Unless you work on an assembly line, odds are, there’s a good part of the day when you’re working alone. Even if you work for a large company, that doesn’t mean you’re constantly surrounded by a bunch of coworkers. This can make things a bit dicey if you’re injured in a workplace accident.
Our Miami workers comp lawyers meet with clients every week whose workers compensation claim was denied. Some of their claims were denied because they didn’t file their claim properly. Others are denied because the employee waited too long to report their workplace accident. However, a decent percentage of workers compensation claims are denied because nobody witnessed the employee’s accident.
If you think your claim will be denied because nobody witnessed your workplace accident, you should contact our office right away. The same is true if your claim has already been denied. One of our Miami workers comp lawyers can help you file an appeal. And, if that doesn’t work, we can always file a lawsuit on your behalf. All you have to do is schedule your free, initial consultation with our office and we can get the process started.
There are Certain Criteria to Qualify for Workers Compensation in Florida
To qualify for workers compensation benefits, you must meet certain criteria. Technically, if you meet all these requirements, your claim will be approved. Once your claim is approved, you’ll start to receive your weekly benefits. In addition, any medical care you need in relation to your workplace accident will be covered as well. Of course, before you receive benefits, you’ll need to file your workers compensation claim.
Once your employer receives your notice of injury, they have a very small window in which they must report the claim to their insurance carrier. When they do this, they will make a recommendation as to whether your claim should be approved or denied. This decision will be based on the following factors:
- Did you report your injury to your manager or human resources director within a reasonable timeframe?
- Did your injury take place while on company time?
- Did your accident take place on company property?
- If you work remotely, or are a salaried employee, were you injured while working within the scope of your normal employment?
- Were you under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury?
- Do you agree to be treated by a state- approved workers compensation physician?
- Are you willing to participate in your medical treatment?
Depending on the answer to these questions, your workers compensation claim will either be denied or approved. If it’s denied, your Miami workers comp lawyer can help you file an appeal.
You Are Required to Report Your Workplace Accident to Your Manager
As stated above, one of the first requirements for workers compensation is that you report your injury to management immediately. While you do have up to 30 days to do this, it’s not a good idea to wait any longer than necessary. In fact, our workers compensation attorneys in Florida recommend that you report your injury the same day it happened.
When you report your workplace accident, your manager or human resources director should provide you with an accident form to fill out. One of the questions on this form will be whether there were any witnesses to your workplace accident. If the answer is yes, you must indicate who these coworkers are and what their position is. You will also be asked to give a basic description of what happened.
If nobody witnessed your workplace accident, you may run into trouble. Without having anyone confirm what happened, your employer may decide to deny your claim. They may doubt that your injuries are legitimate. They may think that you got hurt on personal time and are trying to take advantage of the system. Or they simply feel that your claim is large, and they would rather take their chances down the line.
Did Any Coworkers See You Get Hurt?
Obviously, you should know whether any of your coworkers saw you get hurt. Even if none of your coworkers were near you at the time of your workplace accident, there may have been other people around. For example, if you work in the retail sector, did any customers see you get hurt? Similarly, you should ask yourself if any clients, vendors, or third parties witnessed your workplace accident.
If the answer to all these questions is no, there is a good chance your workers compensation claim will be denied. This doesn’t mean that you have no recourse. It simply means that your Miami workers comp lawyer may have to work a little harder to get you the benefits you deserve.
Your Miami Workers Comp Lawyer Will Demand Copies of Any Surveillance Camera Footage
One of the first things your workers compensation attorney in Florida will do is check to see if your employer has surveillance cameras on the premises. If they do, your attorney will demand copies of any footage from the day of your workplace accident. They may also request any audio footage that may have been captured as well.
If your company doesn’t have surveillance cameras, then your Miami workers comp lawyer will have to find another way to prove that your injuries were work related. For example, they may cite the fact that you’ve worked for the company for several years and have never filed a workers compensation claim. Or they may argue that other employees have suffered a similar injury while performing the same task as you. Perhaps you work with a piece of faulty equipment that has injured several workers over the past few years.
This kind of information may go a long way toward proving that you’re not making up the fact that you were hurt in a workplace accident.
Take the Time to Sit Down with an Experienced Miami Workers Comp Lawyer
When you suffer a workplace accident and find out that your employer is not going to take care of you, a dozen thoughts run through your mind. Obviously, you’re hurt that your employer has essentially called you a liar. You’re also worried about how you’re going to pay for the medical treatment you’ll need before your work-related injury. Ultimately, if you are unable to work because of your injuries, you will need some kind of income.
If your employer is going to deny your workers compensation claim, then you need to consider hiring a workers compensation attorney in Florida. Since we do offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. You should contact our office as soon as possible and pick a date and time to come into the office.