Have you suffered a work-related injury in the Lakeland area? If so, you may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation to pay your medical bills and help cover your damages. One thing you should keep in mind is that your employer’s insurance company will look for any reason to deny your claim. However, by reporting your work-related accident and injuries as quickly as possible, it becomes much more difficult for the insurance company to deny your claim.
Remember that reporting your accident does not mean that you are a bad employee. And though you may assume that you will quickly recover, you can never be too cautious. This workplace accident attorney in Lakeland, Florida is going to explain why below.
What happens if a workplace accident is not immediately reported?
If you fail to report the accident and injury immediately, your employer and its insurance company will contest your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, they will deny any medical treatment and refuse to compensate you for lost wages while you are unable to work.
By delaying filing the claim, you provide your employer with an opportunity to deny it. As any experienced workplace accident attorney in Lakeland, Florida knows, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to deny claims because they were not reported within 24 to 48 hours — even though the law states that you have 30 days regardless of what your employee handbook says. We have heard from far too many injured workers who were told by their employer that they could not file a claim because they were too late to report the injury. Of course, that is not true — but it illustrates how employers tend to respond to these claims.
Your employer is not an attorney.
Even with the best intentions, your employer is unlikely to provide you with accurate information on your workers’ compensation claim. Although your employer may assume that all work-related accidents and injuries must be reported within 24 hours, this is untrue. This is just one example of what can go wrong if you do not partner with a knowledgeable workplace accident attorney in Lakeland, Florida.
Report to the right people.
Telling a coworker about your injury is never enough. You should find your supervisor as quickly as possible and report it to them. Insist that your supervisor document the accident in writing and that you receive a copy of the report — this report is called “First Report of Injury” in Florida.
Be careful when filling out the report.
Give yourself enough time to fill out the accident report. Provide as much detail as possible. Ensure that you document all your injuries from the start. Even if you do not believe your injuries are severe, any experienced workplace accident attorney in Lakeland will advise you to report them since they can worsen over time.
Get your witnesses on board.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, make sure to get their names and numbers. Ask them if they could write a few sentences on what they witnessed. Generally, your coworkers will have no issue writing a witness statement if you ask them right away.
Looking for a Qualified Workplace Accident Attorney in Lakeland, Florida?
Have you been injured on the job or while carrying out your work duties? Even if you are unable to file a workers’ compensation claim, you can partner with a workplace accident attorney in Lakeland, Florida to pursue a personal injury claim — which may result in a higher payout. If that’s the route you are taking, the legal team at O’Toole Law Group can help you build a solid case to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.