Have you recently been injured at your job? Are you wondering what to do next? Perhaps you have been hesitant to report your injury. There are many people that believe that, if they file a workers comp claim, this could somehow jeopardize their employment. If you are concerned about that, or if you simply need legal advice, speaking with a Brandon workers compensation lawyer could be very helpful.
They can assist you in understanding what the process is, what to expect, and how to file your claim in the most appropriate manner. If you are in Brandon, you can contact the offices of Florida Lawyers 360. Our personal injury lawyers will be more than happy to provide you with an overview of what you should do next and help with any legal issues.
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An Overview Of Worker’s Compensation
If you have never filed for workers comp before, you may want to understand a little bit about this process. Workers’ compensation insurance is simply a policy that protects you as a worker. It is paid for by your employer. If you are injured on the job, or if you have contracted some type of illness or disease, you can file a claim in order to resolve your issues and have your bills paid through this insurance.
It will also cover a wide variety of other things related to your job, including lost wages, the cost of traveling to different doctor appointments, rehabilitation therapy, ongoing therapy, and will even pay for medical prescriptions. In some instances, you can receive what is called a temporary total disability benefit if the physician in charge deems that you are unable to go back to work. Therefore, filing a workers compensation claim is the best thing to do if you have been injured on the job and you want to resolve your situation.
How Quickly Should You File A Work Injury Claim In Florida?
It is important to file your workers’ comp claim immediately. The sooner that you do this, the faster you will receive proper treatment. Likewise, by acting quickly, they can easily identify how you were injured, and there will also be witnesses that will remember how this incident occurred. If you are sick, they can pinpoint the exact time and location, making it very easy to fill out your report to explain what has happened.
To start this process, you will contact your supervisor to tell them what has happened, and then they can bring you to a hospital to get the necessary immediate treatment. In the state of Florida, employers are required to contact their workers’ comp insurance provider immediately after you have filed the report. The only time this may not be true is if there are posters with the name of the insurance company, and their phone number, provided to employees to make the call themselves. Either way, within seven days, the employer must make the call to report what has happened. From that point forward, you will receive information from the insurance company about what you need to do next.
What Should You Do Immediately After Suffering A Work Injury?
It is very important to document every aspect of what has occurred. You will need to take photos of your injury, photos of the location where the incident has happened, and also what may have caused your injury. It is also important to speak with coworkers that were likely there that had witnessed the incident. The more information you collect, and the amount of detail that you can record while it is fresh in your mind, are very important. This will allow you to present a very clear idea of what has happened so that your workers’ compensation claim will be approved.
Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
The first call that you will receive will come directly from the insurance claims adjuster. This is an employee of the workers’ comp associate the works directly for that insurance company. They will explain to you what your responsibilities are, and what your rights are, and it is important to take this call if you see it on your phone. If you miss the phone call, and they leave a message, you should respond back immediately. Subsequent to this, you will receive a large envelope in the mail. It could also be a standard letter with specific information.
This information will, at the very least, include the Notification Letter. This will come directly from the Employee Assistance Office Division of the Division of Workers Compensation. You need to review the accident report that should also be included. Compare what is written there with the actual incident to see if it is accurate. If not, you will need to make changes right away so that they have the best understanding of what has happened. Finally, they may also include a Fraud Statement, a letter that states that your benefits could be potentially withheld unless you return this document.
Can You Choose Your Own Doctor For A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Initially, when the injury happens, they will take you to the nearest emergency room if it is a serious situation. That physician will examine you, treat you, and then make a report on what they observed when you came in. However, this is not the appointed workers’ comp position. You must see this individual as they will handle all of the cases for your particular business.
They are appointed by the insurance company that is providing workers’ compensation, and you are not able to choose another doctor. If the assessment made by the doctor is not to your satisfaction, you can get a second opinion. However, in most cases, they will only use the information provided by the approved doctor in order to determine if you qualify for the workers’ comp claim.
What Happens After The Initial Doctor Visit?
Right after leaving this first physician, you will then contact your employer. It should be done as soon as possible. Simply tell them what has occurred, be truthful, and tell them what this physician has said about you returning to work. What you provide them with needs to be a copy of this physician’s assessment of your condition if they are recommending that you not come back to work.
Your employer can then send you home, and they may also try to find a way to accommodate your condition. Often referred to as light-duty, or modified duty, they will pay your wages in full as long as you can come to work on this modified duty schedule. This helps them save money, and may even prevent you from needing to file a workers comp claim as they will tend to pay for your doctor bills as well.
What Benefits Can You Receive Through Workers’ Comp?
In the state of Florida, you are entitled to many things as a result of filing your workers’ comp claim. You could qualify for what is called indemnity benefits. These will be yours to receive if you are not able to return for seven days or more. The objective is to compensate you for your loss of income for not being able to work as usual. This amount will never exceed the maximum compensation rate for the entire year.
On the other hand, if you are going to be out for longer than an entire week, you will receive two-thirds of your regular wages. This will start on the eighth day. However, if you are severely injured, you could receive as much as 80% of your wages for up to two years in the form of partial disability payments or temporary total payments.
What Happens After The Two Years Is Up?
If after two years, you are no longer able to come back to work, you will then be able to receive what is called reemployment services. These are benefits that are provided to those that will essentially have permanent work restrictions. This is made possible because of the Bureau of Employee Assistance. This information can be found by visiting the website of the Ombudsman Office and Reemployment Services Section.
These benefits will include job analysis, training, education, job-seeking skills training, and vocational counseling. However, in any of these situations, if you find that you are not receiving your benefits, or your employer will not take you back, you may need to contact a reputable law firm in Brandon, Florida.
Can You Sue Your Employer Over Workers’ Comp Related Issues?
In the state of Florida, you are not able to simply file a lawsuit against your employer as a result of injuries or illnesses that you have because of your job. The purpose of Worker’s Compensation insurance is to offer you a way to recover from your illness or injuries without having to pay for the cost. This does not apply to people that are independent contractors, simply providing the company with services without being directly employed. However, if you are having problems with your workers’ compensation claim, savvy attorneys will be able to help you receive compensation to help you pay for lost time at work, medical costs, and other related fees.
File Your Claim With Our Brandon Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
It is very common for people to contact a workers compensation lawyer if they are having problems with filing for Workers’ Comp. Just receiving advice on what they should do because of their situation can help them complete this process much more quickly. They may also contact these attorneys if they are not able to receive their full benefits, partial benefits, or if they have been let go by their employer.
It is also possible that your entire workers’ comp claim has been denied. Anyone that experiences these difficulties should contact an attorney as soon as possible. That’s why many people have contacted the Florida Lawyers 360 law firm. Our personal injury firm will be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve, call us at (786) 249-7999.