Top Five Mistakes Made After a Job Injury
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers | Workplace Accidents
Sustaining an injury at work can be stressful. In addition to the physical pain and suffering, you worry about your job security and your personal finances.
Unfortunately, most individuals are not prepared for a job injury. Therefore, they do not know what to do or how to protect their rights after a work accident. The result can be mistakes that could hurt a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury claim.
Knowing what to expect and the common mistakes workers make after a job injury can help you protect your legal right to the compensation you deserve for a work-related injury.
Workers’ Comp Mistake Number 1: Failing To Report a Job Injury
Injured employees are required by Florida workers’ compensation laws to report an accident or injury within 30 days. They must report the incident to their employer, supervisor, or designated company representative. Work-related illnesses must be reported within 90 days of the first symptoms.
A few exceptions exist, but it is not worth taking the chance that your workers’ compensation claim could be denied for failing to report a job injury. The best practice is to report a work-related injury as soon as possible, regardless of the severity of the injury.
Workers’ Comp Mistake Number 2: Failing To Report All Injuries and Symptoms After a Work Accident
Disclose all injuries after a work accident. Even minor aches and pains could be an indication of a serious injury. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms and the potential of secondary injuries or conditions.
If your symptoms change or you experience new symptoms, report them immediately to your doctor and employer. Failing to report all injuries is a costly mistake. As a result, you might not receive the compensation you deserve.
Workers’ Comp Mistake Number 3: Failing To Seek Legal Advice from a Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
You are not required to hire a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, the workers’ compensation insurance company has a team of experienced professionals working to protect its best interest. In addition, your employer might consult an attorney or have in-house legal counsel.
You should not be the only one in the case that does not have the benefit of experienced legal representation. Navigating workers’ compensation laws and insurance claims can be complicated and overwhelming. It is easy to make mistakes when you do not understand the law and are focused on your recovery.
A Clearwater workers’ comp attorney will handle the legal matters regarding your work injury, including all communication with the insurance company. An attorney will fight to ensure that you receive all workers’ comp benefits and compensation you deserve after a work injury.
Workers’ Comp Mistake Number 4: Failing To Disclose Prior Injuries or Conditions
Failing to disclose prior work injuries could result in a denied claim, even though the prior injury was minor and/or you did not report the prior injury. In some cases, failing to report prior injuries or conditions could be considered workers’ compensation fraud.
Insurance companies use prior injuries or conditions to deny workers’ comp claims. They claim that your current injury or condition was caused by a pre-existing condition instead of a work incident. It might seem tempting to avoid this battle by concealing a prior injury.
However, a skilled Clearwater workers’ compensation lawyer understands this tactic and how to fight back with evidence that your prior injury was not a major contributing factor to the current work injury. The injury must be the major contributing factor to your current condition to receive workers’ compensation benefits. A major contributing factor is a cause that is more than 50% to blame for the injury compared to all other causes.
Workers’ Comp Mistake Number 5: Failing To Return To Work
If you are injured in a work-related accident, your doctor might advise you to stay out of work while you recover. If so, you can receive temporary total disability (TTD) payments for lost wages while you are out of work. You can receive TPD (temporary partial disability) payments if your doctor releases you to work light duty, but you do not earn as much as you would if working full duty.
A common mistake made by injured workers is failing to return to work when their doctor releases them to do so. The worker might feel they are not ready to return to work or cannot perform all their required work tasks.
You could lose further workers’ compensation benefits if you do not attempt to perform your duties. Also, your employer could fire you for refusing to work. If you are being forced to return to work before you believe you are physically ready, talk with a lawyer about your legal options.
Most Work Injuries Are Covered By Workers’ Compensation in Florida
Most Florida employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Workers’ comp generally covers a work injury sustained during the ordinary course of employment.
The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault insurance system. You can receive benefits even if you contributed to the cause of your work injury. Furthermore, you do not need to prove that your employer was negligent to receive workers’ comp.
When workers’ compensation covers an injury, the employee cannot sue their employer for damages, except in rare cases. However, some work-related injuries might result in third-party claims. Third-party claims are outside of the workers’ compensation system.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Work-Related Injury
A third-party claim is a personal injury case against a party who caused your injury. For example, you could have a claim against a manufacturer if defective machinery caused your injury. Likewise, you might have a claim against a driver if they caused a car crash while you were working.
The compensation you receive in a third-party claim can include all lost wages and other economic damages not covered by workers’ comp. You could also receive compensation for non-economic damages. It is worthwhile to speak with a Clearwater workplace accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Contact the Pinellas County Personal Injury Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg personal injury law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Pinellas County and its surrounding areas:
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
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St. Petersburg, FL 33712,