I Forgot To Tell My Employer I Got Hurt—Can I Still Seek Compensation?
Getting hurt at work can be extremely painful and disorienting, and you might not be able to think about the need to report the injury to your employer. In some workplace accidents, the accident and injury may have rendered you unconscious, and you may have needed to be transported to an emergency department by an ambulance. Regardless of whether your workplace injury involved emergency treatment, you were simply discombobulated as a result of the accident (even if you remained conscious and alert), or you were feeling numb after receiving a serious occupational disease diagnosis, you may not have reported the injury to your employer right away. In these situations, you are likely wondering: can I still seek compensation?
Even if you did not report the injury to your employer right away, you certainly may still be within the reporting limits under Florida law. If you missed the time window for reporting, one of our experienced South Florida workers’ compensation attorneys can help you to determine if an exception might apply to your circumstances.
Time Limits for Florida Workers’ Compensation Claims
Florida law requires any “employee who suffers an injury arising out of and in the course of employment” to “advise his or her employer of the injury within 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury.” The statute stipulates that failure to provide notice of the injury or occupational disease within 30 days to the employer can result in an employee’s workers’ compensation claim being barred unless an exception applies.
We will discuss the exceptions momentarily, but we want to clarify first that this 30-day time window is not the time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim. That statute of limitations is two years, which means a claim must be filed within two years from the date of the injury. Yet the time limit for reporting the injury—to tell the employer that the injury has occurred—is 30 days.
Exceptions to the 30-Day Time Limit for Reporting Workplace Injuries
There are several situations in which an exception to the 30-day reporting requirement may apply to your circumstances. Those statutory exceptions include the following:
- Your employer (or your employer’s agent) had actual knowledge of your injury;
- The cause of your injury could not be identified until you received a medical opinion, and you informed your employer within 30 days of receiving a medical opinion that confirmed your injury arose of our and in the course of your employment;
- Your employer failed to provide employees with information about the notice and reporting requirements under Florida law; or
- Exceptional circumstances exist that justify your failure to report the injury within 30 days.
A Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney at our firm can evaluate your case to determine if you can apply one of the exceptions listed above.
Seek Advice from a Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you need help determining your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida, one of our Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation lawyers can help today. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. to find out more about getting the benefits you need.