If you were injured in any workplace accident in Miami, under the state laws of Florida, you would be entitled to take workers’ compensation. Since each accident is unique, one cannot put the finger on the exact amount of compensation you could be entitled to. This answer only comes after your negotiations with the insurance companies have started.
However, many people do not know how to ask for workers’ compensation and end up making mistakes in the process. These mistakes end up cutting their compensations by a lot. Some don’t even bother applying, thinking it’s too big a hassle. Applying for workers’ compensation and receiving the full amount you are entitled to is actually much easier with Miami workers comp lawyers. Here’s a step–by–step explanation of how to get workers’ compensation in Miami, Florida.
Steps to Claiming Workers’ Compensation in Miami
This 8-step guide explains exactly what you need to do to claim workers’ compensation in Miami.
Step 1: Obtain Evidence and Write Down All Details of the Incident
The first step is proving that you were injured due to a workplace accident. Try to take pictures if possible and note down a detailed version of events as they happened. You might think that you would remember a traumatic experience like this, but in most cases, people forget key details that might have otherwise helped them win their case. Also, try to take the contact information of as many people as possible. They can be your witnesses.
Step 2: Get Medical Treatment as Early as Possible
If you were in a severe accident, it is best to reach out to medical help and take all necessary treatment as soon as possible. If you haven’t suffered any major injury, it is best to wait till you inform your supervisor, as you might be required to go to a company authorized physician. If that’s the case, wait till you get the go-ahead, and when you do go, be as descriptive as possible and inform the doctor of everything that resulted from your accident.
Step 3: Reporting Your Injury
Now would be a good time to inform your employer about your workplace injury, preferably in writing or at least verbally. Under Miami laws, you must inform your employer on or before 30 days after the incident.
You can also directly contact the insurer by using the information provided by your employer. You will have to download the correct form from the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation website. If your employer has not provided you with such information, contact the “Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office.”
Step 4: Follow Up Guidance
Once you report your illness, your employer will give you a “First report of injury or illness” form to fill out and sign. Record all the necessary details – the injury type and area(s) of the body harmed, the date and time of the injury, witnesses present, and any medical treatment you’ve already received.
The employer must submit this document to the insurer within seven days of reporting. You will start receiving benefits within 21 days of the form submission if your claim is accepted.
Step 5: Recordkeeping
While you are yet to receive your compensation, you should make sure that you always document every incident from the date and time of your accident. Keeping copies of your injury report to your supervisor and records of treatment will be extremely helpful for all your future needs.
Step 6: Exercise Caution While Talking With the Insurance Company
Insurers will use every trick in the book to deny you the full compensation you are entitled to. Therefore, it is important that you only tell them the essential details and only in a way that they cannot turn your own words against you. This part can be tricky, and it would be best if you have a lawyer to deal with such issues.
Step 7: File a Petition for Benefits
If the insurance company denies your claim or if the compensation is unsatisfactory, it’s not the end of the road. You can file a Petition for Benefits with the Offices of Judges of Compensation Claims.
You will have to submit the following along with your and your employer’s contact details:
- A summary of your job description and what exactly you were doing when the said injury occurred.
- A detailed description of the accident and the list of body parts that were injured.
- A detailed list of all kinds of benefits and lost wages you claim, including rates and the dates of denied coverage.
- Claim for any interest and/or penalties and claims of attorney fees and costs as well.
You must file the Petition for Benefits within two years of the work-related injury or within one year following the date the insurer or employer last paid for medical treatment or lost wages. If you file through an attorney, they will use the electronic filing system. A copy of the petition must be sent to your employer, the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier, and their attorneys if known.
Step 8: Meditation or Hearing
Most claims will be settled through mediation. If your case can’t be resolved through mediation, you can request a hearing. Here, the judge will make a decision on the benefits and issue a ruling within 30 days of the hearing. If you are unsatisfied with the decision, you can file an appeal with the First District Court of Appeal in Florida within 30 days of the judge’s decision.
Hiring the Best Miami Injury Lawyer
Workers’ compensation is one of the most basic rights of employees in Miami, Florida. However, many people do not know how to properly apply for workers’ compensation or don’t know what benefits they are entitled to. A Miami injury lawyer can guide you through the process and help ensure you get the full amount you deserve.
For more assistance, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.