Workplace injuries can impact every facet of your life. Tragically, despite implementing various state and federal workers’ safety rules, workplace accidents still happen, making it difficult, if not impossible, for sufferers to deal with all the issues job-related injuries bring with them. Navigating the workers’ compensation process is complicated and this is when an Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer is most needed.
No one wants to think about getting hurt in the workplace, or anywhere else for that matter. The chances are you’ve never considered what you would do if you were suddenly hurt on the job and unable to work. Still, according to a recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 300 workers in Florida lost their lives due to work-related injuries.
Getting hurt in the workplace or falling sick on the job can mean you’re unable to work for weeks, months, or even mark the end of your career. And when you lose the income, you and your loved ones depend on, paying medical bills and other household expenses can be difficult or even impossible. Once the financial burden takes hold, the emotional burden is soon to follow.
At Work Injury Rights, our Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers understand how uncertain your life can feel when you’re hurt and can’t work. That’s why we use our experience and legal expertise to get you the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Just fill out our free initial consultation form or call 954-833-5226 to book a free case evaluation, and let us put our dedication and years of legal experience to work for you.
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What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is commercial insurance coverage or product to protect employers and employees by covering the cost of medical treatment when an employee is hurt on the job or develops an occupational illness. Workers’ comp also provides partial lost wages during the injured workers’ recovery.
The Florida workers’ compensation law requires that every employer with more than four employees carry workers’ comp insurance. All construction companies and businesses must have coverage for all workers. For help understanding workers’ compensation, contact an experienced and trusted Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer.
What Should I Do if I’m Hurt on the Job?
If you sustain a job-related injury, there are crucial steps to take to ensure your safety and protect your right to benefits under Florida’s workers’ compensation system. Our Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers suggest the following after sustaining an injury on the job:
Tell Your Employer You are Hurt
Even if you think your injury will heal on its own or your pain is minor, it is imperative you report your workplace accident to your supervisor, manager, other employer representatives, or your employer. You have 30 days from the date of the injury or the doctor’s diagnosis that you sustained a job-related injury to report your injury. Still, it’s always best to notify your employer as soon as possible.
Get to a Doctor as Soon as You Can
For non-emergency care and treatment, you should request that medical care be authorized by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier.
In an emergency, or if your request for medical treatment is ignored or refused by your employer, you have the right to seek medical care from any hospital or health care provider, and your employer and their insurance carrier will be responsible for covering the medical costs related to your work accident.
Start and Keep a Journal of Your Injury and Symptoms
You can be your best advocate after sustaining a workplace accident. If possible, keep a daily log of your symptoms and how the injury affects your life physically and emotionally. Your journal can also include the date of the accident, the cause, and the names of eyewitnesses.
Take Photographs of Your Injury, if Visible
Photos are an excellent way to preserve evidence and can go a long way in supporting your claim. Take pictures of your injuries before and after treatment.
File a Workers’ Comp Claim with the Assistance of an Orlando Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
One of the most common mistakes workers and their loved ones make when seeking workers’ comp entitlements is filing the claim without a lawyer. Filing a workers’ comp claim can be complex and overwhelming, especially when dealing with the aftermath of a severe injury. Our Orlando worker’s compensation lawyers can help your get the best medical care while handling all the legal aspects of your case.
Rest and Recuperate
Remember, it is vital that you follow your treating physician’s instructions and treatment recommendations, including any activity restrictions. Engaging in activities that would aggravate your illness or injury or failure to obtain the recommended treatment could result in the denial of your claim. So, rest and recuperate and let our experienced and dedicated Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers pursue the benefits you need.
What Are The Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
On-the-job accidents and injuries can take many forms. While each case is different, here are the 10 most common workplace accident injuries that workers have while on the job in Florida:
- Slip and Fall accidents
- Back & Neck Injuries
- Hearing Loss
- Transportation accidents such as crashes and collisions while traveling for business
- Inhaling toxic fumes
- Construction accidents
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools
Workers’ compensation covers any injury/illness that occurs during job-related tasks. Regardless of the type of workplace accident that caused your injury, or the type of injury you suffered, if it happened on the job or while doing work-related tasks, our Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers can help your recover the benefits you deserve.
Why Should I Hire an Orlando Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Workers’ compensation cases can get complicated. Sometimes the lines that determine if you will recover the compensation you deserve are not clearly defined. If you fail to follow set guidelines, such as the strict time limits for reporting your injury or filing your claim, you could lose your right to the benefits that you and your family really need.
