When an accident occurs at work, an injured employee has 30 days to report it to their Employer, otherwise the claim will be denied. Even though this is the general rule, there are certain exceptions.
Pursuant to Florida Statutes section 440.185, an injured employee has 30 days after the initial manifestation of the injury to report the accident. One of the circumstances where this requirement would be difficult to establish is for a repetitive trauma type of injury. This is an injury that occurs over time throughout the course of an employee’s job. An example of a repetitive trauma injury is if an employee injures their back from lifting heavy boxes throughout the day over the course of working for the Employer for five years. In this instance, the date of accident that is generally used is when the employee knew or should have known that their injury was caused by their job. The most common way this date is determined is usually the first time the employee received medical treatment and was told by his or her physician that the symptoms were caused by the job. After the employee has this knowledge, the 30 day requirement to report the injury applies.
One of the exceptions to the reporting requirement is if the Employer had actual knowledge of the accident. This generally occurs if an employee’s supervisor witnesses the accident, but does not take action to direct the worker to go through the Workers Compensation system. If this occurs, the 30 day requirement to report the accident would probably not apply since the Employer had knowledge that the accident occurred at work. Another exception to reporting the accident within 30 days occurs if an Employer does not provide notice of this requirement to their employees. An example would be if the Employer does not conspicuously display this notice in a common area for employees, such as the company kitchen.
Once an accident has been reported, the Employer generally completes a Notice of Injury documenting the details of the accident. If the accident is deemed to have occurred in the course and scope of the employee’s job duties, the Employer should then take the proper actions to provide immediate medical treatment to the injured worker.
The Florida Workers Compensation reporting requirements are one of the most important aspects of the law and need to be followed correctly by an injured employee for a claim to be properly pursued. Even though the Workers Compensation law allows 30 days for an accident to be reported, there are exceptions that exist for this requirement. That is why it is important to hire a workers compensation attorney who handles these types of situations. If you were injured on the job or know of someone who was, have them give us a call at (844) 762-8155.