Workers’ compensation disputes in Tampa are inevitable. The insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. That’s why it is highly recommended you enlist the assistance of a highly experienced Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer for your case. Your first call should be to the attorneys at Work Injury Rights.
Employers in Tampa, Florida are legally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees that suffer workplace or work-related injuries or illnesses. Workers’ compensation is meant to protect workers from financial ruin following a workplace or work-related injury or illness. However, it can be a complicated nightmare for employees if their claims are denied.
If your employer and/or their insurance company has denied your claim, you should consider reaching out to the competent workers’ compensation lawyers in Tampa, Florida at Work Injury Rights to ensure that your right to compensation is safeguarded. Contact us today via phone at 954-833-5226 or online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.
What Are Some Causes of Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Tampa?
Workers’ compensation disputes in Tampa, Florida arise due to a variety of reasons, which include:
If an employer classifies you as an independent contractor, you might not be eligible for workers’ compensation. If that’s the case, you should get in touch with the experienced lawyers at Work Injury Rights for advice on the legal options available to you.
Outside Scope of Employment
To qualify for workers’ compensation, your illness or injury must have occurred while carrying out work duties at your place of work or off-site while working on an assignment from your employer. Injuries that occur after or before normal work hours may not be covered.
Lack of Causation
Your employer may claim that you haven’t provided sufficient proof to show that you sustained the injury from your workplace. Your employer’s insurance company may demand independent medical examinations, and you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer before agreeing to some of the terms.
The law in Florida requires you to report work-related accidents within a short time. You are required to report a work-related accident without delay to your supervisor. Missing the deadline means that you might be ineligible to file a claim.
If you fail to provide sufficient information regarding your injury, the insurance company is likely to deny your claim. Fortunately, if you work with the competent Tampa, Florida workers’ compensation attorneys at Work Injury Rights, failure to provide sufficient information won’t be a problem since we will attach all relevant supporting documentation proving that your injury or illness is work-related.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied in Florida, you have two options:
Request a Hearing
The first step you should consider taking after your workers’ compensation claim is denied is to file an appeal with Florida’s Employer Assistance and Ombudsman Office. Keep in mind, however, that there’s a time limit within which you are required to file your claim, which is 2 years from the date of the accident.
If you are appealing for medical treatment, you only have 1 year from the last benefit payment or from the last day that you received treatment to file the appeal. The Employer Assistance and Ombudsman Office can provide the necessary assistance with your appeal.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Hiring a competent Tampa, Florida workers’ compensation lawyer is another thing you can do after your workers’ compensation claim is denied. The appeals process should not be taken lightly. It is highly complex and intricate with multiple rules and laws.
Working with a lawyer from Work Injury Rights in Tampa, Florida will not only shorten the process but will also make it much less stressful. Furthermore, working with a lawyer increases your chances of success in obtaining the full benefits you are entitled to.
What Are the Different Types of Tampa Workers’ Compensation Disputes?
Workers’ compensation disputes in Tampa, Florida are of two main types:
Medical disputes involve questions of medical fact and opinion as relating to the treatment of an injured employee. While the involvement of lawyers can be helpful in resolving medical disputes, the outcome almost always depends on the willingness of the doctor to fight for an injured worker’s treatment. Examples of medical disputes include:
- Denied therapy
- Denied surgery
- Denied medical supplies or products
- Denied services such as home health care, etc.
Claim disputes are the issues in which a lawyer can be most helpful. Examples of claim disputes include:
- Compensability: It refers to whether or not your illness or injury meets the requirements to be eligible for coverage by workers’ compensation insurance.
- Average Weekly Wage Disputes: Disagreements about the amount of money that you are entitled to receive while on workers’ compensation.
- Disability: Whether or not you have suffered a loss of income due to a work-related illness or injury. Disability disputes may also include questions about when the disability started or ended.
- Extent of Injury Disputes: Whether or not the workplace or work-related injury includes other parts of the body or health systems.
What Is the Workers’ Compensation Disputes and Appeals Process?
The following steps outline what the appeals process for workers’ compensation in Florida involves:
Contacting the Florida Employee Assistance Office (EAO). The EAO will work with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider to find a way to resolve the denial and secure some benefits for you.
Filing a “Petition for Benefits” if the EAO’s efforts prove unsuccessful. The petition is filed with the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC), which will then schedule a meeting between you and the representatives of the insurance company.
Mediation then follows after the meeting has been scheduled. In mediation, you and your lawyer along with the insurance company and their lawyers will meet with a neutral party and if both sides are willing to come to an agreement, the case will be settled.
A workers’ compensation hearing with the OJCC comes next after mediation is unsuccessful. You will have a hearing before a judge without a jury within 90 days of the mediation meeting. The judge hears both sides and decides.
The final appeal takes place in the First District Court of Appeal if both sides don’t agree with the decision reached by the judge during the workers’ compensation hearing.
If You’re Dealing with Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Tampa, Call Our Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered a workplace or work-related injury or illness and your employer and/or their insurance company has denied your claim, you should contact a competent lawyer that specializes in workers’ compensation disputes in Tampa, Florida.
The lawyers at Work Injury Rights can help with disputed workers’ compensation claims in Tampa, Florida. Please get in touch with us online or call our office directly at 954-833-5226 to schedule your free consultation.