In Florida, most employees who get injured on the job or suffer a job-related illness are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. But, in order to receive the benefits to which they are entitled, employees need to assert their legal rights effectively. If you are preparing to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, here are five mistakes you need to avoid.
Here’s What NOT to Do After Suffering a Job-Related Injury or Illness in Florida
Mistake #1: Waiting Too Long to Report Your Injury or Illness to Your Employer
By law, you have up to 30 days to report your injury or illness to your employer. However, you should not wait any longer than necessary; and, ideally, you should file a report the day you suffer your injury or illness. Not only will this ensure that you preserve your claim for benefits, but it will also help avoid any question as to whether your injury or illness is work-related.
Mistake #2: Seeing Your Own Doctor
In addition to setting a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim, Florida law also requires employees to see doctors who have been pre-approved by their employers. If you see your own doctor for treatment, you could lose your workers’ compensation eligibility. However, this will not be the case if:
- You need emergency medical treatment;
- Your employer’s insurance company does not refer you to a doctor within a reasonable period of time;
- Your employer’s insurance company has a “managed care” plan that allows you to see your own doctor; or,
- Your workers’ comp claim is initially denied.
Mistake #3: Trusting Your Employer’s Insurance Company to Accurately Calculate Your Benefits
While your employer’s insurance company should accurately calculate your benefits, you cannot assume that this will be the case. You should calculate your benefits independently, with the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, to ensure that you do not unknowingly accept less than you deserve.
Mistake #4: Ignoring Your Symptoms and Trusting Your Doctor’s Determination of Your Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
Another issue that employees commonly encounter involves their doctor determining that they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) too soon. Once you reach your MMI (if you are not able to fully recover), your employer’s insurance company can terminate payment of temporary benefits. If you are still experiencing symptoms, you should not simply accept your doctor’s determination, but should instead seek help from an experienced attorney.
Mistake #5: Trying to Handle Your Workers’ Compensation Claim on Your Own
From properly reporting your injury or illness to determining who you can see for treatment, and from calculating your benefits to determining how long you are entitled to continue to receive payment, all aspects of filing a workers’ compensation claim present legal challenges. In order to overcome these challenges, it will be important for you to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
Get Help with Your Claim from Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney Joseph Maus
Have you suffered a job-related injury or illness in Florida? To discuss your workers’ compensation claim with attorney Joseph Maus in confidence, call 855-999-5297 or request a free consultation online today.