The economy is bad. Unemployment in Daytona Beach and the surrounding counties is some of the worst in Florida. According to recent studies, the Volusia-Flagler unemployment rate is 11.7%. However, the economy does not discriminate when it comes to work related injuries. Even in the worst of economic times, workers are injured on the job. Unfortunately, I have recently encountered reluctance by those injured on the job to file a workers' compensation claim for fear of losing their job. This is a mistake! First of all, Florida's workers' compensation laws make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker who files a valid workers' compensation claim. Florida Statute 440.205 states, No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee's valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers' Compensation Law. More importantly, a worker's injuries may be more severe than they realize, or may grow worse over time without treatment. If a claim has not been filed timely and a worker realizes too late that their injuries are worse than they thought, it could be too late to seek workers' compensation benefits. In that event, a worker has a debilitating injury, no medical treatment and faces the prospect of losing their job because they can no longer physically do it. Also, it is never a good idea to let your employer pay for your medical treatment rather than file a workers' compensation claim. I have seen this many, many times, all with a similar result. The employer will pay for an initial doctors visit at a walk-in clinic or similar facility. However, if the injury requires anything other than an office visit eg: medications, MRI's or evaluations with an orthopedic specialist, suddenly the employer's wallet slams shut and you are left without treatment. Likewise, NEVER let an employer convince you to tell a doctor that the injury occurred off the job in order for the employer to avoid filing a workers' compensation claim. This could be fatal to a later attempt to obtain workers' compensation benefits. The bottom line is that if you are injured and need medical treatment, file a workers' compensation claim. If you, or someone you know, has been injured on the job, contact Johnson & Gilbert for a free consultation. Our website also has answers to frequently asked questions regarding workers' compensation. You can also request a free copy of my book "It's Not Rocket Science, It's Workers' Comp" which provides useful information on how to navigate Florida's Workers' Compensation system.