The easiest way to understand your rights and adhere to set guidelines is to work with a workers’ compensation attorney. A skilled Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer can prepare your claim and make sure to cover all bases, including filing your claim within the state’s statutes of limitations, documenting your injuries, and fighting for maximum benefits.
The Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers at Work Injury Rights have represented workers and their loved ones for years. Our legal team has a thorough understanding of Florida workers’ comp law, and we utilize our extensive experience in workers’ compensation cases to best assist our clients.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Orlando Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Under Florida law, workers’ compensation lawyers charge their clients on a contingency fee basis – your Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer will receive payment from the settlement money your recover and not from your pocket.
Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides workers’ comp attorney fee caps, i.e., the maximum fee your Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer can charge. These include:
- 20% of the first $5,000
- 15% of the next $5,000
- 10% of the remaining settlement. The money must be provided within ten years of the date of filing your workers’ comp claim
- 5% of the amount of the settlement secured after ten years
As reputable Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers, we abide by the provisions mandated by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Our Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers and legal team are also equipped with the skills, experience, and dedication needed to win you favorable workers’ compensation benefits. Call us at 954-833-5226 to discuss your work-related accident.
What Should I Do If My Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Too often, employees with legitimate claims are denied the benefits they deserve. Some of the reasons they give for denying claims include:
- Accusing the employee of lying about the injury
- Blaming the occupational illness or injury on the employee’s preexisting condition
- Claiming that the accident did not occur on the job
If your employer/their workers’ comp insurance carrier denies your claim, you do not have to give up your right to the benefits you are owed. You have the option of lodging a disputed claim for compensation with the Department of Administration Hearing Office of the Judge of Compensation Claims Division of Workers’ Compensation. There are time limits, though.
If your workers’ comp claim has been denied, our Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers can prepare and lodge a petition for benefits on your behalf, represent you at the mandatory mediation and any hearing before a Judge of Compensation Claims.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have When Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Injured workers have the following obligations:
- Contact your manager, supervisor, or employer to notify them of your on-the-job injury or illness within 30 days.
- Provide your employer with a copy of the Status Reporting form or Medical Treatment form (DWC25) after each appointment with your treating physician.
- Keep your appointments and follow the doctor’s instructions, including recommended treatments.
- Attempt to return to work when released by your doctor when your employer offers a job that is within your physical limitations.
- Review, sign, and send back the mandatory fraud statement to your employers’ workers’ comp insurance carrier.
- Report all your income from all sources if you had more than one employer within the 13 weeks preceding your date of the accident.
- Notify your employer/their insurance company and your treating physician of any telephone number or address changes.
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in the Workers’ Compensation Process?
Employer obligations in Florida’s workers’ comp claim process include:
- As soon as employers are aware of a job-related injury, they must immediately contact their workers’ comp insurance company or within seven days of the injury.
- Provide medical care
- Allow injured workers to return to work
Can I Be Fired for Claiming a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Legally, no. Employers in Florida cannot fire you in retaliation for claiming workers’ comp benefits after a job-related accident. It’s your legal right to seek these benefits. If you feel you have been unjustly fired after filing a workers’ comp claim, call our Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers to help you.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Orlando, Florida?
Yes, there are strict time limits for workers’ compensation claims in Florida including:
- You have two years from the date of the injury to file a petition of benefits (a workers’ compensation claim) or,
- After the initial two years, you must file your claim within one year of the last provision of authorized medical care/treatment or one year of the last payment of benefits.
Your Florida workers’ compensation claim could be forever barred unless filed within the above time limits. An Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to file these claims on time.
Can I Sue My Employer?
No. Workers’ compensation insurance coverage makes employers immune from personal injury lawsuits by employees; however, if you think that a third-party shared responsibility for your job-related accident, you can file a lawsuit against them.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Orlando?
Independent contractors in Florida who do not work in construction or a construction-related industry are not covered under workers’ comp and can not recover benefits.
However, Rule 69L-6.021 of the Florida Administrative Code requires that any company in the construction industry or that works in a construction-related field cannot have independent contractors; workers are either business owners or employees.
What is My Orlando Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
An Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer can help you claim workers’ comp benefits that will pay for:
- Your medical bills, including prescription medication
- Any rehabilitation costs
- A percentage of your lost wages
- Any necessary travel/mileage expenses related to the treatment of your injury
- Your income loss replacement benefit
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Call Our Trusted Orlando Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for a Free Consultation Today
Dealing with the aftermath of a severe work-related injury is difficult enough. You shouldn’t have to worry about the piling of medical bills, strict deadlines, and insurance adjusters. An experienced Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer from Work Injury Rights can help. Please contact us online or call us directly at 954-833-5226 for a free case evaluation of your case.