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Our Fort Lauderdale Hurt on the Job Lawyers Explain Important Workers Comp Rules for Injured Workers

Believe it or not, there is not much that an injured worker needs to do in order to receive the benefits that Workers’ Compensation is supposed to provide. Medical care through Workers’ Compensation is free to the employee.  In fact, Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Rules allow for an employee to keep their Workers’ Compensation claim open for the rest of their life and use the Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage to obtain medical care for whatever injury the employee suffered on the job. However, there are a few steps that an injured worker should take to ensure that he or she receives all the benefits to which they are entitled. Our Fort Lauderdale hurt on the job lawyers explain these rules and are available to help you with your claim.

Your First Step is to Report Your Accident

There is no Workers’ Compensation application which needs to be filled out in Florida.  Instead, the first thing an injured worker needs to do is to notify their employer that they have been injured on the job.  While the Workers’ Compensation rules state that an injured worker has thirty (30) days to report their injury to the employer, it is best to notify the employer immediately when the accident occurs.

Once an injured worker notifies their employer that they have been injured on the job, the employer is supposed to immediately fill out a “First Report of Injury”, also known as Form DWC-1, which can be found on the Division of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation site.  This form requests information such as your name, date of birth, address, how the accident occurred, your rate of pay, the injury or injuries you suffered, and additional information about your employment.  This form is supposed to be sent to the workers’ compensation insurance company by the employer as soon as the accident occurs.

As our Fort Lauderdale hurt on the job lawyer know all to well, sometimes an employer will be reluctant to fill out the First Report of Injury, or send it to the workers’ compensation insurance company.  If the employer refuses to fill out the First Report of Injury, or send it to the insurance company, the injured worker can actually contact the workers’ compensation insurance company to fill out the form himself.  Once the First Report of Injury has been sent to the insurance company, the injured worker should hear from an insurance adjuster relatively quickly about when their first doctor appointment is going to be.  If no one contacts you about when your doctor appointment is going to be, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact the insurance company yourself or retain a Workers’ Compensation attorney to file whatever forms are necessary to get your initial medical care.

How Much of Your Salary Will You be Paid?

Florida’s Workers’ Compensation rules also require the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company to pay the employee wage benefits if the employer is unable to return to work due to the work related injury.  If your Workers’ Compensation treating physician says that your injury prevents you from returning to work temporarily the Workers’ Compensation insurance company is required to pay you 66⅔% of your averages wages.  For instance, if you are earning $400.00 per week prior to your date of accident, and your doctor holds you out of work after your accident, Workers’ Compensation rules state that you are entitled to be paid $300.00 (66⅔%) of your wages.

Florida Worker’s Compensation Rules Regarding Medical Care

Once you have finished treating with your authorized doctor, the doctor is required to assign an impairment rating which generally correlates to how severe an injury you suffered and whether you have been left with any permanent restrictions.  Workers’ Compensation rules states that you are entitled to additional money,  called an Impairment Benefit, based upon the impairment rating that you receive.  The insurance company is suppose to pay you this money once you finish your treatment with the doctor.

One final rule that many people do not know about in Workers’ Compensation is that you can change your doctor while you are receiving medical care through Workers’ Compensation.  However, you should change your doctor only after careful consideration. Every worker receiving medical care through Florida’s Workers’ Compensation rules is allowed to change his/her doctor once, and only once.  If you are dissatisfied with the doctor you are receiving medical care from, and you request a one time change of doctor, you may get a doctor that you are more satisfied with, or less satisfied.  You should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to thoroughly discuss the facts of your case, and status of your medical care, before making that decision.  The one time change of doctor is a very valuable Workers’ Compensation rule that injured workers need to evaluate carefully.

Though the Rules May Sound Simple, You Should Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Fort Lauderdale Hurt on the Job Lawyers

Again, no Workers’ Compensation application has to be filled out.  Once the employer learns of the worker be3eing injured on the job, the employer is supposed to move forward with contacting the workers’ compensation insurance company and ensuring that the injured worker gets medical care right away.  If you have been injured on the job and your employer delays in telling you who the workers’ compensation insurance company is, or won’t fill out the First Report of Injury, you should contact an experienced Florida Workers’ Compensation lawyer immediately to protect your rights.  If you wait too long to apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits, the insurance company will most likely raise defenses allowed by Chapter 440 and try to deny you your Workers’ Compensation benefits. Don’t risk a denial; contact our Fort Lauderdale hurt on the job lawyers today.