Here at Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A., one of the most frequent workers’ compensation questions we receive concerns on reporting work-related injuries in Florida. Please allow the following to address both the injured employee’s reporting obligations as well as the employer’s reporting obligations following a work accident.
EMPLOYEE’S OBLIGATIONS FOR REPORTING WORK-RELATED INJURIES
An employee who is hurt at work needs to report the injury to his or her employer as soon as possible. It is best to make the report to your employer in writing, even after you give it verbally. We recommend you send an email to document that you reported it to your manager or supervisor if you were not allowed to fill out a notice of injury or other form of incident report. Make a note of the name of the manager or supervisor that was given the report of the injury and the day you reported your injury for your own records.
It is your obligation to report your injury as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) days from the date the accident happened, or within thirty (30) days of the first date a doctor told you that you are suffering from a work related injury or work related condition.
Commonly, your failure to report your work injury or work-related condition/illness within thirty (30) days of the accident may result in a denied claim by a workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
If your employer does not cooperate and report your work-related injury to their insurance carrier, you should look for the “broken arm” poster that may be posted in your workplace. That has your employer’s insurance carrier information in the bottom right corner and report the claim yourself or call our office for assistance in reporting your claim. With your employer’s information and the date of accident, we at Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A. can also assist you in a free legal consultation in determining who the appropriate insurance carrier is to report the injury to, if your employer has not been cooperative in reporting your accident.
EMPLOYER’S OBLIGATIONS TO REPORT INJURIES
An employer’s obligation to report an injury to its insurance carrier is based on how severe the injury to the employee is initially determined to be.
If an employee needs “First Aid” only, employers do not need to report first aid cases to their carrier. However, first aid only cases require specific records/information to be kept by the employer regarding the accident. [Fla. Admin Code R. 69L-3.002(13) (1/10/2005)]. First aid cases involve injuries that are treated on-the-job without paid medical treatment and do not disable the injured employee for more than one shift. The records that the employer must keep include:
- the employee’s name
- Social Security number or other ID number
- date and time of the accident/injury
- occupation of employee
- who took the report and when
- a description and cause of accident
- description of the injury that occurred and the affected body part
- location address of then accident, if different from the employer’s address.
[Fla. Admin Code R. 69L-3.004(1)(a) (1/10/2005)].
One of the most common type of claims that must be reported by employers is the “Medical Only Claim”. Employers must report medical only injuries to their insurance carrier within seven (7) days after knowledge of the injury on a form known as a DWC-1 form. [440.185(2) and Fla. Admin Code R. 69L-3.002(20)]. By definition, to be a “Medical Only Claim”, an injured worker would need medical treatment from the accident but not lose more than seven (7) days of work because of the work accident. If an employer delays in timely reporting of the Medical Only Claim, they can be fined from $100.00 to a maximum of $500.00 for late reporting. [§440.185(9) Fla. Stat. (10/1/2013)].
LOST TIME CLAIM
A claim becomes a “Lost Time Claim” which an employer must report on the same DWC-1 form, within 7 days after the employer knew of the employee’s injury [440.185(2) Fla. Admin Code R. 69L-3.002(19)] when it involves an injury that causes the employee to lose more than seven (7) days from work.
Once the employer enters into the reporting process, the employer must also file a 13 week wage statement within 14 days after the employer’s knowledge of the accident/injury once the claim involves lost time. [Fla. Admin Code R. 69L-300.46]. This helps establish the correct Average Weekly Wage (AWW) and corresponding compensation rate for the injured employee.
The reporting of work-related deaths has a different time for reporting obligations for employers. When a work-related injury results in death, the employer must, before filing a DWC-1 form, notify the Division of Workers’ Compensation within twenty-four (24) hours by telephone or any other possible immediate means regarding the work-related death. The insurance carrier must also be notified of the work-related death, in addition to the Division, within seven (7) days. [440.185(3) and Fla. Admin Code R. 69L-3.004(2)(d)].
The underlying message is that timely reporting work-related injuries is very important. It is important to both the injured worker and the employer in Florida Workers’ Compensation. Delays in reporting can be detrimental to the injured workers in obtaining his or her necessary medical and money benefits to which they may be entitled. If you have any questions at all about how to get your work-related claim turned in to your employer’s insurance carrier and how to get your medical care started, please reach out to Harris Guidi Rosner P.A. at (904) 777-7777 and we can assist you. You can also email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free legal consultation regarding your Florida work accident.
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