Tampa Workers’ Compensation Claim Process Lawyer
Being injured on the job can be stressful because your worries are split between trying to get medical attention so that you are healthy and concerns about being able to continue to earn a paycheck. If you have suffered from an injury at work, be it chronic or acute, you need to seek medical attention and then start the workers’ compensation claim process as soon as possible. A qualified Tampa workers’ compensation claim process lawyer can represent your best interests through the process so that you can focus your attention on regaining your health.
How do I Start a Claim?
According to Florida’s Workers’ Compensation System Guide, you must inform your employer of any injuries within 30 days of your knowledge of them. If it is not an emergency situation, you should ask your employer which doctor you should see for medical care. Your employer may ask their insurance company for which doctor you should see, but make sure it is approved by one of these sources. If you are in an emergency at work, get medical attention at the nearest emergency room and worry about contacting your employer afterwards. Within seven days of this initial report of injury, your employer is legally required to inform the insurance company.
What Happens After the Insurance Company is Notified?
Often the insurance company will contact you shortly after they are notified to inform you of your rights and obligations. Within a week you should receive a written packet of information from the insurance company that includes:
- A copy of your First Report of Injury or Illness, which you should review for accuracy;
- A fraud statement, which you should read through, sign, and return;
- A release of medical records, which you should read through sign and return; and
- Medical mileage reimbursement forms, which you should fill out after receiving medical treatment and return.
When you do seek medical care, be sure to let the doctor know all of the details of your injury or illness. Discuss your duties at work and have the doctor write a note if you are unable to do those essential tasks because of your injury. Keep your own documentation of all medical treatment you receive. Regardless of what the doctor determines, stay in contact with both your employer and the insurance company about your status and ability to work. You may not be able to return to your primary job at work, but your employer may have other tasks you can take over while recovering.
You can receive medical and partial wage replacement benefits if the insurance company accepts your workers’ compensation claim. According to Florida’s Division of Workers’ Compensation, you will not receive compensation for the first seven days of your injury, unless you are deemed disabled for over 21 days by a medical professional. Typically, partial wage replacement means 66 ⅔% of your wages, but more severe injuries can result in more and there are state maximums to this amount as well.
Talk with a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Attorney About Your Case
On paper, the process of a workers’ compensation claim sounds relatively straight forward. Yet, often there are missteps and issues. Employers are known for trying to say your injuries occurred outside of work and even the best of them may improperly file the claim with the insurance company. Once the insurance company is involved they will do everything in their power to not have to pay benefits. This is why it is important to have a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney looking out for your best interests. While you handle your health, the lawyers of the Tampa law office of Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian can handle your workers’ compensation claim. Contact us at 813-279-2686 today for a free consultation.