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Eight Most Common Defenses Your Employee May Use Against Your Worker’s Comp Claim

When you are injured at work, you are legally entitled to compensation for those injuries under Florida law. However, insurance companies and you employer will work to deny your benefits because of the expenses. In these cases, they will use a myriad of arguments to deny your claim. If you are filing a worker’s compensation claim, it is important to know these defenses so you can be prepared to fight against them. Here are the eight most common defenses we’ve seen against worker’s compensation claims:

1. Failure to give notice

In the state of Florida, employees have 30 days to inform their employer of their injury in order to make a claim. This can be very complicated if the extent of your injuries aren’t know right away. To protect against this claim, it’s important that you report any injury the moment you know to your employer and document that communication.

2. Statute of limitations

In Florida employees have two years to petition for benefits after the initial date of injury. This can also be complicated by things like chronic illnesses which may not appear right away. The state will make rare exceptions in this case, but the best thing you can do to fight against this defense is file your claim as quickly as possible.

3. Unable to determine cause of injury

The cause of the injury needs to be work-related in order to get worker’s compensation. The injury and incident will be investigated by an independent medical examiner to determine the cause. Independent medical examiners work for the insurance company, so they are not there to help you. In this case, it’s a good idea to counter with a second opinion.

4. Severity of injury exaggerated

Many employers will try to undercut the value of your injury, by stating you are exaggerating the degree of the injury. The best way to combat this is to have full documentation of how the injury has impacted your life and copies of medical records that show you were severely injured.

5. Injury not linked to employment

Your employer or their insurance company may also argue that your injury wasn’t sustained at work, that it came from an accident outside of work. When you file your claim, make sure to give very clear explanation of what happened and see a doctor immediately. You have to prove causation in order to receive compensation.

6. Willful negligence

Employers may also argue that you were negligent. You weren’t doing your proper job function or following safety rules. If they can determine that the accident was your own fault, your worker’s compensation can be denied. To combat this defense, you’ll need to prove that you were performing your job as required to the best of your ability.

7. Self-infliction

Employers and their insurance companies will go to great lengths to disprove your claim and some will even argue you injured yourself on purpose to collect the money. Usually a medical assessment can help you dispute these unfair claims.

8. Not attending doctor’s appointments or following doctor recommendations

In order to receive worker’s compensation, you have a responsibility to make sure that you are doing everything reasonable to prevent the injuries from getting worse such as seeing a doctor and following their advice. Your employer may argue you exacerbated your injuries by not following medical instructions. The best thing you can do to combat this defense is to see a doctor and follow their advice.

With any of these defenses, the best thing you can do is hire a qualified worker’s compensation attorney. At , Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh, we have over 100 years combined experience fighting for worker’s compensation in Florida. We’ve seen every worker’s compensation defense in the book and know exactly what you need to do to prove your claim. So if you are filing a worker’s compensation claim, give us a call for a consultation. We’ll explain how we can help you fight against these defenses and receive the compensation you deserve.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

Eight Most Common Defenses Your Employee May Use Against Your Worker’s Comp Claim

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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