Can You See Your Own Doctor After a Workplace Injury?
Estimates suggest that nearly 70,000 Floridians are injured at work every year. If you are unlucky enough to experience an accident in your workplace, the amount of time it takes you to see a doctor will probably depend on the severity of your injury. Nevertheless, it is essential to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible, particularly if you may need to claim worker’s compensation.
Why you need an experienced worker’s compensation attorney
The laws in Florida are primarily designed to protect the interests of businesses first, and it can be hard, if not impossible, to pursue a worker’s compensation claim without the help and support of an experienced attorney. At Juan Lucas Alvarez, P.A., we can guide you as to what you need to do, and what evidence will be necessary to pursue a successful claim. Not following this advice could jeopardize your opportunity to claim. It is essential that you seek out your representation directly after your injury, no matter how minor your injury seems.
Seeing a doctor after a work injury
All businesses in Florida are required to have insurance that covers them in the case of a worker’s compensation claim. However, under the terms of this insurance, your employer will ask you to see a specific doctor that has been approved by your insurance company. When you report the accident or injury you should request that your medical care is authorized through your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. If for any reason this is refused, you have the right to see any doctor of your choosing. Your employer and their insurance company will then be responsible for costs incurred for reasonable treatment of your injury.
Try and avoid paying for treatment out of your own pocket wherever possible. However, if it is necessary, you should keep the receipts as your attorney will submit these to your employer’s insurance company for reimbursement.
Notifying your employer of a workplace accident in non-emergency situations
Whether or not you consider your accident to be serious, you should still notify your employer of every single injury you have sustained, however minor. Often what starts as a mild injury, such as a sprain, could go on to cause greater problems further down the line. If you have not reported the injury properly at the time, you may not be entitled to claim for worker’s compensation for any ongoing physical, psychological or financial damages you incur.
The law states that you should give notice of your accident to your supervisor within 30 days of the incident occurring, but we would recommend doing so as soon as possible. Some injuries are not always obvious immediately, and if further ones make themselves apparent as the days go on, make sure that you report these too.
In some instances, you may have no reason to suspect you have been compromised in some way. This usually occurs as a result of handling things like toxic substances, where the symptoms can take weeks or even months to become recognizable. The law states that you are allowed to report these types of workplace injuries within 30 days of the date that you became aware that there was a problem. If the medical problem that arises is an occupational disease, then you must give your employer notice within 90 days of the date that you become aware that you have a medical complaint caused by your job.
In the case of a medical emergency
Occasionally, an accident may result in an injury that requires emergency medical attention. In these instances, you may not have time to speak to your employer and will instead need to get straight to your ER or emergency doctor. Nevertheless, your treatment should be covered as long as it can be considered reasonable to treat the injuries sustained in the workplace accident, and you have reported it to your employer within 3 days of the treatment taking place.
In the case of admission to hospital for treatment relating to a workplace accident, you or a loved one must notify your employer within 24 hours.
The law surrounding worker’s compensation cases is extremely complex, making it difficult to pursue claims on your own, particularly when you or a loved one is in the process of recovering from a workplace injury. An experienced specialist worker’s compensation attorney can take all the hard work of pursuing a claim away from you, allowing you to focus your energies where they are needed most.
If you have been involved in a workplace accident that resulted in medical attention, you may be entitled to financial recompense for the physical, psychological and financial damages that you have suffered. Contact the Law Offices of Juan Lucas, P.A. today to arrange your confidential consultation at 305-442-7375.