A work injury could sideline an employee for days or even weeks. Workers’ compensation happens in two ways. First, the injured employee reports their injury or occupational disease to their employer. Second, the employer reports the injury to their insurance provider, kickstarting the work comp process. While it sounds straightforward, it does not always work this way.
As our work comp lawyers often see, employers are not always keen to help their employees get their deserved benefits. Either they fail to report the work injury to their insurer or work to frustrate the process. The question, therefore, is, are they allowed to do this?
If they are not, what should you do when your employer fails to report your work injury? Our lawyers at Work Injury Rights provide the answer to this question in this article. If you or a loved one suffer a work-related injury or illness, contact us immediately. We’re your best chance at getting your work comp benefits.
Notifying Your Employer of Your Work Injury
Before discussing what to do if your employer fails to report your work injury, we must first establish whether your employer is aware of the accident and the wound you sustained. Without knowledge of the workplace accident or injury, they cannot commence the workers’ compensation claim process. Also, Florida law places the onus on you to report a workplace accident or injury.
Typically, Florida law provides that injured workers notify their employer of their wound within 30 days. If it is a case of occupational exposure, you have 90 days. Failure to do this hinders the commencement of the claims process. In addition, your employer can deny you benefits on the grounds of “late notice.”
What Should You Do if Your Employer Doesn’t Report a Work Comp Claim?
Under Florida law, employers are obligated to report a work injury to their insurance provider. The law gives them seven days to file the report. The time starts counting from when they had “actual knowledge” of the work-related injury or illness.
If the employer fails to do this, they face an administrative fine of not more than $500 for each failure. But what are your options as the injured worker? We discuss them below.
Contact the Insurance Provider Yourself
If your employer for any reason refuses to report your injury to their insurance carrier, you can contact the insurance company yourself. Typically, most Florida workplaces have posters that provide work comp insurance information. If you find one at your workplace, call the insurance company and file a claim with them.
If such a poster does not exist, chances are your employer lacks work comp insurance. If this is the case, contact the Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman (EAO) to get information on your employer’s insurance provider. The EAO will let you know if your employer has an existing policy or not.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Your employer failing to report your work injury to their insurer is a red flag that you shouldn’t ignore. Thus, you should lawyer up before taking any steps. A lawyer will take over the process and advise you on the steps to take to ensure you don’t lose your benefits.
Getting a lawyer is crucial as your employer may be cooking up reasons for not reporting your injury that aren’t valid. A work comp attorney can tell when your employer has a legitimate reason and when they are fabricating one. So contact one as soon as possible. Preferably before contacting the insurance company or EAO.
Why Would Your Employer Fail to Report Your Work Injury?
The aim of every business is to make money, and constantly paying work comp benefits may reduce your employer’s profit margin. So, most of them decide not to pay workers’ compensation. However, there are instances when failure to report a work injury is legitimate or seems legitimate to the employer.
Some of such instances are where:
- Your injury did not require medical treatment
- You did not take time off because of your wound
- Your injury happened outside working hours
- You filed a false claim
- You did not notify your employer of the work injury within the stipulated time
Keep in mind that these reasons are contestable. So if your employer uses any of them as justification for their actions, get a lawyer involved.
Book a Free Consultation With Experienced Florida Workers’ Comp Attorneys
At Work Injury Rights, our lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of Florida workers and getting them their deserved benefits. To us, you are a real person with real problems and not just another case file. Hence, we give our all to get you justice.
So did your employer refuse you work comp benefits? Book a free consultation with us today.