Reporting a workers compensation injury after 30 days?

by Juan
(Boca Raton, FL)

This is about a Haitian friend that works at a fast food chicken restaurant as a cook. This happened around March or April 2011. She was trying to get a tray of hot beans from the rack but the tray got stuck, so she tried to pull a little harder and the tray fell on her, burning her skin. She was taken to the hospital by her boss where she was treated and could not go to work for a week.

She says that she had to pay for everything and nothing was covered. She also said that the company didn't pay her a dime for the days she could not work. She doesn't speak English well and she couldn't understand the information on the Worker's Compensation poster, so she didn't know what to do.

Can she still file a claim or sue anybody to get her medical bills paid even though it's past 30 days?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Reporting a workers compensation injury after 30 days?":

Juan (Boca Raton, FL):

In the State of Florida there exists what is called a Statute of Limitations for filing a Workmans Compensation claim. The term Statute of Limitations means there is a time limit for filing a claim.

Each state has its own Statute of Limitations for filing a Workmans Compensation claim. In Florida an employee has up to 2 years from the date of the injury to file a claim, or 1 year from the date of the diagnosis of the injury.

Your friend therefore, has 1 year from the day she was treated at the hospital. You mentioned your friend worked for a fast food restaurant. In Florida if a restaurant has 4 or more employees, full-time or part-time, the owner is required to carry Workmans Compensation insurance.

If you wanted to know which part of Florida law covers the issues you are speaking of you can refer to Section 440.02 (77). If you have additional questions, contact the Workmans Compensation Customer Service Center Unit at (850) 413-1601.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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