Florida’s Workers’ Compensation system is designed to be self executing. That means that there is not much that an injured worker needs to do in order to receive the benefits that Workers’ Compensation is suppose to provide. 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 workers compensation attorneys outline the most important first steps below.
What is the First Step After a Workplace Accident in Florida?
There is no Workers’ Compensation application which needs to be filled out in Florida. 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 workplace accident occurs.
Complete a First Report of Injury Form
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.
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.
When It May Be Time to Contact a Lawyer for Help with Your Claim for Benefits
Again, no Workers’ Compensation application has to be filled out. Once the employer learns of the worker being 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.
If you have more questions concerning how a Florida Workers’ Compensation application works, or how you obtain your initial medical care after you have been injured on the job, contact the Maus Law Firm today. We’re here to protect your rights.