If you have experienced an eye injury at work, you’re probably wondering about your rights at this point. A work-related eye injury can lead to serious problems, especially for individuals who develop severe vision problems as a result of the injury.
Even if there is no long-term damage, an eye injury can lead to lost work time, medical bills, and problems with pain and suffering.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation can help you or your loved one recover those expenses and the lost earning ability.
However, applying for workers’ compensation is not an easy process. More than half of workers’ compensation claims are turned down. Legal counsel and following the workers’ comp rules and deadlines can help ensure you get what you deserve.
Is Your Employer Insured?
Most employers in Florida are required to have workers’ compensation insurance and it can help cover eye injuries that happen on the job. It is meant to cover your employer for the costs involved when a worker experiences an injury. If all goes well, you will receive your insurance payout from the workers’ comp insurance agency instead of directly from your employer.
In Florida, your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance if:
- The employer is an agency of the state or local government
- The employer is in the construction industry and has one or more employees
- The employer is a business with four or more full/part-time employees
- The employer is a farmer with more than five regular workers or 12 or more seasonal workers.
Work-Related Eye Injury—What to Do if You’ve Been Hurt
If you’re injured in an accident at work, eye injury can be handled in the same way as any other workers’ compensation claim. This is a brief outline of the steps involved in taking care of your workers’ compensation claim:
- Report the injury as soon as possible.
- Request a notice of injury form (DWC-1).
- Get medical treatment, no matter how minor the injury.
- List all the witnesses.
- Ask whether your employer has a managed care arrangement (MCA).
- Write down anything your employer says to you.
- Don’t give any recorded statements to the insurance company.
- Seek legal help—get a free initial assessment.
- Take any advice your doctor gives you.
- Do not get medical care from your private insurance unless the employer/carrier refused workers’ compensation benefits.
- Document mileage to and from doctor’s appointments.
- If you’re placed on medical work restriction, ask about light-duty positions.