Florida requires almost all businesses with 4 or more employees, with some exceptions, to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The Florida workers compensation statute covers most of the illnesses and injuries that happen at the workplace. If you have suffered an injury while working and you are concerned about medical bills and loss of wages, you should know that the Florida workers’ compensation statute can help you. The statue is designed to help workers cover their expenses when they are recovering from their injuries. Call our Clearwater workers’ compensation lawyers at (954) 448-7355 to get the expertise your case requires.
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What Is Workers Compensation?
The Florida workers’ compensation laws are designed to help employees who have suffered an injury on the job. The laws provide a number of benefits. All the employers in Florida are required to buy workers’ compensation insurance. It protects both the employer and employees. The biggest benefit of workers’ compensation insurance for employers is that it gives them immunity from injury lawsuit claims. The employees benefit as they are able to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, loss of wages, and various other things.
As far as the amount of benefits and the length of time for which those benefits are awarded are concerned, it depends on the particular case. This is why you should get in touch with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Florida Lawyers 360 to know more about the benefits you are entitled to under Florida workers’ compensation laws.
Some of the most common workers compensation benefits include:
The employees are entitled to medical treatment for all their work-related injuries and the insurance should cover all the expenses related to hospital visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, surgery, and any other treatment the employee needs to recover from their injuries. The only important thing here is that you need to be treated by an approved provider. You can’t go to your family physician or a doctor you prefer. You need to go to an approved provider. The benefits will also cover the cost of any prosthetic devices you need as well as the travel expenses for your visits to the doctor and the pharmacy.
Loss of Wages
You are also entitled to weekly compensation benefits when you are on workers’ compensation. The amount of weekly benefit is a function of the money you made while working. In most cases, around two-thirds of the weekly wages are awarded when an employee is on workers’ compensation, and this money isn’t taxed.
What Should I Do If I Am Hurt on the Job?
If you are hurt while working take these steps to help protect your workers’ compensation claim:
Seek Medical Care
If you suffer an injury while working in Clearwater, Florida, the first thing you should do is seek appropriate medical care. It is important to get proper diagnosis and treatment as quickly as possible after suffering an injury to ensure that you are able to heal as fast as possible. If your injuries are serious in nature, always call an ambulance. For less severe injuries, it is important that you immediately visit a doctor. It is important to keep in mind that Florida worker’s compensation laws require you to only seek treatment from a provider who has been authorized by the employer.
Inform Your Employer
You also need to inform your employer about the workplace injury. It is important that you notify them in writing even if they have witnessed the accident personally. You should tell them about the incident, when and where it occurred, as well as the details of your treating physician. You are required to notify within 30 days of the accident. In case you fail to notify your employer, it might jeopardize your claim and you might not be able to recover compensation for the damages sustained.
Get in touch with the experienced Clearwater workers compensation attorneys at Florida Lawyers 360 to know more about your rights under workers compensation laws.
It is important that you keep a written record of your injuries as well as the symptoms. Make it a habit to record everything and if possible, take photographs of the injury in case the injury is visible. Keeping a written record will go a long way in helping you win your workers’ compensation claim.
File Workers Compensation Claim with the Assistance of a Workers Compensation Attorney
In Florida, workers compensation is a no-fault system which means negligence by the employer, and any fault of the employee isn’t considered when deciding the workers’ compensation claim. The most important factor that matters in such cases is whether the injury occurred on the job. It is important to keep in mind that only workplace injuries and illnesses are covered under workers’ compensation laws. It is also important to note that only physical injuries and illnesses qualify for the benefits as per Florida Statutes 440.093.
You should know that insurance companies routinely deny even valid workers’ compensation claims in Florida. Here at Florida Lawyers 360, we have helped hundreds of clients recover fair benefits for their injuries worker compensation claim. Give us a call at (954) 448-7355 to schedule a completely free consultation today.
Why Should I Hire a Clearwater Workers Compensation Lawyer?
There is no denying that the law does not require you to retain the services of a workers compensation attorney. However, you should know that your claim isn’t going to be approved automatically. It needs to be filed properly with proper documentation. There is the real risk of your claim getting denied and you won’t have the money you so dearly need to pay the bills, the longer it takes for you to get your benefits.
This is why you should immediately get in touch with the experienced attorneys at Florida Lawyers 360 regardless of when you have suffered a workplace injury and the severity of the injury. An experienced lawyer will represent you to help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Some of the duties of a lawyer include:
- Gathering evidence or information required for a successful claim such as medical records
- Gathering depositions from medical expert witnesses, the injured party, and any other parties involved in the case
- Share information between the opposing parties
- Perform the necessary legal research
- Drafting of all the required legal documents such as opinions, briefs, and motions
- Represent the claimant before a workers compensation judge
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Clearwater Workers Compensation Attorney?
