Thousands of workers in Florida, including both permanent and temporary employees, get injured at the workplace every year. Unfortunately, the lack of legal advice results in many injured victims making serious mistakes in filing their worker’s compensation claims.
These mistakes after a work injury can eliminate or reduce the compensation you receive. If you or someone you love suffered a workplace injury, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to pursue the rightful financial compensation for your injuries and losses.
Here are some of the top mistakes injured workers in Florida make in the aftermath of their workplace accidents.
Failure to Report the Injury
The most common mistake made by Florida workers after an injury is that they fail to report the accident to their employer immediately. Workers’ compensation laws in Florida require an injured worker to report any job injury within 30 days to their supervisor or employer. In case of occupational diseases and any injury arising out of it, the workers get 90 days from the first symptoms to report the condition.
Failure to Disclose Previous Injuries
Another common mistake made by injured employees is not disclosing any previous work-related injuries. You should report all injuries to your employer, even if they seem minor at face value. Many injured workers fail to report injuries out of fear that they may lose their job. Unfortunately, not disclosing a previous incident may result in the insurance company denying compensation.
In fact, not filing a report on injuries can also be considered fraud. You may face repayment of the worker’s compensation (if any were paid) and lose the right to future coverage.
You need to be transparent about getting hurt on the job when it comes to filling out your medical history. When speaking with an insurance adjuster you need to be careful about disclosing previous injuries even if they have nothing to do with your present condition.
Hiding the Full Extent of Your Injuries
You need to report the complete extent of your injuries to your doctor. For instance, if you suffered a fall injury at work and hurt your back, you need to report if there were any bruises on your knee. Failure to report secondary injuries is actually construed as trying to claim more. In addition, this is also seen as workers’ compensation fraud.
You should report any additional symptoms you experience besides the pain and potential trauma. For instance, you can report the loss of motor functions, flu-like symptoms, stomach issues, or blurry vision among others. These symptoms are common in various types of accidents, such as hitting your head or getting exposed to industrial chemicals at the workplace.
Refusal to Resume Working When You Can
Not accepting a position, even at a lower wage, can be a big mistake. This is considered by the insurance company as a voluntary loss of income.
You may lose further compensation and benefits. And your employer may fire you for refusal to work. You are legally obligated to make an attempt at the new work position, even if you think you cannot perform the duties to the best of your capabilities.
You can refuse the new position only when you show that the job responsibilities fall under the purview of doctor’s restrictions. If the position offered by the employer fails to cover 80% of your pre-injury income, you will be entitled to a wage loss benefit.
Not Getting Strong Legal Representation
It is not always wise to handle a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim against third parties on your own. It might be a bad idea to represent yourself because your employer and their insurance company will have top lawyers working with a goal to diminish or deny your claim. This makes it important that you get experienced attorneys aggressively advocating for your rights.
Despite what insurance companies say or do, they are not your friends. They want to get away by paying as little as possible. Denying your claim and limiting the compensation helps them profit by keeping money in their pockets.
It can be difficult to navigate the legal landscape surrounding employer claims. This is why it might make sense to find a capable attorney even if your case seems open and shut.
Get a Free Case Evaluation from Our Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Whibbs, Stone, Barnett & Turner, PA is a seasoned workers’ compensation law firm with extensive experience in handling workplace injury claims of all types. Our workplace injury attorneys can help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve to cover lost wages, disabilities, medical expenses, and even pain and suffering (where third-party liability is involved).
We are happy to provide you with a free case evaluation. Call us at 850-409-6403 or reach us online.