I've been injured at work. How do I begin the workers' compensation claim process?

Frequently Asked Questions about the Workers' Compensation Process Lawyer attorney law firmAfter being injured at work, the first thing you should do is notify your employer or supervisor and file a First Report of Injury or Illness form with your employer. 

Florida law recognizes that verbally informing your employer is sufficient to begin a worker's compensation claim; however, filing a First Report of Injury and having all of the information and details of your injury in writing can prevent confusion, miscommunication, or the loss of the details of "what really happened" which can occur naturally with time.

Here is a standardized First Report of Injury form for all industries, provided by the Florida Department of Financial Services. Your employer may have specific forms which cover additional information pertinent to your industry. Take the time to speak with your employer about all these details and request copies of all documentation for your own records.

How long after my injury do I have to report it?

You have up to 30 days from the injury or 30 days from when your doctor says your injury is work-related to report it. Generally, you should always report an on-the-job injury to your employer as soon as possible.  Your claim may be denied if you don't report in time. What happens if you don't report an injury within 30 days? Click here.

Will I lose my job if I file a workers' compensation claim?

Your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers' compensation claim. Protection from retaliation is a part of the workers' compensation law in Florida. However, depending on the severity of your injury and the nature of your work, you might not be able to return to work. Additionally, the employer is not required to keep your job open for you to come back. 

I haven't heard anything about my benefits claim and I sent them notice a month ago. What's going on?

According to the workers compensation laws, "The carrier must pay, disallow, or deny all medical, dental, pharmacy, and hospital bills submitted to the carrier in accordance with department rule no later than 45 calendar days after the carrier's receipt of the bill." Consulting your attorney or employer may help to expedite the process.

Do I need an attorney for my workers' compensation claim?

You need an attorney in order to receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to under the law. Coye Law Firm is experienced in the workers' compensation system and can help you sort through medical benefits, lost wages, and other sources of financial assistance. Although one is not required by law, an attorney knows the methods, reasons, and small details that go into calculating a settlement for your full benefits. 

How much does it cost to hire an attorney for my workers' compensation claim?

Florida law places a limit on the amount that an attorney representing an injured person can collect in a worker's compensation claim. The specifics of Florida law have changed over the years. Depending on the date of your injury, the cost can vary and the only way to know for sure is to discuss your situation with an experienced worker's comp attorney.

Can my mental illness be attributed to hazards in the workplace? If so, can I file a workers' compensation claim?

It depends. If your mental injuries are accompanied and caused by physical injuries, you may be able to claim benefits to remedy this problem. There are many exceptions, however. If depression results from being out of work, it is not compensable. The statute can be reviewed here.

What is a Petition for Benefits?

A petition for benefits is a form that the employee or claimant files in order to demand benefits be paid. This involves state government in your claim. If you choose to file a petition for benefits, it requires that a mediation conference take place. In order to protect your benefits and legal rights, you need a workers compensation attorney from the Coye Law Firm if your benefits are being denied. Florida law protects injured workers, so don't settle your claim without consulting one of our experienced attorneys.

Further Reading: 

If you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim you can download a FREE copy of Wade Coye’s book, Sharing the Secrets, Learning the Lies: A Guide to Florida Workers’ Compensation. You can also contact our expert team by calling (407) 648-4940 today or by filling out a contact form.