What to Do If You Were Hurt On the Job in Gainesville, Florida
Bill Allen | May 4, 2023 | Workplace Accidents
A workplace accident can cause severe injuries, leading to significant medical expenses and lost wages. As a result, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You might also have a third-party claim depending on the circumstances surrounding your work injury.
Knowing what to do if you were hurt on the job in Gainesville, Florida can help you protect your right to workers’ comp benefits and compensation for damages.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
The Florida workers’ compensation system is a no-fault insurance program that provides injured workers medical treatment and loss of income benefits. Most employees can receive workers’ compensation benefits for workplace injuries.
Florida employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage if they have a specific number of employees.
The employees vary by industry:
- Non-construction industry – four or more employees
- Construction industry – one or more employees
- Contractors – one or more subcontractors who are not covered by workers’ compensation
- Agricultural industry – six or more regular employees and/or twelve seasonal employees who work more than 30 days in a season but less than 45 days during the calendar year
Even though you are not required to prove negligence or fault in a workers’ comp claim, there are rules that you must follow to receive benefits. Your workers’ compensation claim could be denied if you do not meet deadlines and follow the rules.
Steps to Take Immediately After Being Hurt on the Job in Gainesville, FL
If you are injured at work, it is crucial that you take the following steps to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits:
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
Workers’ compensation pays for necessary medical treatment if you are hurt on the job. However, Florida law allows your employer or the workers’ comp insurance provider to choose the physicians you can see for medical attention.
Therefore, you want to visit an approved doctor for medical treatment unless you need emergency care for a work injury. If you require immediate medical assistance, go to the nearest hospital or emergency room for treatment.
You also have the right to see your doctor if your employer or the insurance company refuses to notify you of an approved healthcare provider within a reasonable time. A Gainesville workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine what to do in this situation.
Report the Work Injury to Your Employer
You have up to 30 days to report your work injury to your employer under Florida law. However, it is best to notify your employer of a workplace accident as soon as possible. The sooner you complete the First Report of Injury or Illness form, the sooner you can receive your workers’ compensation benefits.
Document Your Work Injury
Gather evidence of your workplace accident. If possible, gather the evidence immediately after the injury.
Evidence can include photographs of the accident scene and what caused your injury. Make notes of co-workers and others who might have witnessed the accident or injury. Take photographs of your injuries to document their severity.
Keep copies of all documents related to your work injury. Documents could include medical records, letters from the insurance company, and workers’ compensation forms.
Seek Legal Advice Regarding Your Work Accident
Schedule a free consultation with a Gainesville workers’ compensation attorney. An injury attorney will review your case and advise you of your responsibilities and legal options. An attorney can help you file a claim, appeal denials, and address challenges during the workers’ compensation claims process.
A workplace injury lawyer will also evaluate your work-related accident for a third-party personal injury claim. You could be entitled to additional compensation if a third party contributed to or caused your work injury. You can file a third-party claim in addition to your workers’ comp claim.
Continuing Medical Treatment After Being Hurt on the Job in Gainesville
You should continue medical treatment for a work injury until the doctor releases you. If you cannot work because of your injury, you can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. Wage benefits replace a portion of the income you lose because of a workplace accident.
Ask your doctor for a written copy of your treatment plan. It is essential to follow the treatment plan to avoid problems with your workers’ comp settlement. If you disagree with the treatment plan, talk with your lawyer immediately about options for a second opinion and independent medical examination.
Pursuing a Workers’ Compensation Settlement in Gainesville, FL
Your doctor should issue you an impairment rating when you reach maximum medical improvement. If your impairment rating is any number other than zero, you could receive additional workers’ comp benefits.
However, the workers’ comp insurance company could challenge the impairment rating to avoid paying a large settlement amount. If you have not sought legal advice, it is time to talk with a lawyer. It is best to have a lawyer review a workers’ comp settlement offer to ensure you receive a fair amount.
Contact Our Gainesville Workplace Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: