Filing Florida Workers' Compensation Claims in Bad Economic Times

 

Good news!  According to governmental reports, our economy is on the rebound!  I am sure that this is surprising news to most, given that any improvement in the Daytona/Ormond beach economy would require time-lapse photography to capture. However, whether the economy is bad, good, or somewhere in-between, workplace injuries still occur.

The biggest mistake a worker in the Daytona, Ormond, and Flagler Beach areas can make is to fail to pursue a workers' compensation claim when injured on the job. I cannot recount the number of injured workers that I have spoken with who have failed to pursue a claim because of fear that they would lose their job. In a rough economy, no one will argue the value of finding a keeping a good job. However, once an injury occurs, workers' compensation in in place to expedite medical care and lost wages resulting from an injury.

Often I will hear tales of an employer's broken promise to pay medical bills as long as a workers' compensation claim is not filed. Employers whine about rising premiums if a claim is filed. I have even seen cases where the employer has asked the injured worker to advise a doctor that the injury did not occur on the job.

Never—and here, I mean absolutely never—provide a health care provider with a false history. A common scenario is that the employer does actually agree to pay for a Quick Care visit. However, at the visit, the attending physician may want x-rays or MRI images or may refer you directly to a medical specialist. At this point, an employer starts feeling the financial pinch of expensive diagnostics, specialist care, etc., and decides not to pay after all. But if an injured worker has given a false history (saying, for example, "I fell at home," or "I don't know how I injured my back"), then guess what? The workers' compensation insurance company is likely going to deny coverage as well!

The bottom line is this: if you are injured on the job, do not hesitate to file a workers' compensation claim, even in a bad economy. There are laws that prevent an employer from retaliating against a worker's claim.  Relying on an employer to cover medical expenses in lieu of filing a claim is a mistake!

If you have been injured on the job, please feel free to contact Johnson & Gilbert, P.A. at 1-800-556-8890 for a free, confidential consultation.  You can also visit our website to request a free copy of my book It's Not Rocket Science, It's Workers' Comp.