What Should I Do If I Missed The Notice Requirement For A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Under Florida workers’ compensation law, injured workers are required to report the injury to their employers within 30 days from the date of the injury. This requirement is known as a “notice of injury” requirement, and the statute specifically states: “An employee who suffers an injury arising out of and in the course of employment shall advise his or her employer of the injury within 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury. Failure to so advise the employer shall bar a petition under this chapter unless” an exception applies.
If you missed the 30-day notice requirement after a workplace injury, do you have any options for obtaining workers’ compensation benefits? The answer to that question depends upon whether your situation falls into one of the exceptions outlined in the statute. Our Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers can discuss those exceptions with you, and we can evaluate your case to determine whether you may still be eligible to obtain medical coverage and wage loss benefits.
What Are the Exceptions to the Notice Requirement?
When a worker fails to report a workplace injury to the employer within 30 days, that worker is barred from compensation unless one of the following exceptions, cited in the statute, are true:
- (a) The employer or the employer’s agent had actual knowledge of the injury;
- (b) The cause of the injury could not be identified without a medical opinion and the employee advised the employer within 30 days after obtaining a medical opinion indicating that the injury arose out of and in the course of employment;
- (c) The employer did not put its employees on notice of the requirements of this section by posting notice; or
- (d) Exceptional circumstances, outside the scope of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) justify such failure.
Applying the Exceptions to Your Case
When would each of these apply? Under paragraph (a), you could still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits even if you did not report the injury to your employer if your employer knew about your injury. How would the employer know? For example, a co-worker might have informed you that they provided the employer with a written statement about your injury. Or, for example, your employer might have observed the accident and called 911 in response. One of our Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers can help you to determine whether your employer had actual knowledge of the injury.
Under paragraph (b), you might have suffered an injury that did not result in immediate symptoms, and you waited to see a doctor until your symptoms became more obvious. In such a case, you would have 30 days from the date of seeing your health care provider and getting a medical opinion to report the injury.
Employers in Florida, under paragraph (c), are required to provide employees with notice of the notice requirements. If you can prove that your employer violated the requirement that they put employees on notice about reporting requirements, you could still be eligible for benefits even if you did not report within 30 days.
Finally, under paragraph (d), you may have experienced “exceptional circumstances” that would allow you to receive benefits even though you reported after the 30-day window closed. The definition of exceptional circumstances is usually determined on a case-by-case basis, and one of our lawyers can help you to determine whether this exception could apply to your case.
Contact a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim, one of the Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys at the Franco Law Firm can help.