Workers Compensation Claim Deadline in Florida

Workers’ compensation is an essential system that offers benefits to employees who experience work-related injuries or illnesses. In Florida, there are strict deadlines for reporting a work injury and filing a workers comp claim. This guide will provide a more in-depth understanding of the workers’ compensation deadline in Florida, along with the relevant laws and statutes.

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Workers Compensation Deadline in Florida

Florida’s workers’ compensation laws — Section 440.19 — stipulate that an injured worker has two years from the date of a work-related injury to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If a claim is not filed within two years, the state’s statute of limitations will lapse.

Furthermore, most injuries must be reported within 30 days. If a condition or illness develops gradually, you must notify your employer within 30 days of discovering its connection to your work. Failing to notify your employer within the timeframe may lead to a loss of some or all of your benefits.

Compensation Claim for Gradual Injuries

Gradual injuries or illnesses refer to those that develop over time as a result of repetitive tasks or extended exposure to specific workplace conditions. Examples of such conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome, hearing impairment due to persistent loud noise, or lung disease resulting from prolonged exposure to harmful substances.

In Florida, the protocol for reporting a gradual injury differs slightly from that of an immediate injury. You must report the condition to your employer within 30 days of recognizing its connection to your work.

The Filing Process

The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Florida can be complicated. It involves three key players: the injured employee, the employer, and the insurance carrier. Each party plays a significant role in ensuring the process is effective.

Step 1: Record the Incident

The initial step involves the injured employee documenting the incident or circumstances that led to the injury. This record should encompass all pertinent details of the incident.

Step 2: Collect Evidence

If feasible, capture photographs of the injury and the workplace. This evidence can be instrumental in substantiating your claim.

follow the right steps for filing a workers comp claim

Step 3: Inform Your Employer

Inform your employer about your injury or symptoms, even if you haven’t taken any time off work. You are required to report the issue to your employer within 30 days of your injury or when your doctor informs you that you have a work-related condition.

Step 4: Ensure Your Claim Was Reported

Ensure your claim was reported by following up with the insurance company. The employer should provide you with a “First Report of Injury or Illness” form to complete and sign. Your employer should submit it to the insurance carrier within seven days.

Step 5: Appeal if Your Claim Is Denied 

To appeal a denied claim, you must submit a petition for benefits to the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC) within two years from when the injury occurred. The Petition should be filed with the OJCC, and copies must be served on the employer and workers’ compensation carrier (and their attorneys).

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

You will not receive temporary disability benefits for the first 7 days unless you are disabled for more than 21 days.

Temporary Total Disability

If you’re temporarily unable to work due to illness or injury, you’re eligible for 66.67% of your pre-injury average weekly wages for up to 104 weeks. Certain severe injuries may entitle you to 80% of your regular wages for up to 6 months after the accident.

Temporary Partial Disability

You may be eligible for TPD benefits if you can return to work with restrictions but your earnings don’t exceed 80% of your pre-injury average weekly wage. Temporary disability benefits are limited to 104 weeks.

Impairment Income Benefits

Once you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), if you are still disabled and if a qualified physician has assigned you an impairment rating, you are entitled to receive pay for a specific number of weeks based on that impairment rating.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

Some workers who are unable to perform any job, even a sedentary one, due to severe injuries may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits.

Don’t Wait to Call Our Lawyers

Understanding the deadline for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Florida is crucial for employees. It’s important to act promptly after an injury or illness occurs at work. Our attorneys Work Injury Rights can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system in Florida.

Let us help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact our office at 954-833-5226 to set up your free consultation today.