Thousands of Florida employees get injured at the workplace yearly and file workers’ compensation claims for job-related injuries and health conditions. Unfortunately, a large number of these claims get denied by the employer or their insurance carriers, citing:

  • Paperwork error
  • Inadequate medical evidence
  • Improper documents
  • Other reasons

You must take specific immediate steps, meet required deadlines, and follow all the legal rules to obtain workers’ compensation. At Carlson Meissner & Hayslett, our trusted Florida workers’ compensation lawyers will investigate your claim, prepare meticulous evidence and medical documentation, and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve under the law for your workplace injury or illness. Here are some of the critical steps involved in navigating your Florida workers’ compensation claim:

Step 1: Obtain Hard Evidence

You must show that your injury was work-related to qualify for workers’ compensation. For example:

  • You should record or write down the details of the incident
  • Take pictures
  • Gather detailed information
  • Obtain witness testimonials as evidence for your claim

Our lawyers at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett will swiftly move to collect and preserve evidence the moment you sign up with us for your workers’ comp claim.

Step 2: Seek Medical Treatment

The next step is to seek medical treatment right away. Even if you feel fine because of the temporary adrenaline rush, you mustn’t delay consulting with an authorized healthcare provider.

Your employer will give you a list of certified medical care providers authorized by the insurance provider. Be prepared to describe your injuries and symptoms thoroughly to the medical provider. Don’t forget to preserve all medical records safely.

Step 3: Report to Your Employer

In Florida, injured workers get 30 days from the date of their workplace injury or when a doctor diagnosed the symptoms to let the employer know about it. This can be done verbally or in writing. Based on this, it’s always better to do this in writing. Your employer should ideally notify the insurance carrier. You can also inform the insurance company using the appropriate form on the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation website. If your employer doesn’t provide any information about the insurance carrier, you can contact the Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office for assistance. Our workers’ comp attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett are ready to assist you.

Step 4: Follow-up on Your Claim

You need to follow up with the insurance carrier to ensure the claim is reported and handled. Your employer should ask you to fill out a First Report of Injury or Illness form, which they will submit to the insurance provider within seven days. This form gathers relevant details regarding the injured employee, such as:

  • Type of injury and damage to your body
  • Witnesses involved in the injury
  • Day, time, and address where the injury occurred
  • Medical treatments received
  • How the accident took place

This form has three sections; you must fill in the top two sections and send them to the insurance carrier. The insurance company fills the last section in case of severe or long-term injury and is sent to the Division of Workers’ Compensation. If you qualify for benefits, you should receive the workers’ compensation payments within 21 days of reporting your injury.

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Step 5: Document Everything

You must maintain complete records of everything, including:

  • Your injury
  • Medical records
  • Medications
  • Gas bills
  • Parking fees
  • The paperwork and forms regarding the accident and injury

This can be useful in maximizing compensation and be used as proof of your damages. 

Step 6: Resolve Disputes before Filing a Petition

You should schedule an informal meeting with the employer and insurance carrier if your workers’ compensation claim gets denied and you don’t accept it. If an informal meeting doesn’t resolve your grievance, you can file a Petition. This needs to include the following information:

  • Summary of your job responsibilities
  • A detailed description of how you got injured, including the body parts that were injured
  • List of all costs, including medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits
  • Claim for interest on unpaid benefits
  • Claim for attorney fees and costs

Claimants have two years from the date of the injury to file a Petition with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC) Clerk’s Office. You must ensure that you serve a copy of the Petition to your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier that denied the claim.

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Step 7: Appeal the Denied Claim Decision

The last step is to fight the denial by appealing to the court to reconsider your original claim. Employers and insurance carriers routinely deny valid workers’ compensation to protect their bottom line. This is a complex process, and you need a capable law firm with a proven track record of success.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you prepare a strong appeal and gather the necessary evidence to substantiate the claim.

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Our Dedicated Workers’ Comp Lawyers will Help You Obtain Maximum Compensation in the Shortest Possible Time

If you or someone you love was injured in a work-related accident, the experienced and proven Florida workers’ compensation attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett will take care of the entire legal claim process and advocate strongly on your behalf while you focus on your recovery from injuries.

With over 125 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to prepare and pursue Florida's largest possible workers’ comp claims. To set up your free consultation, call us at (727) 306-0273 or reach us online.

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