When our Tampa workers comp lawyers first meet with a potential client, they need to quickly assess the situation presented by the client. This involves determining the nature and extent of the worker’s injuries. They also need to find out what caused their injury. If your injury is serious enough, it may qualify as catastrophic injury. If this is the case, you’ll be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, if your workers compensation attorney in Tampa can prove that you are permanently disabled, you may be entitled to additional benefits. It all comes down to the facts of your case and what your lawyer can prove.
Here, we’ll discuss what exactly a catastrophic injury is. We will also explain what the main causes of this type of injury are. If you still have questions after reading this article, we suggest you contact our office directly. You can schedule your free initial consultation by phone or through our website.
Most Workers Compensation Claims Do Not Involve a Catastrophic Injury
For the most part, our clients who collect workers’ comp benefits suffered ordinary and short-term injuries. For example, a worker may have slipped and fell at work, resulting in a wrist or ankle injury. Or they may get hurt by a piece of equipment at work. Normally, the nature and extent of their injuries aren’t all that serious. They end up missing a few weeks or even a few months from work. After that, they’re able to return to work full-time in the same position they held prior to suffering a workplace accident.
Other times, a worker may suffer what is referred to as a catastrophic injury. This is an injury that is devastating to the worker’s life and ability to work. These injuries also tend to be permanent. When a client comes to us after suffering a catastrophic injury, they are usually looking for permanent workers compensation benefits. Our goal is to get them the benefits they deserve, including special benefits to accommodate their new disability.
What Are Some of the More Common Catastrophic Injuries?
Florida, like most other states, look at certain types of injuries as being catastrophic. Some catastrophic injuries are a lot more common than others. In our Tampa workers comp lawyers’ experience, the following catastrophic injuries occur a lot more often than the others:
- Brain injuries, including a traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of a limb or a digit (toes and fingers)
- Severe burns suffered in a fire or chemical explosion
- Massive scarring or disfigurement
- Any other injury that is permanent and causes a serious disruption to your life and ability to work
Of course, there may be other injuries that have been categorized as catastrophic. However, for our purposes, the above list should suffice. If you suffer any of these injuries, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to special benefits under workers compensation in Florida.
What Are the Most Likely Causes of These Catastrophic Injuries?
You could suffer a catastrophic injury in any number of ways. It all depends on what kind of work you do and what types of equipment you need to use at work. We have found that the following are the major causes of the catastrophic injuries discussed here:
- Your employer may not provide you with safe working conditions. For example, they may not have the equipment their employees use calibrated and maintained on a regular basis.
- Your company may not provide you with competent and effective supervisors. It is management’s responsibility to ensure that their employees are safe and healthy. If they allow an unsafe condition to persist, there’s a good chance one of their workers can get seriously injured.
- Your injury may be caused by poor training or a total lack of training. If you and your coworkers are required to use complicated equipment, they should be properly trained on how to use the equipment in a safe manner.
- You may have just not followed proper procedures. For example, if you work with biohazards or other unsafe materials, you are probably required to use certain safety equipment. If you fail to do this, you could suffer a catastrophic injury. The good news is that, in Florida, it doesn’t matter who is at fault for the workplace accident. If you get hurt on the job and otherwise meet the criteria for workers compensation, your Tampa workers comp lawyer should be able to secure you the benefits associated with a catastrophic injury.
Your Workers Compensation Attorney in Tampa Will Try to Negotiate a Lump Sum Settlement
If your Tampa workers comp lawyer can prove that you have suffered a catastrophic injury, they will try to settle the matter. Nobody wants to collect workers’ compensation benefits for the rest of their life. Plus, at any point after your injury, the insurance company may try to terminate your benefits. For example, if they can prove that your injury may have been partially caused by a pre-existing condition, it could jeopardize your claim. The same is true if the insurance company can prove that your injuries aren’t as bad as you said they were. Rather than feel like there’s someone looking over your shoulder for years, your workers compensation attorney in Tampa will try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
We always suggest that you contact our office immediately if you suffer a workplace injury. It’s bad enough that you suffer any sort of injury while on the job. However, suffering a catastrophic injury is both devastating and life changing. Let one of our worker’s compensation attorneys in Tampa help you get the compensation you deserve. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the chance to sit down with an experienced Tampa workers comp lawyer. They can answer any questions you may have. They can also look to see if your injuries qualify as catastrophic. Either way, they will take care of the legal side of things while you focus on getting better. Since your initial meeting is free, you have nothing to lose.