Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorneys with Experience and Know-How
If you have suffered an injury while working, help is available. You might be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Each state has specific laws regarding workers’ compensation and Florida is no different. The laws are precise and clear. All public employers in Florida must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Any farmers with at least five workers and at least a dozen seasonal workers must have the coverage. Any construction industry company with at least on employ must maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Workers’ compensation insurance protects the employer but also protects you, the worker, as well.
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must be injured or exposed to the substance that causes your illness while engaging in the “course or scope” of your employment. Your job duties can vary based on your role at your place of work. As an example, if you are a salesperson driving a company vehicle, you are covered by workers’ compensation while you are driving to a sales call. If you are a cook in a restaurant, you are protected by workers’ comp benefits while you are cooking up orders for patrons. If you are hurt on the job, workers’ compensation can mean a big difference in your life. It can help you get the medical care you need and part of your wages that you are unable to earn while you recover.
Workers’ compensation was created to help workers who suffer injuries on the job. It was designed to provide them with the access to quality medical care and give them the income they need to cover their basic living expenses as they recover from their injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help employers avoid lawsuits that could be costly and place financial restraints on their business operations. Every state sets laws regarding the requirements for workers’ compensation coverage in that particular state. Florida’s workers’ compensation laws are very precise, so they ensure you understand the benefits available to you and how to file a claim so you can receive those benefits. The legal team at Farah & Farah is experienced in helping injured workers receive the benefits they are entitled to after a work-related injury.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you have been hurt on the job, you probably wonder what benefits are available to you. When an injury on the job has left an employee unable to work and needing medical care, specific benefits must be provided to the injured worker through workers’ compensation insurance. There are three primary areas of compensation provided to an injured worker. Those three aspects of coverage include medical treatment, lost wages, and death benefits. To be eligible for benefits, you must show that the injury from the work accident was the major contributing cause of any injuries you suffered. The term “major contributing cause” means that it was more than half responsible for the injuries sustained in comparison to any other causes.
The employer’s insurance carrier is required to provide the medical benefits or take care of any needed medical treatment to help the injured worker recover from the injuries that were sustained in the work-related accident. Only medically necessary treatment that helps improve the worker’s condition or helps the worker recover is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Treatment that is medically necessary might include diagnostic testing, psychiatric counseling, chiropractic care, physical therapy, prescription drugs, hospital stays, physician visits, plastic surgery, medical supplies, travel expenses for going to medical appointments, a caregiver or attendant, and physical rehabilitation services.
You must choose a physician from the list that is provided by your employer. Workers’ compensation requires employers to provide a list of authorized medical providers. If your medical care is provided through an authorized managed care arrangement, the employee chooses the doctor from the list and gets care from that provider. For workers’ compensation claims, only the medical providers that are authorized by the employer or their insurance carrier and only medical records or testimony from those providers can be considered in determining whether an individual qualifies for workers’ comp benefits. The law requires that the medical benefits be available to the employee at no charge until maximum medical improvement (MMI) is determined. After the MMI has been attained, you are required to make a $10 copayment for all medical services.
In the event that a worker who has been hurt fails to show up for his or her scheduled independent examination, a no show fee of 50% is the responsibility of the worker. Another aspect of the workers’ compensation coverage is compensation for lost wages resulting from the inability to work because of the injuries that you have suffered. Under Florida workers’ compensation, you can receive four kinds of wage benefits. These four kinds include Impairment Benefits (IBs), Permanent Total Disability (PTD), Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), and Temporary Total Disability (TTD).
Any payments that are made to TTD are based on a percentage of the average wages for the worker. There is a maximum allowable weekly payout. TTD is available when the treating physician, who is authorized by the plan, gives the opinion that the injured worker is completely unable to do his or her job. The average weekly wage is calculated as the average weekly wage from the last 13 weeks before you were hurt in the accident. The payment is 66 2/3% of that average weekly salary. It is called TTD because most workers will return to some level of work after medical treatment and recovery. You can receive payments for TTD up to 104 weeks. These benefits are subject to Unemployment Insurance benefit and Social Security offsets.
If you receive PTD you will be subjected to a weekly maximum payment amount. These benefits are paid only when the injured worker is unable to return to work after being injured. If you are deemed eligible for PTD, you will continue to receive payments until you are 65 years of age. Paid at the same rate as TTD, you get 66 2/3% of your average weekly income. You receive these payments throughout the disability’s duration. TPD is paid before you reach MMI and your doctor says you can go back to work on light duty and your employer has available light duty work available for you that meet those specific restrictions. TPD is also based on your weekly work average wage. If you go back to light duty and are unable to earn at least 80% of your pre-injury average weekly wages, you will be paid 80% of the difference between what you are being paid in a light duty capacity compared to your regular wages.
IBs are paid only after the treating physician has given you a maximum medical improvement (MMI) rating. You will receive IBs as long as your physician gives you an impairment rating based on the work-related injury. IBs are paid at three-fourths your TTD rate with a specific schedule that is set for them to follow. As an example, an impairment of 17% will give you 68 weeks of IBs. It is paid t two weeks for each percentage point of impairment up to 10%, 3 weeks for each percentage point of an impairment rated 11% to 15% and 4 weeks of IBs for each percentage point of impairment of 16% to 20%. You will receive IBs for 6 weeks for every impairment rating that is 21% or higher.
