How Long After An Accident Do I Have to Report It to My Employer?
Getting into an accident, incident, or traffic collision while on-the-clock or performing work-related duties may allow you to file for workers’ compensation benefits instead of or in addition to pursuing damages through a personal injury claim. If you can file for workers’ comp, it is important to realize that your filing will operate under an entirely separate set of state laws. In Florida, you have four years to file a personal injury claim but you may only have 30 days to file your workers’ compensation claim. Once 30 days have passed, your claim will likely be contested by the insurance company representing or working with your employer and get tossed out automatically by the court.
Should You Wait 30 Days to Tell Your Boss?
If you have a full 30 days to officially report and file your workers’ compensation claim after being in a work-related accident, should you actually plan on waiting that long? In most cases, the answer is no.
Workers’ compensation is a particularly sensitive area of injury law that raises eyebrows whenever a claim comes forth. Since liability is not a factor in workers’ compensation cases – you can and should still get your fair compensation even if you admit to being the only one responsible for your on-the-job accident – insurers tends to suspect or try to reveal foul play each time a claim is filed. At the top of their list of suspicious behavior that might indicate that a claim is fraudulent is waiting to tell an employer of the accident or incident that caused an employee injury. After you are in an accident, incident, or collision while on-the-clock or completing your expected responsibilities, you should tell your employer, boss, or supervisor about what happened as soon as possible.
It may help to try to think about the case from the other party’s perspective. Consider a situation in which your neighbor shows up to your front door and says he tripped and hurt himself on the garden hose in your front lawn. Only, he also claims it happened three weeks ago. You might be understandably skeptical that the event ever happened, especially if there was no clear evidence of injury.
Do I Actually Need to File My Claim Within 30 Days?
It should be noted that you do not personally need to file your workers’ compensation claim within 30 days of getting into a work-related accident. All you need to do is notify your employer within 30 days. The actual filing of the claim is often handled by your employer and must be done shortly after you tell them about the incident.
Furthermore, you might not necessarily even need to tell your employer directly if your accident was in plain sight and you should be able to reasonably assume that your employer will know about it. For example, if an item falls off the top shelf of a retail store at which you are employed and it strikes you on the head in front of other employees and a security camera, your boss and employer should definitely know what happened without you reporting it directly to them. This leniency in reporting standards is necessary in cases where the injured party is actually physically incapable of reporting the accident due to the severity of their injuries. However, you should never assume that you don’t have to report your accident yourself. If you have the option to do so, use it – and follow up the next day or couple days to see if your boss has filed your claim.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Panama City
Telling your employer about your work-related accident is one thing. Actually having your workers’ compensation claim approved is something else altogether. A great many workers’ compensation filings will be denied initially due to a lack of information about the accident or the insurance company’s attempts to save themselves from a payout. If this happens to your case, you are going to want to know how to react.
At Syfrett, Dykes & Furr, our Panama City workers’ compensation attorneys have become the go-to legal representatives for hard workers and employees throughout the region. If you need help with a denied or delayed workers’ compensation claim, look no further than our team. We have nearly a century’s worth of combined legal experience and 10,000+ total cases under our belts, which gives our clients the confidence and peace of mind they need when taking legal action to set things right.
Contact our firm at your first opportunity to schedule a free case evaluation.