What To Expect When Filing A Workers Comp Claim

Host:   

 

In this week’s Know Your Rights. Katherine Stone from Injury Florida Law Firm has some tips on what to expect when you file a workers’ compensation claim. So workers’ comp, it can be so overwhelming. So I like that you’re focusing on tips today.

 

Katherine:         

 

I’ve been getting a lot of calls and inquiries from the ABC viewers of the Tampa Bay morning blend, which is awesome. And a lot of good feedback about giving people information either before they’ve had a claim or they’ve just had a claim and they’ve given us a call because they’ve said, “Oh, we saw you on TV.”

 

And so I thought, you know, here recently we’ve had a lot of complex cases walk in the door that you know, and it’s really taken a lot of time to educate even the clients more so. Um but with regards to the workers’ comp system, and one thing that I tell the clients upfront is we have to play in the workers’ comp box.

 

And we can’t go off and get our own medical care. We can’t go off and you know, not adhere to what the doctors have to say. And it’s really frustrating for a lot of people. It’s just very frustrating. And I explained to a client recently who said, “well, you need to help change the laws.” And I said, well, add it to my to-do list.

 

And I explained, I said, even if the law were to change, like let’s say we took a case up to this Florida Supreme court or whatever, yeah, it would not go retroactive potentially to prior dates of the accident. So even if you get the law changed with the legislation, it’s from that date of accident forward.

 

And so that’s really hard for a lot of people because they don’t, they’ve never been so controlled by someone else when it comes to their medical or their loss in wages and it’s just very difficult. So I try to do the very best I can in explaining these are the rules upfront.

 

And one of those rules is to make sure you attend your doctor’s appointments and you know, make sure that if you get restrictions from the doctor that you then tell your employer about them because your employer gets the right to determine whether or not they’re going to adhere to those restrictions. You can’t just say, well, I’m on worker’s comp and I’m not going to contact my employer.

 

Host:       

 

I’m assuming, and based on some of the examples, these are of course come from cases of people that you’ve worked with. Yes. Some of these come as a surprise and maybe they were not adhered to.

 

Katherine:  

 

These are conversations I have on a weekly basis with clients. And again, my staff and I are very well versed and we want to know what’s happening. So I tell every client, when you leave the doctor’s office, I want you to take a picture and send me any forms that you got because those are the marching orders for what happens next. And you know, most of them adhere to it. Some I find out weeks later.

 

Host:           

 

It just makes everyone’s job more difficult.

 

Katherine:    

 

Right. And for me to do my job, I need to know what’s going on. I need to know what the is saying about return to work. Because sometimes I will email the employers and say we need a better understanding of what the job is that’s going to be offered. I just did that recently where you know the client was being told one thing and then when they got to work they were being asked to do something different.

 

So we were requesting and writing what those light duty restrictions were going to be because corporate may not be on the same page as the local office with regards to that. So that’s why sometimes communication is key. Communication from the client. Communication with from me to the employer to the adjuster to make sure that we’re all on the same page.

 

Host:   

 

We’ve got a little over 30 seconds and I want to get your thoughts on this one. Say people do, they find themselves in a workers’ compensation accident and I’m sure a lot of people think, you know what, I followed directions, I read forms. I can go at this by myself. What would you say? When is it the right time? Go far down that path and make a mistake and then contact you?

 

Katherine:    

 

I would say it’s always best to get me involved. The sooner rather than later. And I actually just spoke to a client about that. I’m having multiple conversations with this person before they actually ended up retaining us. And it’s because I know the nuances of the law. I know what they can and cannot do. I know what’s supposed to happen next and how quickly it’s supposed to happen.

 

Host:              

And there’s a lot of that red tape. That’s where it’s good to give her a call. If you want more information on this or any other ways that Katherine Stone and her team can help you.

 

INJURY FLORIDA LAW FIRM, P.A.

Call Toll Free or Text

1-833-LAW-STONE

Injuryfloridalawfirm.com