It doesn’t cost you any money. Here at Florida Lawyers 360, we work on a contingency fee basis. In simple terms, it means that you do not need to pay anything out of your own pocket. We will recover our costs when we help you win the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
In personal injury cases under workers’ compensation laws, the maximum fee a lawyer can charge is 33.33% of the settlement up to $1 million. This incrementally gets reduced by 10% when the settlement exceeds $1 million. The cap of 33.33% applies only when the defendant settles a lawsuit complaint without answering. In case the defendant files an answer, the attorney can ask for a maximum of 40% of the settlement up to $1 million. If the settlement is more than $1 million, the percentage gets reduced in increments as per the Florida Supreme Court orders.
What Should I Do If My Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied?
As stated earlier, we have seen insurance providers routinely deny even valid workers’ compensation claims. You should not get the insurance company to get away if they deny your workers’ compensation benefits claim. You should immediately get in touch with our experienced Clearwater workers compensation attorneys to appeal the decision.
The Offices of the Judges of Compensation Claims appeals board is going to review the petition and your employer and their insurance company are going to be notified. It is generally followed by mediation where the opposing parties meet in the presence of a neutral 3rd party known as a mediator in an attempt to reach a resolution that is acceptable to everyone. If the mediation doesn’t work, a hearing is scheduled.
You’re not going to win a workers’ compensation appeal until it is backed by proper legal research and evidence. This is why you need to have an experienced attorney by your side during the appeals process. Here at Florida Lawyers 360, we have years of experience in such cases. We will analyze the facts, gather the required evidence, and build a strong case in order to help you get the benefits you deserve. We will fight for your rights and we will go against insurance companies.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming a Workers Compensation Claim?
No, you cannot be fired for claiming a workers’ compensation claim.
Is There A Time Limit to File A Workers Compensation Claim in Clearwater, Florida?
You have up to 2 years from the date of the accident to file a workers’ compensation claim in Clearwater, Florida. There are some exceptions such as when the injured worker is a minor or is mentally incompetent or the employer has misled the injured worker, among others.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Florida is a no-fault state which means generally, you cannot sue your employer for an accident at work. The workers’ compensation insurance shields the employer from personal injury claims by employees. Think of it as a kind of trade-off where employees exchange their right to sue employers for the right to receive compensation for loss of wages and medical care, regardless of the party who was at fault. There are some exceptions.
Give a call at (954) 448-7355 to experienced Clearwater workers compensation attorneys at Florida Lawyers 360 to know more about your rights.
Can An Independent Contractor File A Workers Compensation Claim?
An employer is not required to provide workers compensation coverage for independent contractors in Florida. Independent contractors are not considered employees, except in the construction industry. Also, certain jobs are considered independent contractors such as real estate agents, truck owner-operators, drivers for hire, and various others.
What Is My Clearwater Workers Compensation Claim Worth?
No two worker compensation cases are the same and the worth of a workers compensation claim depends on a number of factors. Here is a brief overview of what your workers’ combustion claim could be worth:
The full cost of reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the injury suffered at the workplace is supposed to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. It will include the past as well as the future cost of treatment. It also includes the cost of transportation, doctor’s visits, hospitalization, medical tests, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and other treatments.
Temporary Total or Partial Disability
In the case of temporary total disability, an employee is entitled to 66.67% of their average weekly wages for a period of up to 104 weeks. These benefits end after 104 weeks or after the employee reaches maximum medical improvement and then, their permanent level of impairment is determined.
An employee is entitled to temporary partial disability in case they are able to get back to work on a modified basis and are making less than 80% of their average weekly wage. The temporary partial disability is also paid for a maximum of up to 104 weeks.
Permanent Total Disability
The approved doctor needs to state that you have sustained permanent impairment and have reached the maximum medical improvement. In such cases, the employee is entitled to 2/3 of their average weekly wage up to the age of 75.
In case a worker loses their life due to a work-related accident within a year of the accident or they continue on disability but die within 5 years, the law requires payment of death benefits to the dependents. The law provides coverage for actual funeral expenses up to a maximum of $7500 and the dependents are entitled to 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage up to a maximum of $150,000.
Reach Out To Our Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
An accident at the workplace can leave you temporarily or permanently disabled. The workers’ compensation laws are designed to help you recover medical expenses and loss of wages. It’s a no-fault system in the state of Florida but insurance companies are known to deny even valid workers compensation claims. In many cases, they try to minimize their payouts. Also, the insurance company is allowed to choose the doctor in Florida and the doctor is the one who decides the severity of your injury and whether you are temporarily or permanently disabled.
You need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Florida to protect your rights and to help you get the benefits you deserve. Here at Florida Lawyers 360, we have years of experience in representing clients whose workers’ compensation claims have been denied unjustly. Give our Clearwater personal injury firm a call today at (954) 448-7355 to schedule a free consultation to know more about your rights and to begin building your claim.