The Importance of Full Disclosure in Your Workers’ Compensation Case
Being injured and not able to work can be a huge financial blow, the stress of which can seem even more magnified when your injury occurred on the job. For this reason, many injured workers choose to pursue Florida workers’ compensation benefits to help with the impact of this financial strain. However, many people don’t realize just how much of an effect their own actions can have on whether or not they obtain and continue to receive these benefits – at least, not until it’s too late as a recent cautionary tale indicates.
An Example of What Can Happen When an Injured Worker Isn’t Completely Forthcoming
ABC 7 News recently reported that a former teacher’s aide who helped with disabled children has been arrested by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office on a felony charge for workers’ compensation fraud. The 60-year-old head of Charlotte County’s NAACP reportedly received more than $16,000 in indemnity, or lost wages, after he claimed he was injured on the job when he was hit by a door in the midst of a struggle with a fighting student. However, an investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services allegedly uncovered that he denied having prior injuries and misrepresented himself to his doctor. This alleged crime reportedly caused the Sarasota County School Board to suffer a total loss in excess of $54,000. The man has already posted bond but is expected to be arraigned within the next month or so.
Understanding the Benefits You May Qualify For and How Questionable Actions Can Affect Your Ability to Qualify
The state of Florida generally affords workers’ compensation benefits to people who are injured in an accident at work or develop an illness. To qualify as a work-related injury, it must generally occur in the course and scope of your employment which means it must happen in a situation where you are acting in the furtherance of your employer’s business. Once this is established, you may be entitled to all the compensation for the medical care that is deemed necessary to helping you recover which can encompass a range of benefits such as emergency medical providers, specialists, physical therapists, and other treating physicians. These benefits can also include required prescriptions and afford you compensation for the wages you have lost.
However, obtaining and keeping the benefits you need is highly dependent on you being as honest and forthcoming as possible. In particular, it is imperative that you be upfront with your treating doctors so that they can accurately assess your injuries. And if you have concerns about how prior injuries or other factors could negatively affect your claim, you should obtain legal help. The worst thing to do is ignore those factors and simply hope this information is never uncovered.
Obtain Legal Help After An Accident At Work
If you find yourself injured at work, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible, obtain medical help, take pictures of your injuries and workplace environment and note any witnesses who were present at the time of the accident. In addition, you should also reach out for help from a legal team that can help you explore your options, protect your rights, and file any necessary claims on your behalf. As the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates, we will help you understand the next steps you should take to maximize your chances of getting – and keeping – the benefits you rightfully deserve. Contact us today to begin with a free consultation.