Written on Aug 30, 2018 12:45:39 PM
7 Things to Do If You’re Injured on the Job (plus 5 FAQs)
The workplace isn’t always a safe place. While you may associate workplace injury with jobs like construction, manufacturing, or public safety, injuries can occur even in the most mundane of offices; simply picking up a stack of books and throwing out your back can leave you bedridden for a few days. So without further ado, here are seven steps to take if you’ve been injured on the job plus five frequently asked questions.
1. Report the injury immediately
Whether it’s an acute traumatic injury such as cutting your hand on a blade, or a cumulative trauma injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, you need to report the injury to your supervisor immediately and make it known the injury is directly related to you job. Under Florida law 440.185, claims must be reported within 30 days of the accident or it may be denied.
2. Have your supervisor prepare a company accident report
This should be your supervisor’s first move, but if he or she is hesitant or “too busy” to prepare a report, you should write them an email stating the facts of your case; you may also choose to CC human resources. The good thing about an email is that it is traceable, includes a time and date stamp, and automatically drops you your own copy in your sent file. (If you send this from your work email, be sure to forward a copy to your personal address).
3. Get a copy of the accident report and keep it safe
Whether you receive a report from your supervisor or prepare your own email, keep a copy of it in a safe place; this goes for all correspondence you have with anyone regarding your injury. If you’re in a union, you should also tell your steward that you were injured and that you reported your injury to your supervisor.
4. See a doctor
Notice we didn’t say “your” doctor. You may need to instead see a medical provider authorized by your employer or your employer’s insurance company. Be sure to tell the doctor how work was responsible for your injury, and spare no details. If you do not think that you’re being cared for properly or that your doctor has not taken careful notes, give the doctor a written statement of how your work caused you injury and keep a copy of it.
5. Follow doctor’s orders
If you fail to comply with all medical directions, your employer may argue that you chose not to get proper care and purposely remained sick so that you would not have to return to work. If the doctor recommends you not do certain things at work, get the doctor to write that down and get at least 2 copies, one for the supervisor and one for you to carry at work.
6. Don’t pay any bills
Under Florida law 440.13(14), you are not required to pay anything for injuries related to the workplace. Medical providers should send all injury-related bills to your employer or their insurance company.
7. File a Petition for Benefits (if necessary)
If your employer and/or their insurance company denies your claim, you can contact the Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office (EAO) at 800-342-1741 by email to email@example.com. You may also choose to hire an attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Five Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered what to do if you’re injured on the job, here are a few common questions that arise whenever someone make a worker’s compensation claim.
- Will I be paid if I lose time from work? Under Florida law 440.12, you are not paid for the first seven days following injury. However, if you lose time because your injury recuperation extends to over 21 days, you may be paid for the first seven days by the insurance company.
- How much will I be paid? In most cases your benefit check, which is paid bi-weekly, will be roughly 66% of your average weekly wage. Learn more about Florida law 440.02(28) & 440.14.
- How long will I be paid if the injury is temporary? You can receive Temporary Total Disability, Temporary Partial Disability payments, or a combination of the two benefits during the continuance of your disability for up to 26 months.
- Does my employer have to hold my job for me? Unfortunately for employees, there is no provision in Florida law that requires your employer to hold the job open for you
- If I’m unable to perform my job functions after recovery, then what? If eligible, Florida law provides free reemployment services to help you return to work. Services may include vocational counseling, transferable skills analysis, job-seeking skills, job placement, on-the-job training, and formal retraining. To find out more about this program, you may contact the Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office (EAO) at 800-342-1741 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Injured on the job and still unsure what to do—or getting push back from a supervisor? Contact the professionals at Lowman Law Firm. We can help guide you on next steps to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.