Any sort of workplace injury, whether you were in a car accident when driving on company time, or you were hurt because you sat on a defective break room chair, can result in long-term debilitation. This can mean you’re going to be unable to work for a long time. And you may panic because you’re not sure how you’re going to make ends meet.
It’s situations exactly like this that are the reason worker’s compensation exists. A Florida workers’ compensation claim can help provide the money you need to pay your bills while you recover. Unfortunately, these claims don’t always proceed as smoothly as they should.
If you’re having problems obtaining the money you deserve, the workers’ comp attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh may be able to help. We have a deep understanding of this area of the law, and we’ll be ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you. Schedule a free case review by using our online contact form or calling (561) 295-5825.
Here’s some information on what you should do – and just importantly, what you should NOT do – if you’re in the process of filing a Florida workers’ comp claim.
What to DO if You were Injured at Work
Report your injury immediately
You may have been relatively lucky, and feel that your injury is relatively minor. Even if that’s the case, you must report the injury to your supervisor immediately. The earlier you do this, the better the chances that your claim will proceed in the most efficient manner possible. Don’t just think you can “suck it up,” go home, take a couple of aspirin and assume you’ll be fine. This injury might not seem like a big deal at first. Butt you probably had a great deal of adrenaline flowing through your body. As time goes by, you might find that injury is a lot worse than you thought. If you don’t get medical attention, and you wait to inform your employer, the insurance company may not view your claim as being credible.
Get medical attention as soon as possible
If, however, you’ve been seriously hurt, get help immediately. Don’t try to move. Let the EMTs do what they need to do to get you to the emergency room in the safest possible manner. Make sure your employer knows exactly what happened, and make sure they know it as quickly as you can.
Talk to any witnesses who may have seen the accident
Get their names and contact information. They could prove to be incredibly helpful if the insurance company gives you a hard time.
Keep up with medical visits and follow your doctor’s orders
Once you get home, make sure you get further medical attention if you’re still in pain – especially if you’re still feeling bad a couple of days after the accident. You will have to follow your doctor’s treatment plan to the letter in order for your claim to be paid.
No matter what type of injury you have, document everything. You’ll have to fill out forms in order to file a claim. When you do, make sure you include all of the details – not only as they pertain to the accident, but your injury as well. Write down each and every body part that hurts, and don’t leave out anything. Say you broke your leg but you also hurt your back as well. If you only focus on the broken leg, your claim for the back injury may be denied. Make sure your employer filled out an accident report. And make sure all of your injuries – the major ones, as well as the ones that aren’t as severe – are included. Get a copy of that report and keep it with your important documents.
Keep a daily log of your recovery process
This can include your doctor’s treatment plan, the diagnosis, the pain you’re experiencing, and any other injury-related information you can think of. Keep all of your medical receipts, as well as the receipts of all other treatment-related expenses.
Contact an attorney if you aren’t receiving workers comp benefits
You should start to receive 2/3 of your weekly gross wage (if you’re completely unable to perform your job due to your injury). If 21 days have passed since you reported the accident and your injuries, and you still haven’t received any payments, get in touch with an attorney immediately.
What NOT TO DO if You are Injured at Work
Don’t sign a waiver
Your boss might try to convince you to sign a release that will get your employer or insurance company out of having to pay your claim. Please don’t sign anything that makes you uncomfortable. Talk to an attorney first. Also, don’t sign any kind of medical release. The insurance company will be entitled to look at some of your medical records. However, it should not be able to see all of them.
Don’t skip on filling an accident report
There’s also a chance your boss or co-worker might try talking you out of filing an accident report. They may try to play on your loyalty, suggesting that you’d somehow damage the company if you moved forward with your claim. You’ve got to look out for yourself, and proceed in accordance with the law. If your employer tries to give you some cash under the table, refuse the offer. That could get you into major trouble down the road.
Don’t accept a settlement outright
If you’re severely hurt, don’t accept any sort of insurance company settlement. This could cost you the chance of obtaining maximum compensation for the injury.
Don’t speak to an insurance company without legal representation
Never talk about your case with anyone except your attorney, your doctor, or your spouse. NEVER talk to an insurance company adjuster. They’ll try to get you to mistakenly say something that could make it look like the accident was your fault. Always have your attorney talk to the insurance company on your behalf.
Contact Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh ASAP for Your Work Injury
The attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be ready to fight for your rights if an insurance company is making your workers’ compensation claim more difficult than it should be. We have a long list of satisfied clients, and a long track record of delivering results as well. Schedule a free consultation by calling (561) 295-5825 or contacting us online as soon as you can.