What Happens if I Don't Report My Work Injury Within 30 Days?
If you have been hurt at work, the very first thing you need to do is report the accident. In Florida, you have thirty days from the time the accident happened to notify your employer.
Although verbal notification is acceptable (such as simply telling your boss about the accident) injured workers can better protect themselves from disputes by filing the First Report of the Injury or Illness.
You do not want to risk that your boss might forget that you told them, or even claim to forget that you told them!
4 Problems that Can Occur if You Do Not Report Your Work Injury
1) If you do not report the injury, then your employer may not notify the workers’ comp insurance company.
2) If you do not have a precise injury date, you may find it difficult to start a claim later on. This can delay medical care and other benefits.
3) The longer you delay notifying your employer, the more likely they will be suspicious of your injury. Your employer may claim that you must not be hurt very badly if you waited so long to report the injury, or they may think you were actually injured in an event outside of work and are blaming it on your work-related duties.
4) Many companies have specific rules about reporting an injury immediately. Some have rules that require you go to an onsite medical clinic or doctor’s office for both medical care and, in some instances, a drug screen test. Not following the workplace rules can be grounds for termination and denial of lost wage benefits.
When is it Too Late to File a Workers’ Comp Case?
You must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years after the date of the accident or your claim will be barred by the statute of limitations. However, if the workers’ comp insurance company is already providing you with benefits, then you do not need to a file a workers’ comp claim.
Once you are receiving treatment for your on-the-job injury, then the statute of limitations is extended by one-year periods following the provision of authorized care. This can be a bit confusing, and it it one of the the things injured workers routinely miss.
The only time a workers’ comp case is completely closed and you cannot receive any more benefits is when you have not received any authorized care or benefits from the workers’ comp insurance company outside of the statute of limitations; otherwise, your workers comp case can theoretically stay open for the rest of your life
In some states, if you are injured on the job, then you always have an open claim until a judge actually closes the case. In Florida, you must receive authorized workers’ comp benefits of medical care, lost wages, or some other type of benefits under Florida law in order to keep your workers’ comp case open.
If you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim you can download a FREE copy of Wade Coye’s book, Sharing the Secrets, Learning the Lies: A Guide to Florida Workers’ Compensation. You can also contact our expert team by calling (407) 648-4940 today or by filling out a contact form.