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Avoiding 7 Common Mistakes When Dealing with Florida’s Workers’ Compensation

Avoiding 7 Common Mistakes When Dealing with Florida's Workers' Compensation

Suffering a workplace injury in Florida not only impacts your health but can also put your financial stability at risk. While Florida’s workers’ compensation system is designed to support you, the claim process is complex and filled with challenges that can easily lead to loss of benefits.

This blog spotlights the seven most common mistakes that workers make when dealing with workers’ compensation, offering you clear guidance on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Failing to Notify Your Employer in a Timely Manner

What You Should Know:

One of the first critical steps after sustaining a work-related injury is to notify your employer immediately. Under Florida law, you have 30 days to report your injury, but it’s advisable to do it as soon as possible.

Delaying this step could give the impression that your injury is less serious or even bring the legitimacy of your claim into question.

Why It Matters:

Timely notification not only adheres to legal requirements but also allows for prompt medical evaluation and treatment, which could be pivotal in your recovery.

Additionally, a quick reporting timeline ensures that the incident is fresh in the memories of any witnesses, making their accounts more reliable.

What to Do:

  • Report the injury to your supervisor or the designated authority at your workplace.
  • Provide a written account of the incident, even if you’ve verbally reported it. This creates a paper trail, which could be crucial for your claim.
  • Collect contact details of witnesses, if any.
  • Ask your employer about the next steps in the claim process.

Mistake #2: Neglecting to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

What You Should Know:

After notifying your employer, seeking medical attention should be your next priority. Even if your injury seems minor, a comprehensive medical examination can reveal the extent of your condition.

In Florida, the treating physician plays a significant role in determining the benefits you’ll receive, making it crucial to consult one promptly.

Why It Matters:

Medical records serve as crucial evidence in workers’ compensation claims. Delaying medical treatment could result in your employer’s insurance company questioning the severity of your injuries or whether they are work-related at all.

What to Do:

  • Go to an authorized medical provider as specified by your employer or their insurance company.
  • Clearly communicate how the injury occurred at work so that the medical record accurately reflects the work-related nature of your injury.
  • Follow all medical advice and treatment plans strictly. Non-compliance can adversely affect your claim.
  • Keep all medical documents, such as bills, prescriptions, and medical records, in a safe place.

Mistake #3: Filing Incomplete or Incorrect Claim Forms

What You Should Know:

Filing incomplete or incorrect forms can compromise the integrity of your workers’ compensation claim. Attention to detail is critical in this process, as even minor errors can lead to delays, investigations, or outright denial of your claim.

Why It Matters:

The stakes are high when it comes to workers’ compensation. Benefits can provide crucial financial support for medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages.

An incomplete or incorrectly filled out form not only delays these benefits but may also cast doubt on your entire claim, prompting further scrutiny and complicating the process.

What to Do:

  • Thoroughly review all forms prior to submission, paying special attention to each section and field.
  • Verify the accuracy of each piece of information, including the specific details of your accident and injuries, to ensure that it aligns with any reports and medical records.
  • If your case involves multiple issues or complexities, consult an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation. They can review your forms for completeness and accuracy, helping to safeguard your interests.
  • Finally, keep copies of all submitted forms for your own records, which can serve as important evidence later on.

Mistake #4: Failing to Follow Medical Advice and Treatment Plans

What You Should Know:

Your medical treatment is a critical component of your workers’ compensation claim. Medical records serve as factual evidence of your injuries and are often the basis upon which compensation amounts are determined.

Why It Matters:

Ignoring or modifying your prescribed treatment plan can cast doubt on the severity of your injuries and could jeopardize your claim.

Compliance with medical advice is not just beneficial for your health but also crucial for the legal aspects of your case.

What to Do:

  • Attend all scheduled medical appointments and follow through with any prescribed treatments or therapies.
  • If a second opinion is needed, ensure you consult another approved physician within the workers’ compensation network.
  • Keep records of all medical transactions, including prescriptions, treatments, and therapies.
  • Communicate openly with your healthcare providers about how the injury impacts your life and work.

Mistake #6: Neglecting to Appeal a Denied Claim

What You Should Know:

Not all workers’ compensation claims are approved on the first submission. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.

Why It Matters:

Ignoring or failing to appeal a denied claim effectively means you’re walking away from benefits that could be crucial for your recovery and financial stability.

What to Do:

  • Upon receiving a denial, consult your Fort Lauderdale workers’ comp attorney immediately to understand the reasons for the denial and to plot the next steps.
  • File an appeal before the deadline. Deadlines can be stringent, and missing them can permanently close the door on your claim.
  • Gather additional evidence that can support your case, such as updated medical records, witness statements, or expert evaluations.

Mistake #7: Underestimating the Value of Legal Counsel

What You Should Know:

Navigating through the complexities of workers’ compensation laws in Florida can be frustrating with so much at stake. Legal counsel can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Why It Matters:

The workers’ compensation process involves various legal and administrative intricacies that can affect your benefits.

A misstep can result in reduced compensation or even the denial of your claim. An attorney experienced in these matters can represent your interests effectively.

What to Do:

  • Consult with an attorney as early as possible in the process, preferably before filing your initial claim.
  • Choose a lawyer with experience in workers’ compensation cases in Florida.
  • Be open and honest with your Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney about all the details of your case to enable effective representation.

Avoid Common Workers’ Compensation Mistakes with Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates

Trying to make sense of Florida’s workers’ compensation system can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with the aftermath of a workplace injury. At this crucial time, it’s essential to make informed decisions and avoid making common mistakes to safeguard your rights and benefits.

That’s where we come in. At Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, our Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation lawyers are experienced with all types of workers’ compensation cases and are committed to helping you avoid common pitfalls that could jeopardize your claim.

Reach out today at (866) 519-3831 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation, or connect with us through our online form. Let us go the extra mile for you, ensuring you receive the benefits and peace of mind you need to focus on your recovery.

Copyright © 2023. Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A.
1645 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd #550
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 598-7120

Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A.
7380 Sandlake Road, Suite 500
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 896-0116

Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A.
110 E Broward Blvd #1700
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 581-9115

Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A.
543 NW Lake Whitney Place, Suite 106
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
(772) 461-9181


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