Injuries at work can happen any time and it is not a fun experience at all. It is more likely to make you frustrated, angry and upset. This is a common occurrence in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than a million work-related injury cases are reported annually. Once injured, you may be tempted to focus on the injury and forget on the important protocols to follow in the event of such cases.
Failure to observe these fundamental procedures will create problems if you opt to seek workers’ compensation. Injured workers in the state of Florida can seek benefits for their lost wages and medical expenses through The Florida State Workers’ Compensation Program.
Attaining this compensation is not as much a walk in the park as many people think. Some of the reasons are ignorance of what is actually required and assumptions taken after the accident. The complexity of these cases requires the complete assistance of a professional Orlando personal injury lawyer. There are some few mistakes that you should avoid once you are injured at work.
Failure to Report the Injury on Time
Florida Law requires that a person injured at work should report the injury within 30 days of physical injury or within 90 days of initial symptoms (when an injury is due to occupational disease like Carpal tunnel syndrome). Most people delay filing a report due to fear of reprisal from employers and fear that the injury may count against them.
On the contrary, silence is useless in this case especially when you require urgent medical attention. Moreover, a worker is still protected as employers should refrain from retaliation as bound by the law. Waiting longer than required to report an injury at work risks having your integrity questioned.
Withholding Information on Previous Injuries
Failure to report pre-existing conditions or injuries is problematic. This is because it may lead to an incorrect assessment and further affect the extent of the injury. In extreme cases, it is considered fraud and may, in turn, cause you to lose any benefits or compensation you may be awarded.
Failure to Observe Times of Reporting to Work
Reporting to work too soon is a risky move as one may suffer a relapse, which may in turn result to reopening of their compensation case. This is expensive and time-consuming.
Returning to work late can lead to termination as this is seen as a voluntary loss of income. Furthermore, under Florida law, refusal of work which you are capable of handling or doing cuts off benefits effectively unless it can be ruled justifiable. It is, therefore, important to attempt to handle the work given to you as this a show of good faith and effort to return to work.
Failure to Seek Legal Representation
Most injured workers think that they can handle injury cases on their own without legal representation. In as much as one is allowed to represent themselves, it is highly discouraged. This is because navigating the complex settlement procedures involving insurance companies, medical treatments, and the employer can be futile in the absence of an experienced legal expert.
You will require an Orlando personal injury lawyer with in-depth knowledge and experience in the handling of work-related injury cases to get any benefits. Workers’ compensation claims indeed are very complex and require in-depth knowledge to get through successfully.