Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Fort Myers, FL
Fort Myers Workers Compensation Lawyers
9160 Forum Corporate Parkway
Fort Myers, FL 33905
Phone: (239) 785-1454
Call Now to Start Your Claim! (239) 785-1454
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No matter what your profession, being injured on the job can be a serious setback to your life. Not only do medical bills build up quickly, but you can quickly face a problem due to lost wages while recovering from your injuries. Through the workers compensation programs in Florida, you can work to recouping these losses and place yourself on the road to recovery.
By comprehending what your rights as a worker are to workers compensation in Florida, you can best determine what you are entitled to by law, and work toward claiming those benefits from your employer or their workers compensation insurance provider. However, this process is complex and daunting, and we highly recommend that you work with an experienced and knowledgeable Florida workers compensation attorney in order to get the advice you need to navigate this complex and challenging system. Our lawyers have years of experience in personal injury cases, including Florida worker’s compensation cases, and we will fight to help you get the benefits you deserve for your job-related injuries, helping you to recover without stress or worry.
What is Covered by Workers Compensation in Fort Myers, FL?
Most employees in Florida are covered by some sort of workers compensation program. Whether your employer chooses to self-insure or uses the services of a third-party insurance provider, most employers are required to provide workers compensation insurance to their employees, at no cost to the employee, and in return, the employee is not able to sue the employer to attempt to gain additional benefits or payments as a result of any injury or accident.
Florida workers compensation provides benefits to those who have been hurt while working on the job, from injuries as small as a minor sprain or burn which requires minimal medical attention to serious, even catastrophic injuries. This coverage allows workers the time they need to recover, without needing to worry about paying medical bills or losing wages. It also provides benefits to the employee’s family in the event that an employee is killed in a job-related accident. Finally, in the event that the employee’s injury prevents them from performing their old job, it can provide additional training for a job which you are capable of performing.
Workers compensation in Florida covers a wide variety of mishaps and injuries. The coverage often includes, in addition to financial support for the injured employee, benefits intended to cover the medical expenses associated with the injury, including:
- Hospital visits
- Emergency Room visits
- Lab tests and other diagnostics
- Physical therapy
- Doctor’s visits
- Additional follow-up treatments
Additionally, your workers compensation medical benefits can include personal expenses related to your care, including vehicle mileage, lodging, and food.
Workers compensation laws in Florida mandate that anyone claiming benefits needs to undergo an examination performed by a doctor who has been approved by the employer and/or the insurance company in order to get your workers compensation benefits. Your employer should be able to provide you with a set of pre-approved physicians who are located nearby to provide you with approved medical treatment.
Unfortunately, sometimes these approved medical professionals will deliver prognoses or diagnoses which make it easier for the insurance company to deny your insurance claim; in other occasions, seeing the approved physician is difficult due to their location or availability restrictions. For those who have trouble seeing an approved medical professional, or for those who feel that their approved physician is not making an accurate diagnosis of your situation and harming your claim, a Florida workers compensation attorney can help.
How Workers Compensation in Fort Myers Can Work Against the Employees
For those who feel they are deserving of workers compensation claims in Florida, sometimes the road to realizing those claims is difficult. Florida has always been known to be a state that is business-friendly, but that does not always necessarily translate into employee-friendly. Some laws here in Florida can make it difficult for an employee injured on the job to get the workers compensation benefits to which they are entitled. Because of these restrictive laws, it is important that you contact a workers compensation attorney in Florida as early as possible when you make any workers compensation claim, no matter how trivial or how serious the injury may be.
Workers compensation laws in Florida, while ostensibly in place to protect employees who are injured in accidents or dangerous working conditions, are also designed to protect the interests of the businesses, and to help those businesses to grow. As a result, without the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced workers compensation lawyer in Florida, it is very easy for these laws to favor the employee in some fundamental ways.
First and foremost, as we have mentioned, the injured employee must see an approved medical professional. This is a doctor who has been vetted by the insurance company or employer providing the workers compensation benefits, and not your own personal doctor. This doctor’s diagnosis has a large impact on the amount of benefits the employee will receive. While this diagnosis is meant to be proof that you have been injured while on the job. Unfortunately, some insurers will use this process to attempt to claim that the injury was not sustained while on the job, but rather is due to a pre-existing condition, or is not as serious as claimed.
The physicians in this system tend to be employer-friendly, and will often attempt to get the injured worker back on the job as soon as possible so that the workers compensation benefits do not need to be provided for a long period. A doctor employed by the insurance company may clear an injured employee for work when the injured party should not be returning to physical activity. While it may sound attractive to get back to work as soon as possible, if the immediate solution is pain medication at the expense of a more serious underlying problem, the injured worker will most definitely suffer more in the long term. By hiring and consulting with an experienced attorney for workers compensation in Florida, you can protect yourself from these and other questionable tactics on the part of insurance companies.
Florida law also limits the amount of time that injured employees are able to receive workers compensation benefits. In short, the system is designed to get workers back on the job as soon as they are able. Once the pre-approved medical provider clears the employee for work, the insurance company stops issuing benefit checks. Since income is essential for survival, injured workers sometimes have no choice but to go back to work, even if they are not entirely recovered from the injury.
Even then, there is no guarantee of job protection. Of even larger concern than having to go back to work while still recovering, there is no guarantee that the employee will still have their job when they return – employers are under no legal obligation to hold the job open.
Finally, it is difficult to prove disability. The workers compensation insurance company has a vested interest in limiting its liability and payouts to injured employees. In order to meet those objectives, insurance companies will sometimes deny benefits in the case that the injured employee is able to perform another job. This means that if the employee sustains an injury that impairs their ability to perform their usual job, but there are other jobs which you would be able to perform, your workers compensation claim could be denied – even if the new job pays considerably less than the old one, or is in an entirely new field. All the insurance company needs to provide is proof that the injured employee is able to work – no matter what the nature of that work is, or how its pay compares.
Your Fort Myers Workers Compensation Lawyer Fights for You – Not Your Employer or an Insurance Company
These restrictive laws which favor employers at the expense of injured workers make it even more vital that you consult an experienced workers compensation lawyer in Florida. In the workers compensation process, no one is going to be fighting for your own rights and benefits except for you – and the attorney that you hire. Your employer and the insurance providers will be fighting for their own interests, which include minimizing costs and cutting losses.
Our workers compensation attorneys are here to look out for your best interests. When insurance companies find loopholes in a claim, such as insistence that the injury was sustained outside the bounds of employment, or that the injuries are not as serious as claimed, your workers compensation attorney has the knowledge, expertise, and experience to effectively fight for your rights, ensuring that you get the benefits you require.
Our attorneys and counselors are all well-versed in a wide variety of personal injury cases, including workers compensation cases in Florida. If you were injured while at work, whether your injury is as simple as a sprained ankle, or as life-altering as mesothelioma, you have a right to receive the benefits that you are due. Our attorneys will carefully evaluate your case, help you to understand your rights, advise you as to your best options, represent you to the workers compensation insurance company, and will work closely with you to make sure you get the most positive possible outcome.