Florida Workers’ Compensation Act
The Florida Workers’ Compensation Act was established to help injured and/or ill employees and their families overcome the financial issues that result from work-related injuries and illnesses that occur within the state of Florida, outside the coverage of any type of federal coverage. If you are injured as a result of a work-related incident, or if you develop a condition or disease as a result of the type of work you do, your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage may entitle you to medical, partial wage replacement and possibly permanent damage benefits.
If you are injured on the job, you need to:
- Immediately contact your employer to report your on-the-job injury/illness. Identify all body parts that are injured and be specific when identifying areas of pain.
- Provide your employer a copy of the Medical Treatment/Status Reporting form (DWC25) after each medical appointment. Keep your appointments and be sure to follow the treatment plan. Clarify your work status during appointments and before you leave the physician’s office. The Employer/Carrier retains the right to suspend medical and indemnity (money) benefits for failure to attend appointments.
- Continue to see your authorized physician as often as medically necessary; however, in no event should you allow more than one (1) year to pass without seeing your authorized treating physician (ATP). Failure to see your ATP within one (1) year from the last date you saw him/her will result in a complete waiver of any further rights you have under the law.
- Return to work when you are released by your physician and when your employer offers a position within your physical limitations to avoid suspension of your lost wage benefits.
- To begin the judicial process for obtaining benefits that you believe are due to you and in which have not been provided timely, a Petition For Benefits must be filed with the Office of Judge of Compensation Claims. Once a PFB is filed, please know that limited aspects of your claim become public knowledge via the Office of Judge of Compensation Claims’ website at http://www.jcc.state.fl.us/jcc.
Although you are not required to have an attorney to represent you in your claim, it is highly recommended. The Employee Assistance Office does not provide legal advice, however; they will answer basic questions about your rights and responsibilities and may be able to resolve problems you have with your workers’ compensation claim.
Without an attorney, the insurance companies are most likely to cut corners. If you have a Workers’ Compensation issue, contact the Law Offices of Doolittle & Tucker, P.A. for your Free Case Evaluation today. There are no upfront costs or fees, and we only receive a fee if we recover a settlement on your behalf.