Experiencing an injury at work can be overwhelming, but knowing your employer’s obligations can guide you through this difficult period. Employers are bound by specific duties under Florida workers compensation law.
This article explains the responsibilities of employers after a workplace injury. Our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you with your claim. Contact our law firm today for a free case review.
Florida Workers Compensation Insurance Requirements
Under Chapter 440 of the Florida Statutes, non-construction companies with four or more employees must provide workers’ compensation coverage. There are special coverage requirements for employers in the agricultural and construction sectors.
To meet these coverage requirements, an employer has several options: they can purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy from a private insurance company licensed in Florida, obtain authorization to self-insure, participate in a group self-insurance fund, or apply for coverage from the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association.
The Importance of Record Keeping
Employers are obligated to keep current records that could aid the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) in an investigation. These records, which must be retained for a minimum of three years, include but aren’t limited to business account records, employee wage payment documents (W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and individual tax statements), and proof of insurance or certificates of exemption.
Duty to Report Employee Injuries
Employers have a duty to report any known work-related injury or disease to their insurance company within seven days. This obligation is outlined under Florida Statute 440.185.
Employers are also required to keep records of any work-related injuries or illnesses reported by employees.
Steps to Take If You Are Injured
If you suffer a workplace injury in Florida, there are several actions you must take to ensure you receive benefits. First and foremost, seek emergency treatment if necessary. Then report your injury to your employer as soon as possible.
The law requires you to report a work injury to your employer within thirty (30) days of the accident or within 30 days of the date your doctor says you have a work injury. If you don’t report the injury within 30 days, your workers’ compensation claim may be denied.
What If an Employer Doesn’t Report Injuries?
The employer has a responsibility to report work-related injuries or illnesses to their insurance carrier within seven days. If an employer fails to do so, they may face legal consequences.
According to the Florida Statutes, any employer or carrier who fails or refuses to send any required form, report, or notice on time will be subject to an administrative fine by the department. The fine can be up to $500 for each such failure or refusal.
Impact on Workers’ Compensation Claims
If an employer fails to report an injury, it may delay the processing of a worker’s compensation claim. This may postpone your benefits and coverage for medical treatments.
If your employer doesn’t report your injury, you can contact the insurance company and your the accident yourself. Companies should post information about their insurance carrier.
Potential for Lawsuits
In some cases, non-compliance with these reporting requirements could potentially lead to lawsuits. If the employer’s failure to report their injury has resulted in harm, such as a delay in receiving benefits or medical treatment, a worker may be able to file a lawsuit.
Call Our Experienced Workers Comp Lawyers
Being aware of your responsibilities and your employer’s role under workers’ compensation law can help ensure that you receive the benefits you’re entitled to after an injury at work. It’s crucial to promptly report any workplace injuries and maintain open communication with your employer throughout the process.