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Worker’s Compensation Claims

If you are injured as a result of a work-related accident, your employer’s workers compensation coverage may entitle you to medical and partial wage replacement benefits. Workers’ compensation pays for all authorized medically necessary care and treatment related to your injury or illness. If you are unable to work or your earnings are lower because of a work-related injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation checks. Contact a Fort Lauderdale workers compensation lawyer today for help with your case. 

The Worker’s compensation system is complex, but there are a lot of benefits that you might be eligible for, of fault. If death is caused by a work-related injury, your survivors might be eligible for death benefits, funeral expenses, tuition for school, and other benefits.

Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

If you have been injured on the job, it is important to find out quickly if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are eligible, you will need to meet strict deadlines and satisfy other requirements (such as seeing an authorized doctor) to protect your legal rights. If you are not eligible, you will need to talk to a lawyer about the other options you may have available.

A Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation lawyer at The Gallagher Law Group can fully assess your legal rights and help you decide how to move forward. To determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation, we will examine factors such as:

  • Does your employer have workers’ compensation coverage? Under Florida law, most companies with four or more employees are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage. Construction companies with one or more employees are required to provide coverage, and all state and local government employers provide coverage. The federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers land-based employees in the maritime industry.
  • Were you injured on the job? Workers’ compensation specifically covers job-related injuries. If you got injured on your own personal time, you are not eligible for benefits—even if your injury prevents you from working. While commuting generally isn’t considered a job-related activity, there are some exceptions, and while you need to be working, you don’t need to be doing your job when you get injured. For example, if you slipped and fell on the way to the bathroom, you could still be eligible for benefits.
  • Do any exceptions apply? While workers’ compensation covers most job-related injuries, there are a few exceptions. For example, if you were drunk or engaging in horseplay, you may not be eligible for benefits. Additionally, while workers’ compensation covers employees, it does not cover workers who are properly classified as independent contractors.

When you contact us about your claim, a Miami workers’ compensation lawyer will meet with you one-on-one to discuss your situation. Your lawyer will carefully assess your eligibility, and if you are eligible for benefits, your lawyer will guide you through your next steps.

What Benefits Are You Entitled to Receive?

After determining your eligibility, one of the most important steps you need to take next is to figure out what benefits you are entitled to receive. While many employees simply trust their employers to pay what they owe, this can prove to be a costly mistake.

Rather than trusting your employer (or, more likely, its insurance company) to calculate your benefits correctly, you need to work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation lawyer who has your best interests in mind during the workers compensation process. When you schedule a free consultation at The Gallagher Law Group, your lawyer will determine how much you are entitled to receive in:

  • Medical Benefits – You are entitled to receive all of the medical treatment you need for your job-related injury, and you are entitled to have the costs of this treatment covered by workers’ compensation. This applies until either: (i) you fully recover from your injury; or, (ii) you reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI).
  • Temporary Disability Benefits – If you are unable to do your job for more than seven days, you may be entitled to temporary partial disability (TPD) or temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. TPD and TTD benefits are calculated as 66.6 percent of your regular wages in most cases. But, there are exceptions, and some employees will be entitled to temporary disability benefits calculated at 80 percent of their regular wages for up to six months.
  • Impairment Benefits – If your doctor determines that you have reached your maximum medical improvement (meaning that your condition is not likely to improve with continued treatment), then you may be entitled to impairment benefits (IB). These benefits are calculated based on an “impairment rating,” which is determined by the severity of your disability and your work restrictions.
  • Permanent Total Disability Benefits – If it is unlikely that you will ever be able to work again, then you will need to work with an experienced Miami workers’ compensation lawyer to seek permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. Calculating PTD benefits can be complicated, so it is important to hire an experienced lawyer to help you.

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for other benefits as well. For example, Florida has a Reemployment Benefits program for injured employees who need vocational counseling, retraining or new skills to reenter the workforce, and death benefits are available to spouses and other family members following fatal workplace accidents.

A Fort Lauderdale Workers Compensation Lawyer Explains How to File A Claim in Florida

When you get injured on the job, it is up to you to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits. There are several steps in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, and injured employees must navigate the process successfully to collect the benefits they deserve.

The workers’ compensation process starts with reporting your injury to your employer. You must report your injury within 30 days. After reporting your injury, you should seek medical treatment promptly (remember that you will need to see an authorized doctor), and then you should work with your Fort Lauderdale workers compensation lawyer to prove your eligibility and fight for the full benefits to which you are legally entitled under Florida law.

What if Your Employer Denies (or Has Already Denied) Your Claim for Benefits?

Employers (and their insurance companies) deny workers’ compensation claims for various reasons. While some of these reasons are legitimate, many are not. For example, if you got injured because your employer violated OSHA requirements, it may deny your claim in an effort to cover up its violation.

If your employer denies your claim, you should not give up. Even if the reason for your denial is legitimate, it may still be possible to correct the issue and collect benefits. If your employer (or its insurance company) wrongfully denies your claim for benefits, then you may be entitled to compensation above and beyond the medical and disability benefits available under Florida’s workers’ compensation law.

Can I File for Workers’ Compensation if I Injured Myself On the Job?

One of the key aspects of workers’ compensation is that it is a “no-fault” system. This means that the ability to prove the fault is not necessary for establishing eligibility for benefits. It also means that employees can file claims for benefits even if they accidentally injure themselves on the job.

In fact, many—if not most—workers’ compensation claims involve this scenario. For example, each Miami workers’ compensation lawyer at The Gallagher Law Group regularly handles claims involving:

  • Slips, trips, and falls on the job
  • Lifting, bending, and twisting injuries
  • Collisions with doors, shelves, and other stationary objects
  • Hand tool and power tool accidents
  • Heavy equipment and machinery accidents
  • Assembly line accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Warehouse accidents
  • Truck accidents and other motor vehicle collisions

These are just examples. Along with other types of traumatic accidents, workers’ compensation also covers injuries caused by repetitive stress. If you are experiencing wrist pain, back pain or any other type of pain that you believe may be attributable to doing your job on a day-to-day basis, you can—and should—speak with a Fort Lauderdale workers compensation lawyer about filing a claim for benefits. Our lawyers regularly handle these types of claims as well.

How Do You Prove that You Got Hurt at Work?

Since workers’ compensation only covers job-related injuries, employers (and their insurance companies) will often try to deny coverage by disputing employees’ claims that they got hurt at work. To prove that your injury entitles you to benefits, there are several types of evidence a Miami workers’ compensation lawyer can submit if necessary. For example, if you reported your injury immediately, your injury report should serve as strong evidence of where and when you got injured. Statements from co-workers, surveillance camera footage, medical records, and various other forms of evidence may be useful as well.

What if You Aren’t Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Let’s say you aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation. Maybe you are an independent contractor, or maybe you weren’t working when you got injured. If this is the case, what options do you have available?

The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. For example, depending on your work history, you may qualify for Social Security disability (SSD). Or, if someone else (or another company) is responsible for your injury, you could have a personal injury claim outside of workers’ comp. At The Gallagher Law Group, we can fully assess your legal rights, and we can help you fight to recover financial compensation from all available sources.

Talk to a Fort Lauderdale or Miami Workers Compensation Lawyer for Free

Were you injured on the job in Fort Lauderdale or Miami? If so, we strongly encourage you to contact us for more information. To speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer about your legal rights in confidence, please call 954-530-7314 or tell us what happened online today.

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