You work hard at your job and when you get hurt, you deserve full workers comp benefits to cover your expenses until you get back on your feet. Unfortunately, sometimes legitimate workers comp claims are lowballed or denied, leaving you strapped for cash when needing it most for medical bills and other living costs. Even if your claim does come through, the payout may not be enough to cover the full cost of your injuries and losses. A Palm Bay workers comp attorney can make a big difference when it comes to getting the full compensation you deserve.
Contact Kogan & DiSalvo now to learn your rights as an injured worker and book your free consultation.
If you are injured or develop a dangerous condition while on the job, workers’ compensation can provide you with financial assistance while you recover and your ability to work is limited or altogether prevented. This type of insurance is mandatory for all employers in Florida that have at least four employees, and operates under a “no fault” system, which means that possible negligence or fault on the part of the employee is never considered during the claims process.
If you are injured at work, here are the primary types of workers’ compensation benefits that you may be eligible to receive here in Florida:
- Permanent partial disability benefits apply if you incur a permanent injury, but are just partially impaired and remain capable of performing some work.
- Permanent total disability benefits apply if you suffer a severe injury that renders you incapable of returning to work. Here, you can collect two-thirds of your weekly wages as long as you are unable to perform any work. This may continue until you reach age 75.
- Death benefits may cover some damages that your spouse and other dependents may incur.
- Supplemental benefits are paid by your employer and may provide assistance in the event that your injuries are severe.
- Social Security disability benefits apply if you have a permanent disability that is expected to last for at least a year, and precludes you from returning to your former job or finding another job.
- Medical benefits will never expire as long as the medical care you need stems from your on-the-job injury. However, in order for workers’ comp to continue covering the costs, you will need to receive “authorized” care at least once a year.
If your claim for workers’ compensation has been denied, you have the right to appeal. Many valid claims are denied initially, so don’t lose hope if you face this common setback. The right workers’ comp attorney can strengthen your claim by providing additional evidence from your medical records, testimony by experts, and more.
Having an attorney representing you shows the insurance company and other involved parties that you are fully committed to your claim and will not be satisfied unless you receive the full sum you are entitled to receive.
When insurers see that you are represented by an experienced law firm, they are typically more likely to offer a fair settlement earlier in the process, shortening your timeline for receiving benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits may cover:
- All costs related to medical or dental care, including assistive devices and prescription medications.
- Financial compensation for your permanent disability.
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
- Costs associated with rehabilitation and retraining.
- Recovery of a dependent for a worker’s fatality.
When you file a claim for workers’ compensation, you waive the right to sue your employer for your injuries. However, you may still be able to pursue legal action against a negligent third party, such as the manufacturer of defective products – for example, a machine that malfunctioned and injured you as a result. In that personal injury lawsuit, you will be eligible to pursue financial compensation from that third party for the damages that you have incurred.
Workplace injuries can significantly limit – or even altogether prevent – your ability to return to the workforce. The list of injuries covered by workers’ compensation is virtually endless, but here are some of the common injuries our attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo have handled over the years:
- Brain injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of vision and injuries to the eye
- Loss of hearing and injuries to the ear
- Injuries due to exposure to harmful chemicals
- Catastrophic injuries such as paralysis
- Burns and electric shock injuries
- Bone breaks and fractures
- Ligament damage
- Joint injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Injuries caused by repetitive stress and trauma
- Diseases due to environmental atmosphere or factors at work
Almost any worksite incident can potentially cause an injury. Here is a non-exhaustive list of common workplace incidents that may give rise to a workers’ compensation claim:
- Slip or trip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace violence
- Work-related motor vehicle crashes
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Being crushed by heavy falling objects
- Malfunctions of heavy equipment or machines
There are several steps that you can take in the immediate aftermath of your injury to help maximize the workers’ compensation benefits that you receive:
- Notify your employer in writing, and if possible, in person as well. If you have suffered non-emergency injuries, then make sure to notify your employer right away, and ask where you should be treated. If you cannot reach your employer, then contact the insurance company that will be handling your claim to find out which medical professional(s) are approved under the plan. On the other hand, if it is an emergency, then you should seek treatment at the facility closest to you and inform your employer as soon as you are able. Florida law gives injured workers 30 days to notify their employer. Make sure your employer knows exactly what happened, the injuries you have suffered, and any resulting limitations stemming from those injuries.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Provide the doctor with all of the information he or she requests, including the details of the accident, what caused it, and the nature of your injuries.
- Take pictures of your injuries, the accident scene, any damaged or displaced property, and the area surrounding the accident.
- Gather the contact information of every person who witnessed all – or even part – of your accident.
- Consult with an experienced Palm Bay personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
How Kogan & DiSalvo Can Help Injured Workers in Palm Bay
At Kogan & DiSalvo, our Palm Bay workers compensation lawyers know that this is not just a case – it is your life. We fully understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll your injuries may take, and we pride ourselves on doing everything possible to get justice on behalf of our valued clients.
We will explain the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and provide an estimate for what you may be able to expect in terms of benefits. We will also ensure that all legal deadlines are met, and we will handle all communications with the insurance company so you can focus on what matters most: healing your injuries and rebuilding your life.
If you have been injured on the job here in Palm Bay, call Kogan & DiSalvo today to schedule a 100 percent free case review.