How to Check the Status of a Workers’ Comp Claim

January 5, 2023
How to Check the Status of a Workers’ Comp Claim
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Matthew Dolman, Car Accident Lawyer

How Do I Check My Worker's Compensation Claim?

Have you been injured on the job? If so, you might file a workers' compensation claim. In Florida, employers must provide workers' compensation benefits if they have four or more full-time or part-time employees. Within the construction industry, benefits are mandatory with one or more employees. While some industries have different regulations that affect their individual requirement, almost all employers must comply with the state's workers' comp laws.

A workers' compensation claim can help you pay for ongoing medical expenses and may provide wage replacement benefits. It can also help provide for your future in the event of a serious injury. An injured worker must comply with their employer's policies and state laws to receive the maximum benefits. Once you file a claim, you'll need to check the status of your claim regularly. If you need help with your workers' compensation claim or have questions, contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

How to File a Workers' Compensation Claim

After an injury, the only way to preserve your rights to employer-paid medical care and lost wages is to file a workers' compensation claim. While some people may hesitate to file a claim because of concerns for their job, an employer cannot intimidate, fire, or otherwise punish someone for making a workers' compensation claim. If you believe your employer is treating you unfairly after an injury, contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney right away.

Establishing your workers' comp claim:

  1. Report the incident: Employees have 30 days to report injuries to their employer. Make a report to your direct supervisor or your human resources department. While you have 30 days to report any incident, waiting too late may adversely affect your claim. After 30 days, your employer has the right to deny your claim.
  2. Go to the doctor: Unless there's an emergency, you can't just go to any doctor you want. Florida law allows employers to choose authorized providers for workers' compensation claims. Before seeking medical care, ask your employer for a list of eligible care providers. Your employer must provide you with a list upon request. If you don't go to an authorized provider, your employer doesn't have to pay for these costs.
  3. File a claim: You are your best advocate after a workplace injury. Though an employer cannot arbitrarily deny your claim or punish you for making a claim, they may not be eager to guide you through the process. However, they should provide you with a brochure explaining your rights. Then, it's up to you to move your claim forward. After you report your injury, your employer has seven days to report it to their insurance provider. If you don't hear from your employer or an insurance adjuster, contact your employer.
  4. Contact an attorney: While you probably won't need a workers' compensation attorney for a minor cut or bruise, if it's anything more than that you should seek legal assistance. Workers' compensation is just like any other insurance claim. You'll need to negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement and benefits. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can explain your rights and guide you through the process. Once you hire a workers' compensation attorney, the insurance company will direct any correspondence or calls through them.

What Not to Do When Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim

IMPORTANT: While your employer and their insurance company may lead you to believe that they are on your side, it is to their benefit to reduce the amount of your claim. As such, be very careful about what you say to your employer, insurance agent, and health care providers. Do not exaggerate or make up any symptoms. At the same time, don't tough it out or try to return to work before you are ready. These actions can have a serious impact on your case.

You also need to watch your social media activity. If you cannot return to work because of a shoulder injury, do not post a picture of a kayaking trip (even if it's an old picture). In fact, now's a good time to tighten up your privacy settings on all your social media accounts.

Don't assume that your employer won't look at these accounts, because there's a good chance they will. Remember, a third party may see your information through a mutual friend. It only takes one person on your friend list accepting a request from a “stranger” for the insurance company to have access to your photos and posts. It cannot be said enough, DO NOT POST ABOUT YOUR INJURY ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

How Do I Check the Status of My Workers' Compensation Claim?

After an injury, you'll probably want to get back to work as soon as possible. But workers' compensation is a process. There are certain steps that you, your employer, and the insurance company must go through before you return to work. Plus, it's never a good idea to push it and go back to work too soon.

While you wait, it's normal to want to check on the status of your claim and see how things are progressing. So how do you do that? First off, don't go to your employer. They aren't the ones processing your claim. The insurance company can provide information about the status of your claim.

However, you should remember the insurance company works for your employer. It is in their best interest and your employers' best interest to do everything they can to minimize your payment. Due to this, it's a good idea to have all communication go through a workers' compensation attorney. They can check the status of your claim and take action to speed up the process if the insurance company is dragging its feet.

What Happens if the Insurance Company Denies My Claim?

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny a claim for workers' compensation. However, legally, they can only do so under certain circumstances. This includes:

  • The employer believes (and can prove) your injuries were intentional.
  • You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Your injuries were not the result of a workplace accident.
  • You did not report your injury within 30 days.
  • Your claim is not eligible for workers' compensation insurance. Florida law excludes mental health injuries that are the result of stress, fright, or excitement on the job.
  • Fraud. Insurance fraud is a crime. Do not lie about a workplace accident or injury or exaggerate any injuries to increase your claim.

If the insurance company denies your workers' compensation claim, the law allows you to appeal this decision. If you do not already have a workers' compensation attorney, this is a good time to get one. An employer cannot just claim that you were intoxicated, caused your injury, or say that you were injured before the accident—they must prove it. You only have a limited amount of time to appeal, so be sure to talk to an attorney right away.

After a Claim: What Does Workers' Compensation Cover?

