What Is the Workers’ Compensation Process in Florida?

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What Is the Workers’ Compensation Process in Florida?

process for filing for workers comp in florida

Workplace injuries can significantly affect your life physically and financially. Many injuries suffered on the job impact a worker’s ability to fulfill their duties or require expensive treatments to fix. Many Floridians decide to file workers’ compensation claims to help them cover lost wages and medical costs after suffering an injury at work.

Steps for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in Florida

Collect Evidence

Evidence is important because it will help you prove your injury’s legitimacy. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurance carrier may try to avoid giving you full and fair compensation, especially if you may be entitled to a large payment.

It is in your best interest to fight back with as much evidence as you can gather. Evidence can include things like photos of injuries and witness testimony.

It might be a good idea to write down the details of your injury soon after your accident to help you remember the specifics when it comes time to file your workers’ compensation claim. You may benefit from making copies of medical bills since they can also be used as proof.

Report the Injury to Your Employer

You have 30 days to report your injury to your employer. It’s typically best to tell them as soon as possible so you do not waste time getting the workers’ compensation process moving. The sooner your claim is processed through official channels the faster you can get the compensation you need.

Seek Medical Help

The sooner you seek medical help, the better. Visiting a doctor will help increase your chances of making a full recovery and can be helpful for authenticating your injury and its severity.

Your employer’s insurance carrier will probably ask you to meet with an insurance-approved doctor for an assessment of your injury. If your injuries are severe, you may want to visit the Emergency Room before waiting for an appointment with an approved doctor.

Fill Out the Form

Your employer will provide you with a First Report of Injury form where you will describe your injury. You should submit it to your employer within seven days of the incident so they can send it to their insurance carrier. On the form, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Describe your injury – Explain the kind of injuries you suffered and which parts of your body are injured. For instance, if you slipped and fell on your back, it is essential to explain what you’re experiencing in terms of pain and limited mobility or range of motion.
  • Setting – It is important to list the address, date and approximate time your injury occurred.
  • Explain how the accident happened – If you slipped or tripped, there is likely a reason, such as unsafe working conditions, a wet floor or obstructions in walkways. Include the names of nearby workers so they can confirm the circumstances of the injury.
  • Report treatments you received – If you went to a doctor/hospital, your claim would likely benefit from listing the treatments you’ve received so far, even if they weren’t prescribed by the workers’ comp insurance-approved doctor. You could still be reimbursed for the prescriptions, X-rays or other therapies you received to treat your injury.

What Comes Next?

Petition

If you cannot reach acceptable terms with your employer and their insurer about the compensation you deserve, you may want to file a petition with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims in Florida.

Appeal

If your claim is denied by the insurance company, consider appealing the decision. A personal injury lawyer with experience advocating for injured workers can help you fight for the compensation you need.

Tips for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Proceed Cautiously

Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier may leverage any information you give them against you. Deciding what you should and should not share is difficult, so you may be better off limiting what you say until you have consulted with a workers’ comp lawyer.

Get Legal Help

You do not need to wait until after you file a claim to consult with a lawyer. Many Florida personal injury lawyers have experience helping workers navigate the workers’ compensation process, allowing their clients to spend less time fighting and more time recovering. Working with a lawyer could also speed up the process by increasing your initial approval chances and eliminating the need to petition or appeal your initial claim denial.