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What To Do If You're Hurt At Work

April 29, 20246 min read

What to Do If You Get Hurt at Work (Non-Emergency Situations)

Workplace injuries are more common than you’d think, and it’s important to know what to do. If you get hurt at work, follow these steps to minimize the damage and protect yourself. A 2023 Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that private industry employers reported 5,486 fatal work injuries and 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2022.  The number of work accidents and people getting injured on the job has increased since 2021 so it’s important to know what to do if you get hurt at work.

1. Report Your Injury

If you’re involved in an on the job accident, you should report the accident and any injuries to your employer or supervisor right away.  Make sure it’s in writing and clear that the injury happened on the job and was caused by your work activities.  A text to your employer or boss simply stating that body part that you injured on the job will do. 

In Florida, you have up to 30 days to report the accident to your employer.  However, we recommend reporting a work accident immediately or as soon as possible.  Your supervisor should let you know that your accident and injuries will be reported to the workers’ compensation insurance company and offer you medical treatment. 

hurt at work

2.  Ask for Medical Help       

If you had a work accident and have injuries, you’re entitled to medical treatment.  When you report the work accident, your employer should ask you if you want medical treatment.  If they don’t ask you, you should ask them to send you to a doctor.  The employer may tell you to go to a certain hospital, urgent care, or doctor.  Unless your injuries require immediate or emergency treatment, you will need to go to the doctor the employer sends you to.  If you ask for medical treatment and the employer refuses to provide you with authorization of a doctor or they do not tell you where to go, under certain circumstances, you may seek medical treatment on your own.  Under Florida workers’ compensation law, the employer/carrier gets to select the doctor that you are authorized to treat with.  Florida does have a self-help provision but even that provision does not allow an injured worker to treat with whomever they want.  Under the self-help provision, an injured worker may seek medical care on a temporary basis after asking the employer/carrier for medical treatment. 

Hurt at work

It’s usually important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident at work. Even if it seems like a minor injury, you should seek medical care to evaluate you.  Make sure to describe the accident to the doctor and tell them about any and all prior accidents and injuries that occurred in the past to the same or similar body parts.  Workers’ compensation is a no fault system and aggravations and exacerbations of old injuries and conditions by the most recent work accident are covered under workers’ compensation as long as you disclose them.  If you don’t share your prior accidents and injuries, workers’ compensation may deny your current injuries. 

3.  First Report of Injury                                      

injury report

 Your employer or supervisor should prepare an accident report after you’ve been hurt at work.  They may ask you to sign it so please make sure all information is correct.  If something is not correct, do not sign it.  You are entitled to benefits regardless of whether you sign or refuse to sign the accident report.  Therefore, the report and description of accident should be accurate.  Otherwise, it is ok not to sign.  Failure of your employer to complete an injury report may cause delay in benefits.  This is why it’s important to report your injury, in writing, to your employer.  Even a text message will help eliminate any potential defenses that your employer was unaware of your accident and injuries.  Make sure to keep a copy of your text or written statement. 

4. Accident Description and Witnesses

Although witnesses are not required, it may be helpful in the future have the names of any witnesses to your accident.  We recommend writing down the names and contact information of any potential witnesses as soon as possible so they’re fresh in your mind.  Also, it may be a good idea to write down when, where, and how the accident occurred.  If the employer or workers compensation carrier deny your claim and say the accident didn’t happen at work, it may be helpful for provide this information to your workers’ compensation lawyer. 

5. Track Your Expenses                                                                                                        

Although an injured worker should not have to pay for any benefits out of pocket, if you’ve been hurt at work, you should keep track of your expenses.  These notes may come in handy when making a worker’s compensation claim. We recommend keeping track of the days you can't work, any out of pocket expenses you may have incurred for medical treatment, and mileage to and from the doctors.  These are a few of the benefits you may be entitled to and providing this information to your workers’ compensation attorney will make it easier and faster to calculate how much you may be owed in compensation, temporary disability benefits, prescription and mileage reimbursement. 

6. Hire a Lawyer                                                            

Hire an experienced lawyer

According to https://www.avvo.com there are 8975 personal injury attorneys in Florida. However, not every personal injury lawyer is experienced in work accident and injuries.  If you’ve been injured at work, we recommending contacting a law firm that has extensive experience in worker’s compensation law.  The law firm of Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis began representing injured workers in 1978.  Brian Vassallo is board certified by the Florida Bar in the area of Workers’ Compensation. According to the Florida Bar Association only 7% of Florida Bar members are “Board Certified in Workers’ Compensation. Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis are experts in and specialize in worker’s compensation cases. They have worker’s comp lawyers and staff that understand and are able to help you with your workers’ compensation case. 

Please check our online Google Reviews. We hope they give you an insight as to who we are and why our clients choose us as their work comp attorneys.  

We offer FREE consultations and you will talk directly to one of our workers’ compensation expert attorneys.  We will discuss the details of your work accident and injuries and explain the process and what to expect with a workers’ comp case.  We will fight for the compensation and benefits you deserve.

For more basic information about workers’ compensation and how it works, check the Florida CFO website. They have a very informative FAQ section.

https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/wc/employee/injured-worker-faqs

If you are ready to proceed, Call Us at 561-471-2800 or visit our office at:

Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis 2001 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., #204 West Palm Beach, FL 33409

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