Notice of a Workers’ Compensation Injury
A whole host of issues can come up when a person suffers an injury/has an accident at work involving notice of a workers’ compensation injury. Who do you report it to? When do you report it? When is too late to report it?
The individual may not realize the extent of the injury at the time of the accident. There are instances where a person might not immediately report the injury to a supervisor about every single bump/scratch/pain that happens at work. Many people experience an injury from an accident, and hope that the symptoms resolve without medical treatment. So what happens if you pull your back at work? When do you need to report that?
In general, an employee must report the accident and injury to a person with the employer in a supervisory capacity within 30 days.
However, there are some very nuanced exceptions to the concept of Notice of a Workers’ Compensation Injury, but this blog will focus on the statute language and requirements in MOST situations.
Florida Statute 440.185(1) states as follows:
(1) An employee who suffers an injury arising out of and in the course of employment shall advise his or her employer of the injury within 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury. Failure to so advise the employer shall bar a petition under this chapter unless:
(a) The employer or the employer’s agent had actual knowledge of the injury;
(b) The cause of the injury could not be identified without a medical opinion and the employee advised the employer within 30 days after obtaining a medical opinion indicating that the injury arose out of and in the course of employment;
(c) The employer did not put its employees on notice of the requirements of this section by posting notice pursuant to s. 440.055; or
(d) Exceptional circumstances, outside the scope of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) justify such failure.
The instances in (b),(c), and (d) are the outlier situations, most Florida workers’ compensation injuries fall within the language of (1) and (1)(a).
The ideal method of reporting is to report the accident/injury as soon as possible, along with completion of an injury report (written record of the accident/injury). If you typically text or email your employer, it would be advisable to notify the employer in writing about the following:
- That you injured _____ (body part)
- Explain what you were doing (to show the connection to your work)
- Request medical treatment through work comp.
A written report of the injury/accident is not required, but it is helpful to prove what was communicated and when. Many issues can come up regarding Notice of a Workers’ Compensation Injury. If you have questions about an accident or injury, or your claim for workers’ compensation benefits has been denied, schedule a free consultation here.