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Understanding Florida Workers’ Compensation Claims

Most employers in the state are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover and occupational injuries suffered by an employee. A claimant may receive compensation for lost wages and medical expenses associated with their injuries, regardless of fault.

The main differentiation between workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits is that these benefits cover medical expenses and lost wages, however, they do not cover pain and suffering. Additionally, state law governs workers’ comp, and therefore, can be extremely complex. An individual without experience in these claims may not be able to maximize the benefits available to them. As a result, it is important to contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo for help understanding Florida workers’ compensation claims.

What Kinds of Injuries Result in a Viable Claim?

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Trip and falls or physical injuries on the job are some of the most common types of situations that result in workers’ compensation claims. Additionally, exposure to toxic chemicals may also result in a viable claim.

Overall, any illness or injury is work-related if an event or exposure in the professional environment caused or contributed to it. While questions regarding work-related accidents can be straightforward when employees get hurt at the workplace, it can become more complex when a claimant was performing occupational duties away from the office or if they developed injuries or illness over time. Legal counsel could help a Florida employee understand the types of injuries and illnesses that may lead to a viable workers’ compensation claim.

Federal Workers’ Compensation

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Federal employees have a different program for workers’ comp benefits. The Federal Employee’s Compensation Act outlines their benefits and allows for recovery when a federal employee is either disabled or killed as a result of injury or disease sustained while on the job.  Benefits may include medical expenses and wage loss.

Vocational rehabilitation services may also be available to partially disabled employees. These benefits are managed through the Office of Workers’ Compensation program paid out of the Employees Compensation Fund.  On the other hand, the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act governs state benefits. The compensation is similar, but the governing agency is different.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

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Workers’ comp should reimburse injured employees for some of their losses including medical expenses and lost wages.  Depending on the nature and extent of the injury, an injured employee’s compensation may include benefits such as temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, permanent impairment. Additional benefits may include mileage, vocational rehabilitation, or death and funeral payments if a claimant dies as a result of their workplace injury.

Common Mistakes when Applying for Workers’ Comp

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Some common mistakes that individuals may make when seeking workers’ compensation include:

  • Failing to properly report their accident or illness because it must be completed in writing
  • Not visiting the doctor their employer chooses
  • Failing to follow the doctor’s instructions
  • Not getting a second opinion
  • Refusing work offered by the employer
  • Returning to work too quickly
  • Accepting a claim decision before returning to work
  • Accepting an incorrect disability rating

Additionally, it is a mistake not to file for benefits as it may impact an employee’s claim if they decide to make one at a later time. Claimants may make these mistakes when they are not informed about the laws and their rights. Therefore, it is important to retain legal representation to avoid these mistakes. The workers’ comp attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo understand these laws and can guide claimants not to make these mistakes.

Underreporting Work Injuries

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Someone may underreport their injuries due to embarrassment. However, underreporting does not provide doctors with a clear understanding of an individual’s injuries. Therefore, when making a claim later, it could become more difficult to describe the connection of these injuries to the case. An injured employee should be completely forthcoming with their doctors, and when they report their claim.

Contact Kogan & DiSalvo for Help Understanding Florida Workers’ Compensation Claims

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When initially meeting with legal representatives, they may ask for any incident report, photographs and all the details regarding your injuries and the incident itself. This could help them build a claim and properly evaluate your losses.

The lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo could help you apply for workers’ compensation benefits and throughout the claims process. For help understanding Florida workers’ compensation claims, contact us today.

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