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An injury on the job can make even the returning to the workplace difficult, let alone completing one’s duties. Accidents happen and almost 70,000 individuals experience one on the job in Florida. The post-injury process is filled with dizzying information on Workers’Compensation Laws, navigating healthcare needs, paying insurance premiums, and somehow recovering from the injury itself.
If the accident seems like it will require legal action, the process becomes more difficult and might even stretch out past the recovery period itself. Workers’ Compensation Laws vary from state to state, so this process looks a little different for everyone based on residence. Laws do change over time and one aspect of injury law is the applicability of them. Laws that were in effect on the date of the accident are the laws that will be used to determine benefits, liability, and more for the case. Since navigating these waters can easily become murky and difficult, it is honestly best to consult an attorney who specializes in injury and claims associated with this.
To start the legal process after being injured on the job, here are some things to add to the to-do list:
Notification of Injury and Documentation
After being injured on the job, it is imperative that your supervisor is notified within 30 days of the accident. In some cases, the injury is immediately apparent and reported fairly soon after. In other cases, it may not manifest until after the incident or it may not be apparent that the injury was caused by a work-related factor.
Employers and supervisors will ask for information on the injury or even the completion of a First Notice of Injury form. This form is sent over to the Insurance Carrier or employers to provide details on the incident. It is important to report all suspected injuries. Failure to report something can result in treatment denial later since it could be deemed as an unimportant injury. Documentation is also important. Take pictures of injuries, the accident site, property damage, and more. Pictures aren’t necessarily required for a claim, but it won’t hurt to have it on hand.
Seek Employer Supported Medical Care
During the initial report, request for authorization of medical care via workers’ compensation insurance. If treatment is refused, you can see any doctor and the employer and their insurance will be responsible for the bill. If you pay out of pocket, save the receipts for reimbursement later on. In the event of emergency care, contact the insurance company in a reasonable time frame, typically by close of business on the third day after emergency care was received. Report emergency treatment to the insurance company within 24 hours of admittance to a hospital or other facility.
Prepare for Court or Settlement
To prepare for legal action, a full scope of the situation will be assessed by all parties involved –including legal support teams. In this scope, both parties will seek to determine liability. On your part, this means determining what went wrong to cause the accident. Some scenarios include a dangerous workplace where failure to guarantee safety of workers resulted in injury.
Find the Right Legal Support
This might be the most important step. To fight for compensation or other settlement measures, a well-educated attorney is the best option to have in your corner. Attorneys who specialize in personal injury will be well-versed in injury law and able to find the legal ground for your case. As the website from Dennis Hernandez shows, personal injury law is less stressful with a legal team prepared to support you – both in the courtroom and in the recovery process.
Overall, an injury at work can create a temporary setback or make for a lifelong injury and lifestyle change. Knowing the law and navigating the legal proceedings effectively will help in taking necessary action to receive appropriate compensation.