After an accident, a lot can be on your mind as your life circumstances change. Between focusing on recovery, getting back to work, and taking care of your family along the way; it is possible to lose track of and miss the workers’ comp deadline for filing your claim. Like many types of accident claims, workers’ compensation claims have a statute of limitations in which a claim needs to be filed in order to be eligible for medical expenses and lost wages.
Statutes of limitations for workplace injuries vary by state, though each state’s workers’ compensation laws require that employees file claims by a deadline based on a set length of time following their injury. The time regarding the statutes of limitations varies, as do the rules and regulations of each states’ workers’ compensation law.
For the state of Florida, workers’ compensation law allows injured employees to file claims within two years of the date they suffered an injury on the job (an injury they knew existed or should have known existed) OR within one year of the last date the worker received benefits.
In Florida, your right to claim benefits or sue for damages is regulated by the workers’ compensation statute of limitations unless you meet the specified conditions. In your case—sometimes depending on circumstances—if you miss the deadline for filing a Petition for Benefits, you lose the chance to sue for compensation related to your injury or illness.
There are exceptions—some based on your knowledge of filing obligations, which your employer must provide if they are aware of your injury (as in your employer misled you regarding your entitlement to coverage or the employer’s insurance carrier did not inform you of your rights). Other exceptions are if the injured employee is a minor, the injured worker is mentally incompetent, or the injured employee has a medical/prosthetic device implanted as a result of the injury.
If You Are Injured on the Job
If you suffer an injury on the job, your first priority should be getting the medical care and treatment needed for your injury. Once you have done so, you need to file your workers’ compensation claim expediently to ensure you meet the statute of limitations and other regulations. If you are not clear on starting the filing process or feel you need additional time to file your claim, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Reporting your accident and injury to your employer is critical to the process and must be done within 30 days of the incident. If you miss the 30-day initial deadline, you may lose the ability to file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You should provide the notification to your employer, in writing, as soon after your injury as possible. Your notification should include the date, time, and place the injury occurred as well as any other relevant facts including the work you were doing, witnesses to your injury, and physician’s notes about the extent of your injury and your subsequent medical care.
Once you have successfully reported your injury to your employer, they must notify their workers’ compensation insurance carrier within a seven-day period. The insurance carrier must then supply you in three days with information regarding your obligations as well as your rights regarding your claim. Florida law dictates you should begin receipt of benefits within 21 days of your injury notification to your employer.
If your employer does not report your injury to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for next steps to ensure you receive your benefits.
If Your Claim is Denied or You Miss the Workers’ Comp Deadline
If you follow all the prescribed steps, you may still find your workers’ compensation claim is denied and you need to file a petition. Or you may be told that your case is closed because you failed to meet the statute of limitations requirements. In either instance, you will want to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you receive fair compensation related to your injury.
Get the Benefits You Deserve
If you have missed the workers’ comp deadline to file your claim or been informed your case is closed due to the Florida statute of limitations, the experienced, professional workers’ compensation attorneys at WorkInjuryRights.com can help see that your rights are protected and you get the benefits you deserve.
Call WorkInjuryRights.com today at the South Florida office most convenient to you and get the help you deserve.