A Florida Workers’ Compensation judge recently rendered an Order that should serve as a lesson as the importance of putting the employer on notice if you feel you suffered a work comp injury at work.
Workers Compensation Administrative Law Judge Joseph Murphy denied an employee’s workers’ compensation claim on the basis that the employee failed to place the employer/carrier on notice of his accident or injury as required by Florida Statute 440.185. The work comp judge pointed out that the injured worker had a clear belief of the cause of his back problems was the result of the bouncing and jarring he sustained while driving his employer’s truck. Further, the testimony at the Final Hearing established that the injured worker was fully aware of the need to immediately report all job related accidents and injuries to the employer and his two supervisors testified that the injured worker had never told them that he had work-related back injuries.
The workers compensation judge ruled that the injured workers’ failure to give the employer notice of his back problems while holding the belief that the back problems were related to his job denied the employer an opportunity to provide claimant with timely and appropriate medical care. Further, the work comp judge concluded that the failure to give notice of injury denied the employer an opportunity to modify the claimant’s job duties or otherwise accommodate the claimant so as to allow recovery from his injury and to prevent further injury to his lower back.
Florida Statute 440.185 requires an employee who suffers an injury at work to advise his or her employer of the injury within 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury. If the cause of the injury could not be identified without a medical opinion, the injured employee must notify the employer within 30 days after obtaining a medical opinion indicating the injury was work-related.
If you or a loved one feels that they were injured at work, it is important that the employer is put on notice. Verbal notice isn’t the best notice. An injured employee should put their notice of a work-related injury in writing–whether through an email or a note to the boss. Also, a request for medical care should be put in this written notice. This reduces the risk of the employer claiming that they were not put on notice of a work comp claim.
Taking a few extra steps after a Florida work comp injury could prevent you from having a Judge decide your fate after your workers’ compensation claim.
Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in Florida workers compensation claims. His Clearwater law firm — Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes — has been caring for clients since 1955. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes today at 727-724-7853 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.