Because of the complexity of workers’ compensation claims, an Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer can be very beneficial in ensuring you get the benefits that you are entitled to receive because of your work-related injury. If you have been hurt at work, call Farah & Farah today. Our workers comp lawyer knows how to proceed with each claim. We understand that every claim is different. We will take the time to listen to you and go over the evidence that is available. Based on that information, we can come up with a plan for helping you recover your benefits. Most importantly, we will make sure you get the medical care that you need so you can work on recovering from your injuries so you can get your life back to normal and hopefully, get back to work.
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Representation for Third-Party Personal Injury Claims
We often get many questions from workers who have been hurt while at work. Many seem surprised to learn they cannot file a lawsuit against their employer because of their injury. That is what workers’ compensation coverage is for. And the employer cannot sue the injured worker regardless of who was to blame for the accident that left the employee injured. Just because an injured worker files a claim for Orlando workers’ compensation benefits does not mean that he or she is prohibited from bringing a claim against a third-party. If the work-related injury was partial because of a negligent act that led to or contributed to the work-related injury, they can be held liable for damages via a personal injury claim. Farah & Farah have helped several injured workers file third-party personal injury claims because of work-related injuries. We can investigate your situation and determine if that is an option for you. As an example, you might be hurt on the job while using a defective saw. Your employer’s workers’ compensation should provide benefits, but the saw manufacturer is responsible for damages as well. You can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the saw. To do that, you will need an Orlando work injury attorney who is knowledgeable in these kinds of cases and winning these kinds of claims.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Orlando?
If you have been hurt while on the job, you might wonder how you should proceed with filing a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. Being hurt on the job can be stressful. You might not know the severity of your injury and you might be worried about the loss of your income while you are recovering. The first thing you need to do is report your injury right away so you can protect your right to file a claim for benefits. While your injury must be reported to your employer within 30 days of the accident or within 30 days of when the injury was discovered, the more promptly you report the injury the stronger the case you must show that your injury was the direct result of the on the job accident.
If you don’t report your injury in a timely fashion, you might be denied benefits. So, don’t risk losing your workers’ comp benefits. Report your injuries in a timely manner. To report your accident and injury, you can notify a manager or supervisor. However, if you are hospitalized or otherwise unable to give notification, a formal notice is often excused provided that your employer is aware of your condition and knows that you were hurt while on the job. The injured worker needs to provide the employer with some specific information. That information includes a vivid description of what happened, and when, how, and where it happened. You should provide names of all of the witnesses to the accident as well.
Make sure you get medical care right away so the severity and extent of the injury can be evaluated. You must start gathering medical evidence to support your claim. The medical provider will need to know that your injury or your illness is work-related. Evidence presented by the physician can be very important if you need to prove your injury is indeed the result of your job. After you have notified your employer, you need to send a report to the state workers’ compensation board. From that point, the workers’ comp insurer will start paying your medical bills as well as a percentage of your weekly income. To make sure your workers’ comp claim is filed with the state board in a timely fashion, you should personally file it with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation as soon as you can at all. In Florida, this claim must be filed within two years of the illness or injury or you will risk losing you right to claim benefits. Make sure you complete the form in detail and provide the required information to support your claim.
What to Do If Hurt at Work in Orlando, Florida
You don’t want to think about being injured on the job, but it does happen. You need to know what to do should you face that situation yourself. Here are a few tips for what to do if you have suffered a work-related injury.
- If the injuries are serious, call for an ambulance.
- Find out the approved list of physicians so you can go to a doctor that is covered by workers’ comp.
- Notify your manager or supervisor of the accident and make them aware of your injuries.
- Tell the manager about any witnesses to the accident so their comments can be included in the accident report.
- Seek medical care from one of the approved physicians.
- Keep copies of any medical records, so you have the evidence that shows you were hurt at work.
- Keep track of any mileage to and from medical appointments, the pharmacy, etc.
- Document any work missed because of the injury.
- Make sure you file a workers’ compensation claim.
- Consult with a workers’ compensation attorney from Farah & Farah.
Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer You Can Trust
If you have suffered an injury while working, there are several things that could go wrong. Your workers’ compensation claim might be denied. A third-party might be partially at fault for what happened. You might have a workers’ comp claim against your employer as well as a personal injury claim against the third-party. Regardless, it is a complicated and confusing mess. You need an experienced Orlando workers’ compensation legal counsel aggressively pursuing your claim. Especially if your work-related injury involved a third-party. Our legal practice goes a step above and beyond to ensure you get treated fairly and get the benefits and compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
Since 1979, Farah & Farah have proven themselves as an effective law firm in representing clients in Orlando workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. With highly knowledgeable workers comp attorneys, the firm has the skills, know-how, experience, tools, and resources that are needed for a successful claim. If you have been hurt while working, don’t put off getting the help you need. Instead, call the Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers at Farah & Farah. We offer a free 24/7 consultation by calling (855) 797-9899. We treat each client with care and compassion, ensuring they have aggressive legal representation that fights for them and fights to see they have access to the care they need and the financial resources they need to cover basic living expenses as they recover. Time is of the essence, so call Farah & Farah today!