If you’ve never navigated Florida’s workers’ compensation system before, you likely aren’t sure what to do in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Below is some important information to know in order to preserve your right to seek benefits.
Which Injuries Are Covered?
Most employers in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and most accidental physical injuries (or occupational diseases) are compensable as long as they occurred “in the course and scope of employment.” Generally, psychological injuries or mental health issues are not covered unless they can be tied to a work-related physical injury.
As a rule of thumb, your best bet is to report your injuries as soon as reasonably possible after they happen, and the reporting should be in writing. Officially, you have 30 days from the date of the accident or onset of symptoms to report the injury to your employer/supervisor. Reporting in writing creates and important paper trail.
If you are going to file a workers’ compensation claim, you generally have two years from the date of injury/onset to do so. But as with reporting, filing sooner is usually preferable because details are fresh and evidence is preserved.
Maintaining Treatment Compliance
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will likely not cover your medical treatment unless you get treated by a doctor authorized by the insurer. Therefore, you should ask for a list of available physicians (unless you suffered an acute injury and cannot do so before receiving emergency treatment). If your injury requires ongoing treatment, your benefits may lapse if you stop attending physician appointments or following other medical instructions.
Talk To A Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You are not legally required to work with a workers’ compensation attorney when filing or appealing a claim. But many injured workers find it very helpful to do so. For case-specific advice and guidance, feel free to contact our firm today.