Are you an employee in Fort Lauderdale who has suffered a workplace injury? Workplace injuries can be detrimental. They not only result in pain and suffering but also other repercussions like lost income and high medical bill payments. Why should an employee suffer due to the poor maintenance of the workplace?
The majority of employers are required to provide workplace compensation to their employees. Do you know that injuries at the workplace are your employer’s responsibility? Florida’s worker’s compensation laws make it mandatory for most businesses to have worker’s compensation insurance.
You can get the benefits as part of worker’s compensation if you are hurt at the workplace with the help of a Fort Lauderdale worker’s compensation lawyer. Here is what you should do immediately after a workplace injury in Fort Lauderdale.
Four Things To Do After a Workplace Injury in Fort Lauderdale
Taking the right steps after a workplace injury can help you maximize your benefits. There is a time limit for getting a worker’s compensation in Florida, similar to every other state. Not taking the right action within this window may make you lose the opportunity to claim your worker’s compensation benefits. Here is what you should do after a workplace injury.
Step 1: Seek Medical Help
When you are injured in the workplace, the very logical first step is to seek medical help. Inform your colleague of the injury if you can’t assist yourself. Visit the emergency room or the doctor within your workplace.
You need to inform the doctor that the injury occurred at the workplace. The medical file should mention the same. Follow the doctor’s preliminary advice until you report the same to your employer. Also, mention if you are returning to work or not with your injury.
Step 2: Report the Injury to the Employer
Next, you should report your injury to your employer. In Florida, you are given 30 days to report your injury to the employer. This not only includes informing them verbally but also in the report. This report should entail details of the injury and necessary documents to prove the same.
It should also include the date of injury, date of report submission, name of the supervisor/manager, how the accident took place, and other necessary details. The employer in Fort Lauderdale should do so within 30 days to be eligible to claim benefits on the part of worker’s compensation.
Step 3: File For Worker’s Compensation Claim
If your employer has worker’s compensation insurance, it is the responsibility of the employer to file the claim within seven days of when the employer learns about your injury.
However, if the employer fails to do so, you must file the claim yourself. In Florida, such an insurance company should be licensed under the Office of Insurance Regulation. If the employer has filed the claim with the insurance carrier, the employee receives an information brochure from the insurance company within three days. This includes the details of the claim and benefits.
In Florida, you have to submit a claim within two years from the date of injury.
Step 4: Contact a Lawyer
In cases where your employer does have worker’s compensation insurance, the insurance company may still try to deny your claim.
If the employer refuses to provide such compensation on its own, you can file a petition for benefits with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. This is when a personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale comes to the rescue. Such an attorney helps in filing the appeal.
What Should an Employer Do After a Workplace Injury in Fort Lauderdale?
An employer is equally responsible for taking the proper steps after an employee is injured while at the workplace. Foremostly, the employer should follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) employer rules.
According to this:
- The employer should keep their workplace free from potential hazards.
- Workplace conditions should be in accordance with OSHA standards.
- The employer should understand key employee rights.
- The employer should use colored posters, labels, and stickers to warn employees of potential hazards.
- The employer should keep proper records of work-related injuries if they have more than ten employees.
- The employer should provide access to work-related injury log to employees, former employees, and other representatives.
Obligations of the Employer After a Workplace Injury in Fort Lauderdale
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the employers work in accordance with the Division of Worker’s compensation. According to this, the employer must investigate the accident that caused the injury.
The employer should also have valid worker’s compensation insurance in the first place. They need to inform their insurance carrier about the accident. This is important for claiming the benefit. The employer does this by filing the First Report of Injury with the insurance company as well the Division of Worker’s Compensation.
This injury form also includes any doubts and concerns by the employer. The employer can seek clarification for doubts like if the injury is even work-related or not.
If your employer fails to file a claim, they need to contact the insurance carrier themselves. If no insurance carrier exists, the employee can contact the Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office.
Why Hire a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale?
After all this help, you may wonder why you need to hire a worker’s compensation lawyer.
Worker compensation lawyers help you maximize your benefits. Both the insurance company and employer work to protect their own interests.
In such cases, having a lawyer by your side can help you understand the rights and benefits better. They work in your favor to fetch the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.
It is highly recommended to get a free consultation from a personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. This meeting helps you understand if you should move forward with filing the lawsuit or not. Contact us today to learn more.