You never go to your place of work expecting to be injured, but this, unfortunately, happens far more often than you might think. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace and work-related illnesses and injuries occurred in 2019 alone.
If you sustained a work-related illness or injury and you need help getting the compensation you are rightfully entitled to, you can get real results by letting the Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers at Florida Lawyers 360 handle all aspects of your claim. Call (786) 249-7999 now to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney and learn your best options for legal recourse.
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What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation refers to a form of insurance that most Florida employers are legally required to carry to cover any work-related illnesses or workplace injuries, regardless of who is at fault. If you are an employee and are injured at work, you can receive compensation for your medical bills along with replacement income in case you cannot work.
Workers’ compensation allows employees that are injured on the job or suffer a work-related injury the help they need without the need to prove that the employer was responsible for the injuries they sustained. The vast majority of employers in Tampa, Florida, satisfy their workers’ compensation obligation by taking out insurance to pay claims for injured workers.
What Should I Do If I’m Hurt on the Job?
To ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries, you should do the following after being hurt on the job:
- Report the injury to your supervisor/boss either immediately or as soon as possible. Florida law requires that you report a workplace injury to your employer within 30 days of it happening.
- Seek emergency treatment for your injuries if necessary.
- Get to a doctor specified by your employer as soon as possible and follow the doctor’s instructions. Going to an employer-approved doctor ensures that the cost of your treatment will be covered.
- Start and keep a written record of your symptoms and injuries.
- Take photos and maybe even capture video footage of your injuries, if they are actually visible.
- File a workers’ compensation claim with the assistance of a worker’s compensation lawyer such as those at Florida Lawyers 360.
Why Should I Hire A Lawyer For A Tampa Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You should hire a workers’ compensation attorney in Tampa, Florida for the following reasons and/or under the following circumstances:
You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
If you have a serious underlying health condition, the insurance company may try using this as an excuse for denying your claim. However, a pre-existing condition doesn’t disqualify you from receiving benefits, which is why you should hire a lawyer to fight against such actions by the insurance company.
Your Employer Denies an Injury Occurred in the Workplace
Issues can arise if your employer doesn’t acknowledge the fact that your injury is either due to work duties or occurred in the workplace. A workers’ compensation lawyer can clearly establish the link between your injury and your work.
Your Benefits are Delayed or Denied
If your benefits are either delayed or denied, you can appeal or turn to other legal remedies. A workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the process and can obtain the medical documents that might be required to help in proving your case.
To Screen for Third-Party Liability
If your injury was the result of another party’s negligence, such as your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to file a civil lawsuit in addition to the workers’ compensation case. You won’t have to choose between the two. Still, the workers’ compensation lawyer you hire should know when there’s a potential third-party liability lawsuit to be filed.
It is not always easy or even possible to determine beforehand exactly how much your workers’ compensation case is actually worth. However, with the knowledge and experience of a lawyer, it is possible to determine how much your case is worth to help you determine whether or not it is worth pursuing.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Tampa, Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Florida Lawyers 360 does not believe that financial woes should prevent anyone from fighting for the justice and benefits they deserve. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis. That means that we provide you with the legal representation you need for little or no upfront costs and instead take our fees out of the settlement you receive upon resolution of your case.
What Should I Do If My Worker’s Compensation Claim Is Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, that’s not necessarily the final word on your case. You can try settling the dispute by meeting with your employer and/or their insurance company to find out whether the denial was the result of a typo or other minor error in the paperwork that can be easily corrected. If an informal meeting fails to solve the issue, you can file a formal appeal with the assistance of a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No. Florida law prevents employers from firing or taking any other form of retaliatory action against an employee for either filing or attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer does this, get in touch with Florida Lawyers 360.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Tampa, Florida?
The statute of limitations is the time limit given to file a workers’ compensation claim in Tampa, Florida. It is designed to protect against claims filed too long after the injury occurs. Florida law sets the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims at 2 years starting from the date of the accident.
However, there are notable exceptions to this 2-year statute of limitations:
- If the injured worker is not mentally competent
- If the injured worker is a minor
- If the insurance company failed to properly inform the worker of his/her rights
- If the employer misled the worker about coverage entitlement
Can I Sue My Employer?
Work-related injuries and/or illnesses are typically compensated through workers’ compensation as opposed to personal injury lawsuits. That means that workers are generally prohibited from suing employers for on-the-job injuries. Still, you may have to sue your workers’ compensation insurance to get them to pay for your benefits.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Under Florida law, independent contractors are not considered employees, and employers are generally not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for such individuals unless they are in the construction industry.
What Is My Tampa, Florida Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
If you are approved for workers’ compensation benefits in Tampa, Florida, you should be eligible to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage capped at $575 per week while you are unable to work. More specifically, you can collect benefits such as:
Medical Expense Reimbursement
Workers’ compensation pays for all medical care found to be necessary and reasonable for treatment and care related to work- and workplace-related illness or injury as long as your treatment is prescribed by the treating doctor and approved by the insurance company.
Wage and Pay Reimbursement
It is used to pay for lost wages and pay due to missed time at work while recovering from your workplace or work-related illness or injury. If approved, the first check should be received within 3 weeks of the claim being submitted.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Temporary Partial Disability is used to compensate workers unable to return to their normal work duties but can return on a modified basis. The compensation awarded depends on the amount the worker can earn on the modified status.
Temporary Total Disability (TTB)
Temporary Total Disability is awarded to employees unable to return to work for a period of time but are expected to return at some defined time in the future.
Permanent Impairment Benefits (PIB)
Permanent Impairment Benefits are typically awarded when a doctor determines that the worker has improved as much as possible.
Permanent Disability Benefits (PDB)
Awarded if an injured worker cannot perform even sedentary work within 50 miles of his or her home.
Under Florida’s workers’ compensation system, injured workers may receive assistance with the costs of vocation counseling, training, and education to help them find work in a different field.
The children, spouse, and other dependents of a worker that dies from a work-related injury or illness are entitled to payments up to $150,000 in total plus funeral and burial expenses.
Schedule A Free Consultation With A Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you were hurt at work or suffered a work-related illness, the attorneys from Florida Lawyers 360 can help. We handle workers’ compensation cases throughout Tampa, Florida. We will review your case at no cost to you and can help you understand your rights. We can calculate the amount you are eligible to receive in lost wages each week and help you fight to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today via phone or online for your free, initial, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.