Tampa Workers’ Compensation Claim Process
Help at every step with workers’ comp in Tampa
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance carried by your employer to pay the costs associated with a workplace accident. You would think that after a workplace injury, all you need to do is make sure your supervisor knows about the incident, and everything is taken care of from there. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and unless you stay on top of your claim and thoroughly understand the process, you could find your claim disputed or denied or see your benefits cut short while you are still suffering from a disability. At Kobal Law, our Tampa workers’ compensation attorney is intimately familiar with the Florida workers’ compensation process after 18 years of helping injured workers in Tampa get their workers’ comp benefits. Learn more below about the process for filing a workers’ compensation claim, and contact Kobal Law if you’ve been injured on the job in Tampa.
Steps for filing a claim after a workplace injury in Florida
Notify your employer. The first step in getting the workers’ compensation process rolling is to notify your supervisor or your employer that there has been an accident. Even if you think your employer surely knows about the accident, they need written notice from you that you were injured. It’s important for your claim to notify your employer as soon as possible after the accident. In any event, you have up to thirty days from the date of the accident or the date you became aware you were injured, including a doctor’s diagnosis that you are suffering from a work-related illness or disease.
See a doctor. Next, request a doctor from your supervisor or the appropriate person at your company. Even if you have your own regular doctor, you need to see a doctor approved by your employer’s insurance company for any work injury. Make an appointment with that doctor for an examination, and be sure to describe how the accident happened at work. Continue with any recommended treatment. Don’t neglect to take medication or miss any follow-up appointments. If you do miss an appointment, be sure to document the reason you couldn’t make it. Don’t go back to work unless the doctor has authorized you to do so.
Contact the workers’ compensation carrier. Your employer is supposed to report your injury to their insurance carrier within seven days after you notify them of the injury, and you are supposed to receive a notification letter from the insurance company within three to five days after that. So, if you haven’t heard from them within about ten days after reporting the injury, you may need to call them. The name and phone number of the company’s workers’ comp carrier should be posted at your workplace. Look for the “broken arm” poster in your locker room or break room; there should be a sticker at the bottom of the poster with the insurer’s information on it.
The notification letter will likely come with a brochure and packet of information related to your claim, including a copy of the accident or injury report made by the employer, a warning about workers’ comp fraud, a release form for the doctor to share medical records with the insurer, and mileage reimbursement forms for your doctor visits. If all of this information seems overwhelming, we can go over the packet with you so you understand what you need to know and do as your claim progresses.
What if my claim is rejected?
Your employer and their insurance company may investigate your claim as part of the process, and they may approve or reject your claim. They may also send you for an independent medical examination to lay the groundwork for denying or terminating your claim. Some reasons why your claim may be rejected include:
- Failure to follow the process for notifying the employer
- Failure to file the claim appropriately
- Failure to submit necessary documentation in support of your claim
- Determination that the accident was not work-related
- Determination that you are not injured as you say you are
If your claim is denied, you can petition for an administrative hearing before a workers’ comp judge. If that hearing does not go favorably, you can appeal to district court. Our job at Kobal Law is to represent you at every step. Our goal is to resolve your claim at the earliest possible stage, so that you can begin receiving benefits as soon as possible. Even if your claim is particularly challenging, you can count on us to provide you with sound advice and excellent representation at any stage.
Call Today for Immediate Help with Workers’ Compensation in Tampa
For help with a workers’ compensation claim in Tampa, including a denial or early termination of benefits, call Kobal Law at 813-873-2440 for a no-cost consultation with an experienced and dedicated Florida workers’ compensation lawyer.