Effective and Efficient Workers’ Compensation Counsel
The workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect workers and their dependents against the hardships arising from work injuries or work-related death. While the statutory law is complex, put simply, if you are an employee who has suffered an injury and/or death as a result of a work-related accident, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Every employer is required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance or self-fund a workers’ compensation benefit program to fund the workers’ compensation claims of its employees. It is not uncommon, however, for a workers’ compensation insurer to dispute a worker’s claim and deny workers’ compensation benefits. If the workers’ compensation insurer denies some or all benefits, you should speak with an experienced attorney.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are You Entitled To?
As experienced workers’ compensation attorneys, we first assess what benefits you may be entitled to, whether it is lost wages, medical expenses, or compensation for any permanent disability or impairment related to a work injury. Next, we will actively pursue benefits you are entitled to by working with the workers’ compensation carrier and/or the attorney for your employer. If necessary, we will file suit on your behalf.
Do You Need A Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
You are not required to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, however, you may find it difficult to handle a workers’ compensation claim without assistance, especially in cases of complicated or extensive injuries. What is more difficult is knowing whether the insurance company is following the law and paying what you are entitled to by law. We don’t want to waste your time or money. If we don’t believe you need an attorney, we’ll tell you. While every case is unique, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney may be necessary if:
- Your employer denies you were injured on the job.
- The workers’ compensation insurer claims your injury existed before your accident.
- The workers’ compensation insurer denied your benefits.
- Medical bills are not being paid.
- You are not being paid for the time you are unable to work due to your injury.
- You are only able to work limited hours due to your work-related injury, and you are not being compensated for the missed hours.
- You have been put at light duty due to your injury and are being paid less.
- The adjuster promises benefits or care but does not follow through.
- An attorney for the insurance company or your employer wants to take a recorded statement or your deposition.
- You feel that you have permanent injuries as a result of your work accident.
- Your workers’ compensation benefits have suddenly stopped, but you are still unable to work, or have not fully recovered from your accident.
- Due to your work accident, you are no longer able to do the work that you are accustomed to or trained for.
- The workers’ compensation insurer has instructed you to see their doctor after you have already started treatment with your own physician.
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
We have successfully represented clients in cases ranging from relatively simple back injuries to catastrophic injuries and death. We know how the workers’ compensation system works, and we are very familiar with the medical providers and rehabilitation facilities in Central Florida.
Our attorneys will apply their experience, knowledge and skills to ensure that you receive all of the medical care, rehabilitation services and benefits you deserve. To learn more about workers’ compensation claims, visit our workers’ compensation FAQ page.
Contact Our Skilled Lawyers For Strong Advocacy
Call us at 407-900-4996 to schedule your free initial consultation. You may also contact online. We assist injured workers throughout Nebraska and Iowa.
LET ME HELP YOU!
No one expects to get injured on the job. That’s something that happens to someone else. But when it happens to you, you need to know your rights so that you are not taken advantage of by a system that can be complicated and convoluted. The workers’ compensation system in Florida can appear to work against you getting the medical care you need so you can return to work and earn a living.
HOW DOES WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WORK IN FLORIDA?
Florida’s Workers’ Compensation system is supposed to be designed to give people that get injured on the job guaranteed medical care for their on the job injuries and reimbursement for their lost wages (indemnity benefits) during the time they are unable to return to work because of those injuries. It sounds simple enough, but in real-world application, the system can be frustrating to injured workers. Here are some things you need to know:
1) When you get injured on the job, you have 30 days to report your injury to your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company. [If you tell your supervisor you got injured on the job and need a doctor and they do not send you to a doctor, or have you fill out an accident report, give your employer a written report of your own, telling your employer that you got injured and would like to be sent to a doctor for a medical evaluation. Make sure you keep a copy of any accident reports for your own records. If your employer does not send you to a doctor after giving them a written report of injury, contact me right away and I will make sure your employer’s insurance company is notified of your injury.]
2) Your employer and their insurance carrier get to select your doctors and they have the right to contact those doctors and let them know what they will and will not pay for. [The insurance companies often employ Nurse Case Managers who act as the liaison between the insurance company and the doctor. Nurse Case Managers also serve as the eyes and ears of the insurance company at your doctors’ appointments. If you feel uncomfortable with them being in the room with you as you meet with the doctor, you can ask them to leave.]
3) You are entitled to change your doctors ONCE within the same specialty of the doctor your employer and their insurance carrier have selected for you. [There are exceptions to this rule that I can help you with that may allow you to select your own doctor under certain circumstances.]
4) Unless you are a law enforcement officer or firefighter, you will not receive your full rate of pay during the time you are unable to work due to your on the job injuries. You are only entitled to a payment rate per week of up to 66 2/3% of your weekly wages averaged over the 3 months prior to the week of your accident. [It is important that your average weekly wage (AWW) is calculated correctly by your employer and the insurance company. You need to make sure your earnings from tips and other jobs are reported to the insurance company so that they can be included in your AWW so that you are reimbursed at the correct compensation rate.]
5) The doctor you are authorized to see by employer and their insurance company may release you to return to work with certain limitations on your physical activities for work. [You should provide your employer a copy of those restrictions so that they have an opportunity to offer you work within those restrictions. If they do not give you work within those restrictions, you should be entitled to Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) to reimburse your lost earnings while you are unable to return to work.]
6) Your prior medical history, no matter how long ago, is relevant in your workers’ compensation claim. Failure to inform your doctor of prior injuries and medical conditions with your present injured areas may bar your workers’ compensation claim. [Make sure you list any prior medical history in the intake form the doctor makes you fill out at your first visit. Get help from a friend or family member if necessary to fill out that form. If you had a problem in the past with the same injured areas as is now giving you pain, but that pain is distinguishable, make sure to inform the doctor of the differences and the length of time since you last had problems with that area. Failure to inform your authorized treating physician of your prior medical history can often preclude you from obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.]
7) It is unlikely that your employer will fire you from your job because you report your injury and request your entitled benefits. Florida Statute Section 440.205 makes it unlawful for your employer to harass, coerce or terminate your job, simply because you are seeking your workers’ compensation benefits. [However, Florida is an “at will” employment state. Your employer can terminate your employment for any valid business reason (e.g., misconduct, not showing up for work on time, not doing your job correctly, etc.)]
8) You concordantly have the right to quit your job, even though you still have an active workers’ compensation claim. [This may affect your right to lost wage reimbursement, or indemnity benefits, but there are exceptions to this rule that I can help you with if you still have physical restrictions for work from your authorized treating physician.]
9) Undocumented workers, or those without legal residency or citizenship in the United States, are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. [If you have not reported your taxable earnings to the IRS, you may be precluded from recovering indemnity benefits for lost earnings from your injuries; however, you are still entitled to medical care. If you use a false Social Security Number to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, however, that is a felony in the state of Florida.]
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys For A Consultation
To discuss your case with a lawyer, please call us at 407-900-4996 to schedule a free initial consultation. You may also contact our firm online. We serve clients throughout central Florida.
Get Help Today. Call Us At 407-900-4996