Our team of Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you. When it comes to employees’ rights, Florida is one of the states that treats the issue with the seriousness it deserves. The government has outlined some strict procedural guidelines and enforcement rules that are meant to ensure employees’ rights are not violated. Employers have the legal responsibility to provide safe working conditions and fair compensation benefits in case an employee gets injured or ill in the scope and requirements of their job.
However, there are many cases in which employers and their insurance companies have tried to deny or reduce the compensation benefits injured employees are legally entitled to. Fortunately, if you were injured on the job, you don’t have to go through the same ordeal.
At Work Injury Rights in Coral Gables, Florida, part of our daily work is to defend the rights of workers who have been forced to miss work due to an illness or injury they suffered in their workplace. Our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers are dedicated to providing personalized representation to each of our clients. No matter where you are in the state, our offices are conveniently located to serve you.
Talk to us today via 954-833-5226 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation with our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers, and learn more about how we can help you receive the benefits you deserve.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance coverage that is obtained by employers or businesses, meant to provide compensation benefits for employees who are injured or get ill while on the job. Florida law requires that most employers obtain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.
Workers’ compensation ensures that employees are compensated for any illnesses or injuries sustained under an occupational capacity, regardless of who is at fault. In turn, the coverage makes employers immune from many forms of injury lawsuits from employees.
The Florida workers’ compensation statute is meant to protect workers and ensure that employers provide their employees with access to certain benefits following a workplace injury. The benefits include medical care, income loss benefits, along with other specific loss benefits.
To make sure that you gain access to these benefits following a workplace injury, you will need to follow certain steps as outlined below. In case you encounter any problems along the way, be sure to consult with an experienced Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyer.
What Should I Do if I’m Hurt on the Job?
If you find yourself hurt while working on the job, the following is a list of things that you should do:
- Let your employer know that you got hurt in the workplace. You should ideally do this in writing to a person under supervisory or managerial capacity, such as the supervisor or foreman.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible and follow the doctor’s instructions. You should ideally visit a doctor approved by your employer or their insurance company.
- Start writing a journal about the whole ordeal, right from the moment of the accident. This will help keep your memories alive and the story consistent.
- When possible, take photographs or videos of your injuries, no matter how minor they may seem.
- File a workers’ compensation claim, ideally with the help of a Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyer.
- Rest and recuperate.
What Are Florida’s Most Common Workplace Injuries?
The following are the most common forms of workplace injuries our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers have seen:
- Shoulder, neck, and back injuries
- Joint pain
- Construction accidents
- Accidents caused by tools or machinery
- Accidents sustained while out traveling for business.
Why Should I Hire a Coral Gables Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
When you file your claim, your employer may claim that your injuries were caused by pre-existing conditions other than a workplace accident. They may also claim that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. They do all this in an attempt to deny your claim or reduce the amount of compensation benefits they pay you.
With this in mind, you want to work with an experienced advocate who can help you recover the compensation you are eligible for. When you come to us, our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyer will attempt to obtain compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, therapy and rehabilitation, prescription drugs, permanent or temporary disability benefits, and more through your workers’ compensation.
We have been helping Florida residents obtain workers’ compensation benefits for decades. Our experience in the field allows us to have a good understanding of how Florida’s justice system works, and we know the tactics the insurance company or your employer may use to deny your claim. Our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers will be by your side through the entire process, have your best interest at heart, and make sure you get the compensation benefits you deserve.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Coral Gables Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
When dealing with a workers’ compensation case, you have enough to worry about, and you shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for legal help. You are both losing money treating your injuries, but are also missing work. At Work Injury Rights, our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers do not accept any payment from our clients when they hire our services.
We work with our clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that we take our legal fees from the financial settlement we obtain on your behalf. We want to help you without draining your funds any further and will work to get the highest amount of compensation possible.
Keep in mind that Florida’s workers’ compensation law limits the maximum amount legal firms can charge clients when working on a contingency fee basis. The limits provided by the law are as follows:
- 20% of the first $5,000 awarded
- 15% of the next $5,000 awarded
- 10% of the remainder of the award. The amount has to be paid out within 10 years after the date of filing the claim
- 5% of the settlement award that is secured after the ten years elapse
The law also says that no fees should be paid out to a Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyer before approval by the judge of compensation claims, or by the court that has jurisdiction over the claims proceedings. In this case, the judge cannot endorse amounts higher than what’s pointed out above.
What Should I Do if My Workers Compensation Claim is Denied?
In case your employer or their insurer denies your claim or refuses to approve your benefits, we can assist you in appealing their denial. Our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers can take your case before the Division of Administrative Hearings, and present a strong argument before a judge to demonstrate how your claim is valid. As part of our services, we will:
- Be helping you understand what you can expect at every step.
- Interview any witnesses on your behalf, gather evidence, and work with experts to prove your injuries or illnesses.
- Mediate or negotiate with the insurance company to try to reach an amicable agreement.
- Represent your best interests to the judge who oversees your hearings.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have in Filing a Workers Comp Claim?
Employees have the following responsibilities:
- Follow the safety guidelines provided by the employer
- Report any injury to the employer as soon as possible and within 30 days
- See an approved doctor and follow their treatment or instructions to the letter
- Keep copies of relevant documents
- Advise the employer when the doctor recommends taking time away from work
- Regularly update the employer of the developments of the injury or condition
- Submit to the testing and assessments required by the insurance company
- Complete all the required forms in a timely manner.
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in the Workers Compensation Process?
The employer has a duty to:
- Investigate any accident immediately after it’s reported by the employee
- Inform the insurance company about the injury within 7 days of notification
- Regularly monitor the injured employee
- Complete all of the requested paperwork in a timely manner
- Support the employee when returning back to work
- Communicate any concerns about the return-to-work process
- Help the injured employee identify alternate suitable duties as needed.
Can an Employee Get Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Under Florida law, employers cannot fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This would be referred to as “retaliation”, and it’s prohibited under Florida Statutes Section 440.205. Keep in mind that nothing in the law requires employers to reserve an injured worker’s position while they are off work to recover from an injury sustained in the workplace. For more information, contact one of our Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers.
Is there a Time Limit to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Coral Gables, FL?
If you are injured in the workplace, you are allowed two years from the time of the accident to submit a petition to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Commission. In case you’ve already been receiving benefits from the workers’ compensation program and need to reapply, you should do it within a year of your last benefit payment.
Can I Sue My Employer?
In general, you’re not allowed to sue your employer following an accident at work. Once you start receiving workers’ comp insurance, you in effect waive your rights to sue your employer. However, there are some exceptions, such as when an injury is caused by a malicious employer. Talk to a Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyer today to learn more about this.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The law doesn’t allow independent contractors in the construction industry to file for workers’ comp claims. In the non-construction industry, however, there are certain criteria in the law that may identify a person as an independent contractor.
Talk to a Coral Gables Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
The Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers from the Work Injury Rights offices can help you pursue the compensation you deserve following a workplace injury or an illness suffered on the job. We always go the extra mile to represent the best interests of each of our clients. Let us review your case for free and help you understand your legal options. Call us today at 954-833-5226 to schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted and experienced Coral Gables workers’ compensation lawyers.