Many employees only use workers' compensation claims to cover necessary medical costs. However, there is so much more to a workers' compensation claim. An on-the-job injury can leave you out of work for weeks, or even months. Workers' compensation benefits can help you make sure you are okay during this time. Every workers' compensation claim is different, and the degree of your injury will determine what benefits you are eligible for and what you will receive. This may include several types of benefits.

Medical Care is Covered Under Workers' Compensation

The law requires employers to cover all medical care directly related to your injury, as long as you go to an authorized provider. The employer must cover 100 percent of these costs and allow you time to attend necessary appointments. Additionally, you may receive mileage reimbursement for any appointments you attend that exceed the roundtrip mileage to your place of employment. Medical costs may include:

  • Doctor appointments
  • Medication
  • Surgeries
  • Mobility aids
  • Physical therapy
  • Alternative care (if pre-approved by the insurance company)

Coverage will continue for the entirety of your treatment. If you suffer a permanent injury for which you require long-term care, these costs may be payable as a one-time payment as part of your final settlement.

Understanding Temporary Total Disability and Temporary Partial Disability (TTD and TPD)

If your injuries cause you to miss time from work, you may be eligible for TTD or TPD. Disability payments are available when you cannot return to work, or can only do so in a limited capacity. TTD begins on the eighth day you miss work. You won't receive benefits for the first seven days unless you miss more than 21 days total. These payments are calculated based on your average wage before your accident and are 66 ⅔ percent of your full-time wage.

TPD covers you if you can return to work but cannot make the wages you did before your injuries. In this case, your employer will use a separate formula to determine your TPD benefits.

Workers' Comp Offers Impairment Benefits

Serious injuries may affect your ability to move, work, or participate in certain tasks to the same extent you could before your injury. In this case, you may be eligible for impairment benefits. You can only receive impairment benefits once your doctor decides you are medically stationary, in other words, you are not expected to get better or worse. At this point, they will issue an impairment rating that the insurance company will use to decide your final payout. Impairment benefits are a lump sum payment payable near the end of your case.

Workers' Compensation Can Cover Worker Retraining

In some cases, a workplace injury may make it so you can't return to the line of work you were in before your injury. In this case, you may qualify for worker retraining benefits. Retraining benefits can help you learn skills that will prepare you for a job in a different industry. The type of benefits you receive will depend on your pre-injury wage, as well as employment opportunities in your area.

Available programs may include:

  • Career certification programs
  • College classes or degree programs
  • Trade school
  • Apprenticeship and/or internship programs

A worker retraining program does not guarantee that you will make the same wage you did before your injury, but the goal is to get you as close to your prior wage as possible. Most workers are not aware of this benefit, so be sure to talk to your workers' compensation attorney about your options.

Why You Should I Hire a Florida Workers Compensation Lawyer?

The law allows you up to two years to file a workers' compensation claim. Even if you did not initially file a claim, you may still be eligible for some benefits, as long as you reported your injury. A workers' compensation attorney can review your case and sit down with you to discuss your rights.

Hiring a personal injury attorney that specializes in workers' compensation can assist you with ensuring that you stand the best chance possible at getting the maximum amount of compensation you are owed. Workers comp lawyers don't just provide legal advice. Having a workers' compensation lawyer at your side can keep you from being taken advantage of when you are seeking compensation for on-the-job injuries.

One of the obstacles facing those filing a workers comp claim by themselves is the disparity of experience and knowledge between them and the insurance representatives and lawyers they will have to deal with. They will know that you lack this experience and knowledge and they will use this to their advantage by trying a number of strategies to limit the amount of compensation you receive. A good workers comp lawyer will send a message that you are to be taken seriously and ensure that your rights are respected.

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Workers' Compensation Dispute?

Dealing with a workers comp claim can be difficult and complex, to say the least. This can be made even worse when one considers the fact that many dealing with workers comp after an accident will likely be in the process of recovering from severe injuries. You need a trustworthy, vocal advocate with the expertise and resources necessary to negotiate a fair resolution.

The worker's compensation attorneys of Dolman Law Group have a hard-earned reputation for outstanding service. It is our goal to recover the maximum compensation possible for our injured clients, and we consistently achieve this goal. We aren't intimidated by powerful insurance companies looking to protect their bottom line, nor do we shy away from complicated cases.

Our clients trust us to anticipate legal obstacles and the tactics used by insurance companies. However, the workers' compensation lawyers of Dolman Law Group do much more than that. We offer extensive resources and rely on clear, empathetic communication. Our team will work tirelessly to ensure that your needs are met.

Dolman Law Group Can Help With Your Workers' Compensation Claim

Far too many workers don't get the care and treatment they deserve because they don't know their rights after a workplace injury, or they are afraid to fight for them. Your rights matter. A workplace injury can change your life but it should not ruin it. Dolman Law Group can help you secure appropriate medical care and help secure your financial future.

In the event that your claim is escalated to trial, you can't afford to be worried about whether or not your workers' compensation attorney can handle it. Dolman Law Group has protected Florida's injured workers for over a decade in negotiations and in court. We consistently go above and beyond for our clients to obtain the compensation they deserve.

Don't take your health for granted. Get the help you need. Regardless of what step of the process you are in, it's never too late to talk to a workers' compensation attorney. To learn more about your rights or for help with your workers' compensation claim, contact our team of experienced workers' compensation attorneys at (727) 451-6900 or through our website.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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