Filing a Florida Worker’s Compensation Claim
All workplace injuries in Florida are treated the same. Whether your accident or injury occurs in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Hollywood, Boca Raton, or anywhere else in Florida, workers compensation claims are controlled by Chapter 440 of Florida Statutes. Despite the thousands of workers compensation accidents occurring every year in Florida, many injured workers are uncertain how to file a worker’s compensation claim. It can be a confusing process while you’re trying to obtain medical help and find out if you’re qualified to receive any wage benefits. Therefore, you must remember that the first critical step is reporting your work-related injury to your employer as soon as possible. In fact, the state of Florida requires workers to report their injuries “no later than 30 days from the date the accident occurred. While there are exceptions to the rule, in most situations your claim will be denied if it is not reported within thirty days. If your employer refuses to report your claim to its insurance carrier, you must check to see if the company’s worker’s compensation insurance information is posted in the workplace. Upon locating the carrier’s phone number, you can report the claim yourself, or contact a workers compensation attorney to get the claim reported.
Be sure to inform your employer in a dated letter (and keep a copy) — that you have made this report. Be aware that it’s actually your employer’s duty to report your work-related injury to its carrier. It’s this type of problem that often motivates many workers to hire a Florida worker’s compensation attorney to help them get their claims filed, processed – and obtain the benefits the injured worker is entitle to.
In addition to getting your claim filed, here are some of the other critical steps that must be handled when first filing a Florida worker’s compensation claim. Early Stages of Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim – Seeking Benefits According to the state publication entitled, “Employee Facts (Important Worker’s Compensation Information for Florida’s Workers),” once your employer or worker’s compensation attorney has properly filed your claim, you should be provided with an “authorized physician” under your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance policy. You must then be provided with “all authorized medically necessary care and treatment related to your injury or illness.”
- 1. Types of Medical Care You Should Be Offered
As a worker’s compensation claimant, you should be provided with such services as:
- Doctor visits
- Physical Therapy
- Medical Tests
- Prescription Drugs
While your treatment continues, the insurance carrier will be checking to see when you’ve achieved what’s called the stage of “maximum medical improvement” (MMI) for your injury or illness. This stage is reached when “the physician treating you determines that your injury or illness has healed to the extent that further improvement is not likely.”
- 2. Wage Replacement Benefits Available
Once injured and seeking treatment, you may not be able to work for an extended period of time. It’s during this timeframe that you may need to obtain wage replacement benefits as part of your overall worker’s compensation claim. Most of the time, if your authorized WC doctor says you’re qualified for such benefits, you’ll receive “two-thirds of your pre-injury regular weekly wage (the average weekly wage – AWW).
Be sure to take the handling of these early steps very seriously — for they will likely determine your chances of all of your benefits.
If you’ve suffered a serious Florida worker’s compensation injury, please contact the Law Offices of Joseph M. Maus. You deserve help obtaining all of the medical care and wage replacement benefits available based upon your claim. Call Toll Free: (855) 999-LAWS today to schedule your initial free consultation.