Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is obligated to pay you benefits if you suffer an on-the-job injury. Regrettably, your employer and the insurance company may deny that they owe you any money, leaving you with an injury that keeps you from working and earning wages to support yourself and your family.
Under Florida’s workers’ compensation insurance laws, at a minimum, injured employees are entitled to receive reimbursement for medical costs associated with the treatment of an on-the-job injury and the replacement of at least a portion of their regular wages. If you are not getting the benefits you deserve, you can get trusted and experienced help from a Boynton Beach personal injury lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo. We will fight for your rights and make sure you are fairly compensated.
In every case where you are hurt while you are working, a qualified and trusted lawyer can pursue the full amount of benefits that you deserve while protecting your rights and preventing your employer from firing or taking other adverse actions against you. A skilled Boynton Beach injury attorney could make a critical difference for you and your family.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Florida laws require employers with at least six employees or seasonal employers with 12 or more workers for 30 days or longer to carry workers’ compensation insurance. As noted, it covers an employee’s injury-related medical expenses and a portion of lost earnings.
An employee does not need to prove that their employer had any fault in causing the injury or illness, and it does not matter if the employee was at fault. Employees surrender their right to sue the employer in exchange for workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Ideally, injured employees can get benefits more quickly by limiting lawsuits among workers and employers.
However, in some cases, an employer or a workers’ compensation insurance company might argue that your injury or illness is not a work injury. For example, an employee suffers a heart attack or stroke due to job stress or unhealthy working conditions. If you have any questions, you should consult a Boynton Beach workers’ compensation lawyer with the knowledge and expertise to determine if your injury or illness qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.
When is an Employee Eligible for Workers’ Comp Insurance?
To be eligible for workers’ compensation insurance benefits, an injured or ill employee must be evaluated by a doctor chosen by their employer. The employee should record miles and travel expenses associated with the doctor’s appointment and submit those expenses on an approved form for reimbursement by the insurance carrier.
An employee must report an illness or injury at work within 30 days from the date an accident happened or an illness was discovered. The employer then has seven days to notify the insurance carrier. Employees who fail to report within this deadline may owe penalties ranging from $100 for filing one to seven days late to $500 for 28 days or longer.
Florida has also established its Division of Workers’ Compensation, which is part of the State’s Department of Financial Services and provides guidance to employees and employers. A workers’ compensation claim will inevitably receive more favorable consideration when the employee enlists the help of a skilled attorney who knows how to navigate the claims evaluation process.
What Should I Do if I Am Injured at Work in Boynton Beach?
You should do four things after you suffer a work injury or you fall ill due to conditions at your job:
- Get prompt medical treatment. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will require a separate medical examination. However, you should also see your personal physician to establish the date and time of your injury or illness.
- Keep accurate records. If you were injured, get the names of witnesses, and record as much information as possible about how and when the accident happened.
- Give your employer written notice of your injury or illness and keep a copy. Your employer will not be able to argue that they were not notified of your claim. Many workers’ compensation insurers provide forms that employees can use, and you can also ask your employer if they have them.
Finally, file your workers’ compensation claim, and retain the services of an attorney if you need assistance.
What Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
At a minimum, your workers’ compensation benefits will reimburse all of your medical costs and expenses, including bills from doctors and hospitals, travel expenses to get to and from appointments, medications, therapy, and costs of prosthetic or mobility-assistive devices.
Your benefits also include wage replacement for wages you are unable to earn while you recuperate. If your condition leaves you disabled, you can recover benefits as a function of whether your disability is partial or total and temporary or permanent. In Florida, your workers’ compensation benefits for a temporary disability will terminate after 104 weeks of payments.
Last, if an injury at work is the proximate cause of an employee’s death, the employee’s family may be entitled to recover certain death benefits. In all cases, you and your family should talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer for an assessment of the amount and duration of disability and other benefits that you may be entitled to receive under the facts of your case.
Workers Compensation Insurance Disputes
Injured employees who have disputes with workers’ compensation can attempt to resolve them independently. However, they will inevitably have to argue with an insurance company attorney or representative with substantial experience evaluating and denying claims. Workers who retain professional legal assistance from a lawyer will level the playing field.
Employees with limited experience with workers’ compensation claims will be at a distinct disadvantage and may not receive all the benefits allowed. For example, an injured worker who disputes the number of benefit payments or wants to receive a lump sum payment–rather than payments over time–will have to negotiate that settlement with the insurer.
Insurance companies have incentives to save money and will likely make a prompt low-ball offer far below the full amount the workers might otherwise recover. Workers who get help from a dedicated Boynton Beach personal injury lawyer will always have a better chance to protect their rights.
The Role of a Boynton Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation is complex. Injured employees unfamiliar with its processes and under the financial strain of recovering compensation can easily miss the nuances involved and potential problems that can develop.
Those workers should call Kogan and DiSalvo in Boynton Beach to obtain a free, no-obligation review of their workers’ compensation claim and any rejections of a claim. When you call us, an attorney from our firm will explain your rights as an injured worker and your employers’ responsibilities. If you hire us and we accept your case, we will represent you throughout the claims process, including in disputes with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
A lawyer from our firm will also prepare and support your claim to ensure that the insurance company properly assesses your temporary or permanent disability and all allowable benefits.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer from Kogan & DiSalvo as soon as possible. We make it our business to help you navigate the complex claim process to help you get back on your feet and get paid the compensation you deserve.