By not taking the appropriate actions in filing a claim, you could be jeopardizing your rights to Florida workers’ compensation benefits.
On-the-job injuries and illnesses can happen in any occupation. When they do, you could be left facing outrageous medical costs while being unable to work or provide for yourself or your loved ones. The Florida workers’ compensation program acts as a safety net in these situations, providing you with medical care, replacement, and disability benefits. However, there are time limits in place for submitting a claim. Failure to file your workers’ compensation petition within the appropriate time frames could result in your benefits being denied.
Time Limits When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
One of the first steps when a job related accident, injury, or illness occurs is to notify your employer or work site manager immediately. They can direct you on where to get medical care while informing the company’s insurance administrators. Once you get medical attention, it is important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions regarding diagnostic testing, treatment, follow up care, and work or activity restrictions. Not doing so is one of the most common reasons for claims being denied or disputed.
Once your employer is aware of your condition and you are under a doctor’s care, the next step is filing your claim. You must submit a petition to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years from the time your injuries or illness occurred. If you have already been receiving benefits through the workers’ compensation program and need to reapply, you must do so within one year of your last benefit payment.
Exceptions to the Time Limit Rule
While two years may seem like a long time to file for workers’ compensation, it allows time for a diagnosis and to gather supporting documents needed when filing a claim. This includes information about your employer, your job, and how the injury or illness occurred, along with statements from your doctor regarding your medical treatment and future prognosis.
Under Section 440.19 of the Florida Statutes, there are some exceptions to the two year time limit rule. This may include:
- When the worker was not informed of his rights by the employer;
- When the employer lied or misrepresented the situation, leading the employee to believe they were not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits;
- When a lawsuit is filed, alleging that the relationship between the parties did not fall under the employee/employer classification, therefore the limitation does not apply.
Get a Board Certified Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer on Your Side
Less than 1% of all workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida are board certified. This designation means you can trust that the Rooth Law Firm, P.A. has the legal knowledge, skill, and expertise needed to help you get the best possible results when filing a claim. To ensure your workers’ compensation petition is filed within the appropriate timeline, call or contact lawyer Joseph Rooth online and request a consultation in his New Port Richey, FL office today.