer. If you miss this deadline, you could lose the right to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
Once you notify your employer, they are legally required to notify their workers’ compensation insurance company within 7 days. If your employer fails to fulfill this legal obligation, you have the right to contact their insurance company yourself to initiate the process of filing a claim.
What Types of Injuries and Illnesses Are Covered By the Workers’ Compensation System in Florida?
You should only file a workers’ compensation claim if you have suffered an injury or illness that is covered by the workers’ compensation system.
The workers’ compensation system covers several types of injuries and illnesses, including accidental injuries. These injuries occur as a result of workplace accidents. For example, say you work in a warehouse and you are hit in the head by an object that has fallen off of a high shelf. This is considered a workplace accident, so your injuries would be covered by the workers’ compensation system.
The workers’ compensation system also covers occupational diseases, which are illnesses that develop due to the nature of an employee’s work. For example, if you work in construction, you may be forced to breathe in dust, fumes, and gases while performing your job duties. Prolonged exposure to these substances could lead to the development of occupational respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD, and asbestosis. If you develop one of these occupational diseases, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Repetitive use injuries are covered by the workers’ compensation system in Florida as well. As its name suggests, a repetitive use injury is one that is caused by repetitive movement and overuse.
One of the most common repetitive use injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, which can occur as a result of spending too much time typing or sitting at a computer. If you have suffered a repetitive use injury as a result of performing repetitive movements at work, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
You may also be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you have aggravated a pre-existing injury while performing your job duties. However, you cannot recover benefits for the pre-existing injury itself. Instead, the workers’ compensation system will only compensate you for the aggravation of the injury.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your injuries or illnesses are covered, it’s best to discuss the details of your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Your attorney can review your case and explain your legal options and rights under the workers’ compensation system.
How Much Time Will I Have to File An Appeal?
Sadly, many workers’ compensation claims are denied by insurance companies. If your claim has been denied, this does not mean that you are out of options. You have the right to file a Petition for Benefits in order to appeal the insurance company’s decision and continue fighting for the benefits you are entitled to by law.
The law gives you two years to file a Petition for Benefits after your claim has been denied. If you miss this deadline, you will lose the right to appeal the insurance company’s decision. But you should not wait until this deadline is right around the corner to file your petition. It’s crucial that you file the Petition for Benefits right away so you can resolve your claim as quickly as possible.
Do not go through the process of filing a Petition for Benefits without an attorney by your side. An attorney can go head-to-head with your employer’s insurance company and aggressively fight for the benefits you deserve. This allows you to focus solely on what matters most—making a full recovery from your injuries.
Discuss Your Case With Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
Have you been injured in the workplace? If so, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from the skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett as soon as possible. With over 125 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys know what it takes to win. Let our team of attorneys guide you through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and fighting for the benefits you deserve. We will work tirelessly to ensure you are fully compensated for your work-related injuries.
Don’t wait any longer to secure the workers’ compensation benefits you need. Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation case.