Many workers in the United States are injured every year while trying to complete their assigned tasks. To compensate those injured while at work in Florida, most employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation coverage that provides financial assistance to those who are unable to work due to injuries. Depending on the extent of the injury and the length of time the worker is unable to work, workers’ compensation benefits offer various degrees of assistance.
Workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping you file for medical payments and disability benefits under Florida workers’ compensation laws. A workers’ compensation attorney protects the clients’ rights to ensure that they obtain full compensation after an on-the-job accident. While injured, workers have the right to be compensated for injuries and lost wages through the company’s workers compensation programs. However, it is important to note that many claims are denied each year, even those that would appear to qualify for the benefits. It is necessary to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer to advocate for your rights and make sure that your claim is on the right track from the beginning to the end.
In most cases, individuals assume that their claims are minor and decide to forgo seeking legal counsel. However, it’s always beneficial to request a free consultation to review your claim and assess whether the compensation you’ve received (if any) is what you are entitled to.
When do you need a workers’ compensation attorney?
Unless you have suffered a minor injury and the insurance is cooperating with you, you should consult a workers’ compensation attorney. Therefore, the decision regarding whether you should hire an attorney will depend on the severity of the injury and the overall complexity of the workers’ compensation case. It is prudent to hire an attorney in any of these situations:
- If your workplace injuries are severe enough to require surgery and other costly procedures.
- The injuries have contributed to your inability to work on a regular basis in your previous job or any other job. If you regrettably suffered permanent partial disability or permanent total disability, you are entitled to certain benefits to compensate for your lost wages. These types of claims are expensive, and insurance companies will fight with everything they have to ensure you get less than you deserve. Hiring an experienced attorney can significantly help in your case.
- If your employer denies your rightful claim or a delay is caused in the dispensing of your benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney will help you obtain a fair settlement.
- If your employer’s settlement offer doesn’t cover all your lost wages or medical payments. If you doubt that you are receiving the proper benefits or wonder if there are additional benefits that have not been considered, you may need to call the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Steinberg Law to obtain the most favorable settlement.
- If you receive Social Security disability benefits, Steinberg Law’s knowledgeable attorneys understand how to draft your settlement agreement to make sure those benefits are preserved.
- If your boss threatens or demotes you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In the case that your boss has fired, demoted or reduced your salary because you filed a compensation claim, ensure that you contact a workers’ compensation attorney. You are entitled to protect your financial security in the event of a work injury.
- If you have a complex case and you don’t understand the workers’ compensation process, you are better off receiving the assistance of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney to represent your interests.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim
There are a few steps to take when injured at work. First, is crucial to report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. Acting quickly when reporting work injuries is extremely important when seeking recovery for medical bills, on-going coverage or disability benefits.
In Florida, injured workers are required to report their workplace injury within 30 days of the accident. After an employee’s initial injury report, they will have two years from the date of the accidental injuries and one year from the date of the injured employee’s last payment for authorized medical treatments to file a workers’ compensation claim. The employer will then report to the insurance provider within 7 days after becoming aware of the worker’s accidental injury.
Injured workers should provide detailed and accurate information when first reporting the accident, including names of the witnesses, location, time, date, cause and the type of injury. An injured worker should then seek immediate medical evaluation to determine the extent of the injury by an approved medical provider of the employer’s choice. Make sure you tell the doctor that the injury occurred while at work.
Once you have received medical attention for your injury, consider consulting a workers’ compensation lawyer to help guide you through the process of workers’ compensation claim. Call Steinberg Law’s Delray Beach or Palm Beach Gardens office for a free consultation. We are experienced in workers’ compensation law and know the benefits that an injured worker is entitled to pursuant to Florida’s worker’s compensation laws.
Workers that are injured on the job may be entitled to benefits including:
- Medical care, such as doctor appointments, hospital treatments, and medication;
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits, such as partial compensation for lost wages during the time you are off work;
- Vocational rehabilitation or rehabilitative care;
- Educational assistance;
- Death benefits which are paid to the deceased family members.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney FAQs
How long do I have to report the accident to my employer?
You should report the accident as soon as possible but not any later than 30 days or your claim could be denied.
If I’m injured and take time off from work, will I be paid?
Florida law says you will not be paid for seven days of disability unless your disability extends over 21 days. Then you may be paid by the insurance company for the first seven days. In most case, you will receive a benefit check, bi-weekly. You should receive your first check within 21 days after reporting the injury. It will amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, as calculated by the wage you were receiving three months prior to your injury.
What if I was partially to blame for my accident?
If it is determined that you had some role in your own injury like you were not following the safety rules set by your company, your benefits can be lowered by 25 percent.
Will I lose my job if I apply for benefits?
You cannot be fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, Florida law does not require your employer to hold your job open until the time you return to work. If you were fired in retaliation for filing a claim, talk to a Florida Workers’ Compensation attorney about preserving your rights.
Do I have to pay for my medical bills?
All authorized medical bills will be submitted to your company’s insurer for payment. As such, you should not have to pay any of these bills
How long will I wait to receive the benefits?
No longer than a maximum of 104 weeks. You can receive Temporary Total, Temporary Partial Disability payments or a combination of the two benefits during the continuance of your disability.