Florida is not the best place to get injured on the job. Your employer is not required by law to hold your job open for you even if a doctor has not cleared you to return to work. Seeking workers’ compensation can be a hassle.

The odds often appear to be against you in Florida, but state law offers some protections. Learn the procedures, your rights and how to fight for them.

Your responsibilities

When injured on the job, tell your employer as soon as possible. Your deadline is 30 days after the injury or after a doctor determines that you have a work-related injury.

Either your employer or the insurance company will direct you to a doctor. Do not see your personal physician. In an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room and let your employer know about the incident as soon as possible.

The insurance company will produce an accident report. Read the report, make sure the information is correct, sign and return it. You also must sign and return a fraud statement, a release of medical records and other forms.

Your employer’s responsibilities

Employers must contact their insurance company within seven days after an accident. You receive a copy of the report. Employers should stay in touch with you to track your recovery.

Employers must accommodate you if a doctor releases you to work with restrictions. Employers should communicate with you, the doctor and the adjuster about your situation.

Employers must post information about reporting an injury in a conspicuous place. All workplace injury records must remain on file for 2.5 years.

Your options

You and your employer must follow the law, guidelines and deadlines. Some employers in Florida are lax when it comes to workers’ compensation. They may be slow to react to your claim. You may feel their appointed doctor is not acting in your best interests.

You may feel alone, but help is available. The state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation can help. You also have other options, so act to protect your rights.