Why Are Workers’ Compensation Claims Denied?
The system of workers’ compensation is supposed to be relatively easy. Florida law is designed for workers to have quick and easy access to quick medical care, without having to prove any liability or negligence. Yet, there are workers’ compensation cases filed all the time. Why do these cases happen? How do people end up getting denied workers’ compensation?
Many people wait too long before they file their workers’ compensation case. Maybe they feel “guilty” about making a claim, or fear that they will face repercussions at work for filing a workers’ compensation case (which is illegal for your employer to do to you). Although time periods can vary, as a general rule, 30 days after the accident or injury is the latest that a workers’ compensation claim should ever be filed.
You Went to the “Wrong” Doctor
Unfortunately workers’ compensation does not allow you to pick your own doctor. There is limited ability to make a one time switch of doctors (you should talk to your workers’ compensation attorney if you have a question about switching). However, many people simply go to their normal primary doctor, get a diagnosis, and expect workers’ compensation to pay.
You Were Not Injured On The Job
There are many cases about when a worker is on the job and when the worker is not. People can be injured on lunch breaks, driving to and from work, or in the evening after they’ve come home but are working from home. Each scenario is unique, but many people are wrongfully denied workers’ compensation just because they were not actually “on the clock” when they were injured.
You Were Not Injured Doing Your Job
This is where causation comes in. You may be injured while on the job, but the workers’ compensation employer might still say that your injury was caused by something that happened outside of work, or that your work injury only made an injury sustained off the job worse. Workers’ compensation is very favorable towards workers; it is often presumed that a worker sustained an injury while on the job. Still, insurers will often try to deny people benefits on this basis.
You are (Supposedly) Not an Employee
The distinction between an employer and independent contractor can be difficult for a layperson to distinguish. Sadly, many employers purposely misclassify workers as contractors, in order to evade the legal requirement to pay workers’ compensation. However, Florida law (and federal IRS laws, which Florida law follows) have guidelines that say when you are an employee (and thus entitled to workers’ compensation) and when you are a contractor. Do not let an employer purposely call you something you are not just to evade paying you benefits.
The Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys at Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian are prepared to help you with your workers’ compensation case. Call us today to discuss getting help for your injuries. Schedule a consultation today.