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Can I file a workman's comp claim for an injury that occurred two months ago, and I did not give written notice or document it?

Orlando, FL |

I had a chair pulled out from under me as I was sitting down. He did tell me that he was going to do it (being it was his own personal ergonomic desk chair he brought into the call center), I just didn't think he would do it. (I did admit that I herd it)
I hit the ground with my butt. My supervisor offered for me to see a doctor, but I denied any need to. I did not document the incedent.
My back now hurts alot and cannot aford to see a doctor.
He was written up and forced to take a week off without pay.
I have since gone of two vacations, one provided by my supervior (to buy me off)

Attorney Answers 6

  1. I believe u can still file a wc claim. Speak to a wc lawyer asap. Also keep a log of any retaliation u may suffer. If u need more information on employee rights feel free to check out my employee rights blog

  2. If you were a Federal Employee when the injury happened, you still have time to file a Notice of Injury. You have three years.

    The fact that a co worker was at fault is not at issue. The fact that the injury occurred out of and in the course of employment is enough. However as a former OWCP Claims Examiner I must tell you that the longer the employee took before filing the claim, the more sceptical I was. Therefore, you should seek help from a union steward or an attorney and file as soon as possible. You will also need a medical report with an opinion on causal relationship and the physician's medical rationale.

  3. Your claim is viable. Ask your supervisor to send you to a doctor now. The law allows you two years from the date of the accident to file a petition for benefits, but don't wait. Your reporting requirement in Florida is to provide your employer with notice within 30 days, but from your account above your employer has actually notice of the incident. You may still face obstacles in your pursuit of benefits and would be well served to engage an attorney who specializes in workers compensation. Good luck!

    These comments are not intended to be legal advice. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship

  4. I just want to clarify a few things that Mr. Touby wrote. First, the "actual notice" does not have to be written. You say that you told your supervisor about the incident and mare him aware that it happened while working. You also discussed the need for medical care. So, you seem to have satisfied the reporting requirement. Second, technically, you should not need to "file a claim" for w/c benefits at this point. Instead, you should only have to go back to the employer and request medical care. They would be required by law to report the request to their insurance carrier, and the carrier would be required to contact you within three days about the claim. If the employer refuses to cooperate or the carrier denies benefits for any reason, that's when you'd need to get an attorney.

  5. You shouldn't have any problem. I've represented injured workers for over 30 years in Miami, and as long as the employer has actual notice, meaning that your supervisor knew about, that's all you need to do. I've handled many claims where the actual pain doesn't start to show itself for several weeks, and as long as you let them know when you realize that it may be connected to the incident, the only thing you'll need is something from your doctor stating that "within reasonable medical certainty, the major contributing cause of your back condition and need for treatment is the incident at work on May ---, 2010 when a chair was pulled out behind you and you fell on your tailbone". When you choose a lawyer, it is important that you choose a specialist who handles only injured workers and not employers. If you need some names, I'll be happy to email you several.
    Bob Shapiro

  6. You have a right to file the w/c claim. Your obligation under the law is to notify the employer about the incident. Sounds like you did that. Documentation of the event is really up to the employer. I think the failure to get care initially and your vacations that came in between will be considered by the doctor to determine the relationship of your current problems to the incident itself. Be honest when relating all facts to the doctor. You should seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

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