What To Do If You Are Injured On The Job In Key West?
If you are injured on the job in Key West, you have the right to receive medical care and benefits though workers’ compensation insurance. Oftentimes employees are afraid to report their injuries to their employer for fear of retribution (i.e. losing their job) or they just “feel bad” as they don’t want to “hurt” their employer (i.e. raising rates). This is a mistake – you have rights and your employer has (or should have) insurance. Their insurance will pay for your injuries. You also have a limited amount of time to report your injuries or you could lose your benefits. If you have any questions as to your rights, please contact us for a free consultation.
HERE ARE SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
If I am injured on the job, what do I need to do?
Report your injury as soon as possible. You only have seven (7) days from the time of the accident or seven (7) days from the time you realize you’ve become injured or sick to report the accident. If you wait more than thirty (30) days, you risk the chance of having any claims completely barred.
After reporting the injury, your employer is required to prepare and provide you with a copy of the notice of injury. Make sure ALL your injuries are included on the notice of injury.
If any formal claims for benefits are being sought, they must be brought within one year of your last receipt of compensation or authorized medical treatment, or within two years of the date of your accident.
I was injured as a result of a THIRD party. Do I have to file a worker’s compensation claim?
Occasionally, accidents happen on the job because of some third party’s negligence. For example, you could get hit by another vehicle while on the way to a job site, or you could slip and fall on some off-site premises where you are doing a job. In these instances, you might have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits as well as a negligence claim against the liable third party. Depending on the facts, you may choose NOT to file a worker’s compensation claim and only pursue damages against the third party, especially if you will not be missing any work as a result of your injuries OR you want to treat with your own doctor. Each case is different. Call us for a free consultation.
What benefits are available in worker’s compensation claims?
Any injury by an employee who is in an accident while at work is covered by workers’ compensation, and benefits would be due.
Workers’ compensation pays for all reasonable, authorized medical care. This can include appointments with your doctor, the treatment you receive in the hospital, diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, and physical therapy, as well as prescription drug costs. If you need a prosthetic or medical equipment, attendant care and other related costs, these are compensable as well.
If you pursue benefits through worker’s compensation, your employer will send you to one of their approved physicians. If you are dissatisfied with their physician they provide you, you are only allowed one change of physician. This is a commonly asked question of people injured on the job. Please call us if you have any questions.
Workers’ comp benefits also replace a portion of your wages while you are out of work or on light duty at less pay. For instance, if you are temporarily out of work, you can receive two-thirds of your regular wages for up to two years. You can also receive partial payments while working at a lower rate of pay or benefits for an impairment that prevents you from working in the future or leaves you with a permanent disability.
In Florida, worker’s compensation does not pay for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. This is one reason why it can be in your best interest to seek benefits from a third party (if possible). If your employer improperly did not provide worker’s compensation coverage, you may also be able to recover non-economic damages.
What is my worker’s compensation claim was denied, am I out of luck?
Call us. We’ll review your case. If it looks like the denial was unreasonable, an attorney can file a Petition for Benefits with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims. First, we’ll try to resolve the matter directly with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, but if that doesn’t work, we’ll appear on your behalf in a formal hearing and present a compelling case to the judge why your claim has been unreasonably delayed or denied.
Workers’ compensation can be confusing. Let our personal injury attorneys help. The consultation is free.