We are often asked about circumstances where employers advise injured workers that they forfeited their rights to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Usually this occurs a day or two after the accident and they go to report the claim for the first time. The employer tells the injured worker that it is too late and if they didn’t report the injury within 24 hours it is too late to file a claim. Other times, we hear that the employee signed a pre-employment waiver saying the employer is not responsible for work-related injuries or have signed a form on a regular basis saying no injury occurred (so that they could receive their paycheck) and are prevented from filing a claim.
By law, you cannot waive your right to file a workers’ compensation claim. The insurance companies may deny your claim and there are times when an injured worker can elect a course of legal action over workers’ compensation (such as a lawsuit against a wrongful third party). But you cannot waive the ability to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits simply by failing to report an injury the day of the accident or by signing a form upon employment.
Florida law requires an injured party to report an injury within 30 days of when the accident or injury occurred, or within 30 days from the date the injured worker knew or should have known the injury was work related. If an employer had certain knowledge of the injury or accident, the injured worker may not even need to report the accident for the employer to have a burden to report the claim to their workers’ compensation carrier.
If you or a loved one has been injured or hurt at work, call one of the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt today. We have more than 50 years combined experience helping the injured. Call us for a free and confidential consultation at 1-877-We-CAN-HELP.