Most people who get injured on the job have no problem receiving workers compensation benefits. It’s only when you make a mistake after the fact that you jeopardize the chance of having your claim approved. Rather than let this happen, we suggest you call a workers comp attorney in Tampa immediately after your workplace accident.
Here, we’ll discuss some of the mistakes our clients have made in the past that nearly cost them their workers comp benefits.
1. Do Not Wait to Report Your Workplace Accident
Technically, you have thirty (30) days to report your workplace accident. The laws in Florida are perhaps too lenient when it comes to the reporting requirements. However, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to receive workers compensation benefits.
When you don’t report your injuries right away, your employer may think it’s because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to F.S. 440.101, your employer is not required to pay your claim if you were under the influence.
If you wait more than a few days, your employer will assume that you’re just waiting for the drugs to be out of your system.
If You Wait Too Long, You May Miss Your Chance to File for Workers Comp Benefits
Not only will your employer deny your claim if you wait too long, but you may also lose your chance to file a claim. As stated above, you do have thirty (30) days to report your workplace accident. You’d be surprised at how fast those thirty days fly by.
2. Don’t Refuse Medical Treatment
Another mistake some of our clients have made is they refused medical treatment. After you report your workplace accident, your manager will arrange for you to go to the emergency room. If you refuse to go, then you may surrender your rights to workers comp benefits.
The reason this is such a big mistake is that your Tampa workers comp lawyer cannot do much to help if you refuse treatment. By the time you see a worker’s comp doctor, your employer may argue that something other than your workplace accident caused your injuries.
3. Do Not Post About Your Workplace Accident on Social Media
If you’re like a lot of our clients, then you spend a lot of time on social media. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, there is something wrong with posting about your workplace accident online.
Once you post about your workplace accident on social media, your workers comp attorney in Tampa cannot undo the damage. Even if you delete your post, that doesn’t mean your employer doesn’t already have a screenshot of your comments.
It Won’t Help if You Try to Delete Your Social Media Posts
You may think that you can delete your social media posts and the insurance company won’t see it. In actuality, they can search through social media pages and find these posts. They’ll also see any comments posted by your online friends.
Even if you delete a post, it doesn’t really disappear. It may have already appeared on other people’s feeds. If this is the case, you can count on the insurance company finding it and using it against you.
4. Don’t Talk to Anyone But Your Workers Comp Attorney in Tampa
When someone gets hurt on the job, all they want to do is complain about their workplace accident to their friends and family. Your Tampa workers comp lawyer will urge you not to do this. You could say the wrong thing to the wrong person. The next thing you know, they say something that jeopardizes your claim.
The only person you should discuss your claim with is your workers comp attorney in Tampa. Everything the two of you discuss will be kept confidential. Anybody else you speak with could be subpoenaed by the insurance company. You don’t want this to happen.
5. Never Miss an Appointment With Your Workers Compensation Doctor
In addition to weekly benefits, your medical care will also be covered. However, if you don’t comply with your workers compensation doctor’s orders, your benefits can be terminated.
Like it or not, if you miss a single doctor’s appointment, your claim can be suspended or terminated. You have to remember that your employer is not happy about paying your claim. Once you start to receive benefits, your employer’s insurance premiums will go up.
This Includes Physical Therapy Appointments as Well
In many of the cases our workers comp attorneys in Tampa handle, our clients need to undergo physical therapy. If you refuse to go to these appointments, the insurance company may terminate your benefits.
You are required to comply with all medical treatment offered by your workers compensation doctor. If you refuse to go to physical therapy, the insurance company will find out. When they do, they will likely suspend or terminate your benefits.
While your Tampa workers comp lawyer will do their best to get your claim reopened, there’s no guarantee this will happen. It’s important that you just comply with your doctor’s treatment plan.
6. You Cannot Lie About Having Another Job
If you have a second job at the time of your workplace accident, don’t lie about it. Your employer will ultimately find out about your second job. Plus, you’ll have to tell your Tampa workers comp lawyer about any other employers. They will not lie to the insurance company when they ask about your other sources of income.
You must also be honest about any jobs you accept while you’re out collecting workers comp. As long as it’s a job with duties different from your primary position, it may not be an issue. But you have to be upfront and honest about it.
Don’t Make Your Tampa Workers Comp Lawyer’s Job Harder Than It Has to Be
Fighting with the insurance company to get your workers comp claim approved can be hard enough. The last thing you want to do is make it harder for your Tampa workers comp lawyer. If you make any of the mistakes discussed here, you could jeopardize your chance of receiving workers compensation benefits.
We recommend that you contact our office immediately after you suffer your workplace accident. We do offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the chance to sit down with a seasoned workers comp attorney in Tampa free of charge.