Common Mistakes After An On-The-Job Injury
When you have been hurt at work, it can be very easy to forget literally everything else. However, there are certain protocols that need to be followed if someone is injured on the job, and if you fail to comply with them, it can cause problems for you down the road if you decide to seek workers’ compensation. Keep these potential errors in mind if you are ever in a situation where you have been hurt on the job.
Some of the most common mistakes involve reporting problems. For example, Florida law requires that someone who has been injured at work report the injury within 30 days, or within 90 days of the first symptoms if the injury is an occupational disease such as carpal tunnel syndrome. However, many delay reporting out of a fear that an injury will count against them or they will otherwise somehow face reprisals from their employer. In truth, there is simply no reason to delay, especially if you require immediate medical treatment. Employers are bound by law to refrain from retaliation.
Sometimes, people will report their new injuries, but not any pre-existing condition that might conceivably affect the same area. This can be problematic because the extent of your new injury has to be determined, and failure to admit any pre-existing condition would lead to an incorrect assessment. In extreme cases this can be considered fraud, which can leave you open to losing any benefits you may have been awarded.
Returning To Work Early Or Late
Many other common errors that people make after work injuries have to do with when they return to work. If someone returns to work too soon, they run the risk of suffering a relapse, which can require their workers’ compensation case to be amended or reopened – an enormous expenditure of time and trouble. If they refuse work offered to them (that is, return to work later than they should), it can be seen as a voluntary loss of income, which can lead to termination, and also to the potential loss of further benefits (under Florida law, refusing work that one is capable of doing effectively cuts off benefits unless a judge rules the refusal is justifiable).
While it may seem as though an injured employee is stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the effective way to deal with offered work such as ‘light duty,’ even if you are unsure whether you will be able to handle it or not, is to attempt the work and then inform your employer if you cannot manage. That way, you will be seen as having made a good faith effort to return to work, but you will not be forced to work in a capacity that could cause you to relapse.
Call An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation claims are complex and require just the right knowledge to get through successfully. Having an attorney on your side can be a big help. The Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers at the Hornsby Law Group can help guide you through the process and try to answer your questions to the best of our ability. To schedule an appointment, contact our offices today.