None of us expect to get injured on the job. When a workplace injury does occur, we may be tempted to try and shrug it off, downplay it, and attempt to ‘work through’ the injury. An on-the-job injury is no laughing matter, and many of these injuries are more serious than they first appear. A blow to the head, a muscle pull or sprain, exposure to chemicals or any type of work-related injury can have lasting repercussions that could affect your general quality of life as well as your ability to work and support your family. Be prepared for any injuries that could occur and protect your own best interests by knowing what to do if you are hurt on the job.
Workers’ Compensation: Am I Eligible?
The United States Department of Labor reports that over 6 million people suffer on-the-job accidents and illnesses each year. For these injured workers, the workers’ compensation program acts as a form of insurance to ensure they get the help they need. Under Florida workers’ compensation law, injured workers are entitled to receive the following:
- Medical care and treatment;
- Reimbursement for travel to and from appointments;
- Payment for lost wages if their injuries prevent them from returning to work;
- Disability payments and benefits: and
- Job retraining should a worker be unable to return to their former occupation as the result of their injuries.
In order to be eligible to receive these benefits, an employee must have been injured on the job or in the course of employment, not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the injury, and not in violation against any clearly stated company policies when the accident or injury occurred.
What To Do If You Are Injured On The Job
Unfortunately, simply being eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits is not enough to guarantee that your claim for benefits will be approved. Your claim will be processed through your employer and their insurance company, and there is no doubt it is in their best interest to deny or undervalue employee claims. In order to help ensure you get the benefits you deserve, follow these steps if you are injured on the job:
- Notify your manager or supervisor immediately of any injury. If you are rushed to the hospital and unable to do so, have a loved one do it.
- Get medical care as soon as possible. Ask your employer where you should go to have your injury checked. Do not put it off until the end of your shift or until your next day off. Go right away.
- At the doctor’s office or hospital, do not downplay your injuries. You do not need to exaggerate either, but do not play it tough; be honest about any discomfort, pain, or other symptoms you are experiencing.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions completely. If your doctor tells you not to go to work, do not go. If you doctor tells you to get bed rest, do it. Take any prescribed medications, undergo whatever testing is suggested, and keep any follow up appointments.
- Provide formal written notice of your injury to your employer as soon as possible. List where the injury or accident happened, the day and time, the circumstances under which it occurred. Be sure to keep a copy for your own records. You have 30 days to provide this notice, but the sooner the better.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have suffered an on-the-job accident resulting in injuries, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys right away. At Hogan Frick, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to by law. On the job injuries often have a devastating impact on your ability to provide for and support your family. Get the compensation you deserve by calling us today. We have offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland. Call (407) 377-0733 to arrange a free consultation.