Substantiating Your Workers’ Compensation Claim: How to Prove that Your Injury Occurred at Work
Generally speaking, workers’ compensation claims are different from civil lawsuits because the injured party is not required to prove fault or negligence. As workers’ compensation operates in the scope of a no-fault system under Florida law, you generally only need to show that you meet the requirements of the statute in order to obtain benefits. However, it is still your responsibility to present evidence that helps to substantiate your workers’ compensation claim under the law.
A Florida Court recently opined on one aspect of proving a workers’ compensation claim. The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled in Amerisure Insurance Co. v. Rodriguez that an injured worker could not pursue a spoliation action against his employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier for negligently destroying evidence. The plaintiff in that case attempted to recover after his former employer and workers’ compensation insurer negligently lost or destroyed a videotape that would have allegedly helped him prove his claim.
While it is now clear that there are limitations under Florida law for holding an employer liable after evidence useful to a workers’ compensation claim is negligently destroyed, it remains true that any injured party that is trying to obtain workers’ compensation benefits has a responsibility to help substantiate his or her claim.
What Evidence Can Help Substantiate My Claim?
Your injury report. After being injured at work, one of the first things you should do outside of receiving necessary emergency medical care is to file a report detailing your injuries.
Surveillance footage. This form of unbiased evidence is one of the best ways to add credibility to your claim. Any visible cameras in the surrounding area of the place where the injury was incurred should be investigated for a possible recording.
Medical records. This is another important form of evidence. Everything from emergency room records documented the day of the workplace injury to physical therapy records from months, or even years later, are useful to proving the frequency, severity, and cause of your injury.
Witness statements. Remember to document the names and contact information of anyone who happens to be around when you are injured at work as well as anyone who comes on the scene in the aftermath. This includes everyone from coworkers to emergency personnel who come on the scene to provide medical assistance.
What Will My Evidence be Used to Show?
You will typically need to be able to show that your claim is valid by demonstrating:
- That you have an actual injury incurred at work
- That you were currently employed at the time of the injury
- That the injury was caused or aggravated by something work-related
Are You Struggling to Understand How to Substantiate Your Claim After Being Injured at Work? Allow Us to Help You in this Difficult Time.
If you or someone you love has been injured while working, we can advocate for you and ensure you recover the compensation you are entitled to while helping you obtain the evidence you need to bolster your claim. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people like you. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.