Workers’ Compensation Lawyers West Palm Beach
2054 Vista Parkway
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
Phone: (561) 475-2466
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The Different Benefits Employees May Receive from Workers Comp in West Palm Beach, Florida
Becoming injured on the job is something that many employees who work in hazardous conditions often worry about. However, employees can have an accident even if their work environments are safe. Trips, falls, and defective machine parts that cause an injury are very common in various industries. Therefore, it is important to always stay safe, make sure you fully understand the safety rules for your workplace and learn about the laws for workers comp in Florida.
Workers compensation is a form of insurance that employers take out to cover the costs of their injured worker’s medical bills or loss of income. Employees may file for workers’ compensation even if their injury is minor and they plan to return to work within a week or two. Typically, after a work-related accident, the employee will alert their employer or supervisor, explain what happened and file for benefits. Yet in some cases, there is a conflict between the boss and the employee, or between the injured worker and the company’s insurance agency which leads to the denial of benefits.
What Benefits Does Workers Comp in Florida Provide to Injured Workers?
Those who are eligible for workers comp benefits in West Palm Beach, Florida will receive benefits that are based on the severity of their condition following the accident. The insurance policy that the employer has will cover the costs of their loss of income, medical bills and rehabilitation therapy sessions if needed.
When a worker becomes injured on the job, they usually are unable to return to work for a specific period, that is if they can return to work at all. Workers may file for either temporary or permanent benefits based on their condition. Here are descriptions of the types of benefits employees in Florida can receive with workers comp.
There are two types of temporary benefits that an employee could receive as they recover which can help make up for the wages they lost during this time. Those benefits are:
Temporary Total Disability
Employees receive TT if they have an exam by a doctor and the results state that they cannot work due to a job-related illness or injury until they recover. In Florida, employees can receive a payment equal to 66 and two-thirds of the wage they earned at the time of their accident. This amount is subject to a maximum reimbursement amount set by the state. Benefits start 7 days after the accident, and some injuries could be so severe that the worker is eligible to receive as much as 80-percent of their usual wage for as long as 6 months following their accident.
Temporary Partial Disability
Temporary Partial Disability or TP is a benefit received by work injury victims when the doctor states that they can return to work with restrictions in place. The employee can receive these benefits if they are currently unable to earn 80-percent of the wages they earned prior to the incident.
Employees in Florida are eligible to receive up to 104 total weeks of temporary disability benefits. After that time, if they still need monetary assistance or their doctor has stated they are at Maximum Medical Improvement, the victim will be eligible to receive either Impairment benefits or Permanent Total Disability Benefits. In the event of a fatality, the family members of dependents of the deceased may file for Death Benefits.
When the company physician states that the employee is at their Maximum Medical Improvement, it means that they do not expect their condition to improve over time. The doctor will provide details on permanent work restrictions along with an impairment rating. If the victim has a permanent impairment rating higher than zero-percent, they will receive benefits based on their rating. These monetary benefits will last for the remainder of the worker’s life.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
Once a physician states that the worker is at their Maximum Medical improvement, it shows that their injuries are so severe under the law that the victim’s condition is permanent, and therefore, they will receive permanent disability benefits from workers comp.
If the accident or injury at work results in a fatality, the dependents or family members may receive death benefits within one year to five years of the worker’s ongoing disability. The family can receive a maximum of $150,000 in death benefits. They may use the money to pay for funeral or burial expenses, provide compensation for the dependents, or pay for educational benefits for the victim’s widow.
Medical Expenses Paid by Workers Comp in West Palm Beach, Florida
When an injury occurs at work, the employer is responsible for making sure they receive medical treatment through the company’s insurance provider. These benefits include:
- Having access to an authorized medical professional when medically necessary
- Receiving all medical care and treatment needed related to their injury
- Paying for all doctor’s visits,
- Hospital bills
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Lab work and X-rays
- The cost of prescriptions
- The cost of prosthetics
- Payment for travel costs to and from the doctor’s office or the pharmacy
What Can Help Ensure that a Job Injury Victim Receives Fair Compensation?
Injured victims should keep in mind that they shouldn’t wait too long to file their workers comp claim in West Palm Beach, Florida. While the employer should provide the worker with the details for the company doctor, the insurance company will be responsible for authorizing any follow-up care or treatment. That could take a long time to finalize. The faster the worker files their claim, the sooner they will start to receive follow-up care.
If the job accident resulted in a trip to the emergency room, the victim or the person who brought them there should tell the ER staff that the injury occurred while on the job. It is important to provide the hospital with the insurance provider’s contact information or their employer’s phone number so that the insurance company covers the cost of emergency room care.
The injured worker should never go to the doctor on their own. To make sure they receive fair compensation, the employee should wait to see the doctor provided by the insurance company. Following these three steps will show that the victim did everything as recommended by the insurance provider and their employer, which can help them build a much stronger case. Especially if the defense attempts to deny the victim of their workers comp benefits.
How to File Your Claim for Workers Comp Claim in West Palm Beach, Florida
Florida uses a no-fault worker’s compensation system which means that the worker doesn’t have to prove that their employer was negligent or caused the injury to happen to receive their benefits. If the injury occurred while on-the-job or caused by the tasks that they do at work, they are likely to receive the compensation owed to them. Yet, there are still some circumstances where the employee doesn’t receive the amount of benefits they feel they deserve if they receive any at all.
The first thing an employee should do whenever an injury occurs at work is report the injury to their supervisor or their employer. If possible, they should check to see if there were any witnesses around when the accident occurred whose testimony could help if the claim does not get approved. Once the employee reports the accident, the victim should file their claim with the company’s insurance provider.
The employee must file their claim with the insurance provider within seven days of the accident. If the insurance provider denies it, the employee must contact the insurance company directly. This starts the investigation process, during which the insurance company will review the victim’s medical records, look at their education, work experience, and wages earned, request that the victim has an exam performed by the company doctor, and request that the worker has a functional capacity evaluation which will tell if they are still capable of performing their everyday work duties.
Based on the law in Florida, the insurance provider must quickly approve or deny the victim’s workers comp benefits. If they approve the claim, the worker will begin receiving compensation soon. If the insurance provider denies the claim, the worker has the right to file an appeal and hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to help defend their case.
When to Contact a West Palm Beach Workers Comp Lawyer
If you become injured at work and denied benefits for workers comp in West Palm Beach, Florida, you need to get in touch with a workers compensation attorney to help you with your case. You have the right to file an appeal if you believe that the insurance company’s decision was wrong. The workers comp lawyer can help build a compelling case so that you receive the benefits that you deserve.
It is important that you don’t wait around too long to file your claim after you receive confirmation that it did not get approved, or wait to file a Petition for Benefits. You should do this within two years after the date of your injury to guarantee the best results.
Sometimes workers comp claims can be simple with no issues involved, and other times they can be very complex, making it difficult for the victim to get the compensation they need to support themselves. Don’t give up on your legal rights. Call a workers comp attorney in Florida today who can ensure you will receive payment for your pain and suffering.