When you are injured on the job or develop an occupational illness, in many cases, it is considered a workers’ compensation injury and eligible for a claim with your employer’s insurance policy.

If your claim is approved, you may receive medical coverage, payment for lost wages, and other benefits following a workers’ comp injury. However, to access these benefits, both you and your employer must follow specific steps to ensure the injury is compensable.

The process of filing a workers’ comp claim can be a bit overwhelming and complex as multiple parties are involved: yourself (the employee), your employer, your employer’s insurance company, your healthcare provider(s), and the state’s workers’ compensation board.

What is considered a workplace injury?

Most injuries that occur on the job are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, including accidents and illnesses caused by exposure to occupational-related activities, equipment, and materials. 

If you suffer from an occupational injury covered by workers’ comp insurance, time is of the essence. According to Florida workers’ compensation laws, you have up to two years from the date of injury to report the incident and collect benefits. However, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as it occurs. The longer the delay in filing a claim, the higher the likelihood your employer’s insurance may deny your claim for compensation benefits or believe the claim isn’t legitimate. 

In general, workers’ compensation does not cover:

  • Stress or other psychiatric disorders
  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries caused by fighting or goofing around
  • Injuries incurred while committing a crime, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while violating company policies

To initiate the workers’ compensation claims process, you must:

  • Inform your employer about the work injury or illness, including the date, time, type of injury, and how the injury occurred.
  • File a formal workers’ compensation claim

Once the formal complaint is filed, your employer’s insurance company chooses a doctor to perform an independent medical examination. The doctor reports the results to the insurance company, which uses the report to create your compensation offer.

When can I file a workers’ compensation claim?

You are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if all of the following statements are true:

  • You (the injured) are an employee of the business and not an independent contractor.
  • Your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance.
  • You were injured as a result of occupational-related duties.
  • Your injury falls within the statute of limitations.

As an employee, you have a deadline for notifying your employer about the injury. You can do so by writing a formal letter or email detailing the circumstances of your injury. In most cases, the worker must notify the employer within 30 to 45 days of the injury. Failure to notify your employer about injuries promptly can jeopardize your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits. 

At Hudgins Law Firm, our sole responsibility is to YOU. We will fight for the compensation you deserve following an auto accident. We deal with insurance companies and take them to court if necessary. To set up a FREE consultation, call us toll-free at 800-950-5534, or complete the contact form on our website. We’re the right team for you!