The immediate aftermath of a workplace injury can be quite stressful. You go from being fine one day to suddenly having a plate full of worries: you can’t work, you need to provide for yourself and your family, plus you have to figure out medical care.
However, the moments after an on-the-job injury are crucial if you want to have the best shot at securing workers’ compensation benefits.
Be mindful of the deadlines
If you are injured while on the job, you need to let your employer know as soon as possible. Florida law gives you 30 days from the date of the incident to report the injury to your employer. (Or, for an occupational disease, 30 days from the time you become aware of the illness.)
At the same time, you have two years to actually file a workers’ compensation claim. This is the statute of limitations.
However, if you don’t tell your employer about your injury within 30 days, the statute of limitations is irrelevant. This failure to report can be used to ultimately deny your workers’ compensation claim.
Quick action puts you in a better position
While we like to think our employer will look out for us, that is often not the case. Some companies do everything they can to limit the amount of workers’ compensation they might have to pay. Starting the workers’ compensation claim process promptly can help your case for a few key reasons:
- It becomes easier to locate and save important evidence related to the workplace injury. This can be beneficial if your employer tries to argue the incident should not be covered.
- It creates a clear record that shows you were not just hurt, but concerned about the severity. By waiting a long time to file, an employer could argue it shows you were not that worried, or that the injury was not very serious.
- Everything gets sped up. The sooner you file, the sooner any filing deadlines arrive for both you, your employer and the claims handler. This means the issue can be resolved more quickly.
There may be a lot on your plate following a work injury. If you are overwhelmed, a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to lighten the load. Whatever path you take, the quicker you report your injury and file a benefits claim, the better.