So your workers’ comp claim was approved and you start getting replacement wages while recovering from your injuries. You think that all your troubles are over and you may relax and focus on getting better. Suddenly, your employer files a petition to reduce your workers comp benefits. You reach out to your Ft. Lauderdale workers comp lawyer in disbelief.

Can your employer do this legally? Or can you sue them to get your full benefits back? Here are the facts you need to know.

Employers and Insurer Never Stop Monitoring You during Workers Comp

The first thing you must remember is that your employer and their insurance company will keep their eyes on you while you are out on workers comp. They will look for anything that can justify filing a petition to reduce or even terminate your workers comp benefits.

Plus, since you are seeing a workers comp doctor, not your own physician, your progress report will be reported to your employer.

These two aspects combined may offer your employer an opportunity to decrease your benefits. These are the most common situations a lawyer encounters:

You Ignored Safety Protocols When You Were Injured

Even though your claim is approved, your employer will continue investigating your workplace accident. They may stumble upon the fact that you did not wear a hard hat, the safety harness or any personal protection equipment issued to you. Or your actions represented a breach of safety rules one way or another.

According to Florida workers compensation laws, in this situation your employer has the right to reduce your wage replacements by 25%. Considering that you are only getting two thirds of your regular wages, this is a stiff penalty – and perfectly justifiable if you cannot prove that you actually followed the safety protocol.

You Are Recorded Performing Actions Incompatible with Your Injuries

Many insurance companies hire private investigators or have specially trained staff to follow injured workers out on workers comp. They want to capture any instance proving that the worker is exaggerating their injuries.

For example, if you are receiving workers comp benefits for a back injury, you should not be carrying heavy grocery bags or lifting your children in your arms. If a PI takes a photo or video of you doing these or similar activities, your benefits could be reduced or terminated.

It is important to contact a Fort Lauderdale workers comp lawyer as soon as you believe that you are followed by a PI to understand your rights.

various factors may reduce the amount you get in workers comp

You Are Given a Light-Duty Position until You Recover from Your Injuries

In some instances, the workers comp doctor may determine that you can perform a light-duty job while you recover. In this case, your employer will no longer pay wage replacement representing 2/3 of your regular wages.

Instead, you will receive 2/3 of the difference between your regular wage and the light-duty wage. Also, you must remember that if you refuse the light-duty position, your employer will likely fire you.

You Take a Second Job While Out on Workers Comp

Some workers try to supplement their reduced wages during workers comp by taking a second job. This is a very tricky situation and you should not do this without consulting with your attorney.

After you report the new job to your employer, they will reduce workers comp to the difference between your full wage and the wage paid by the second job. They may even terminate you.

Not reporting the new job is a bad idea. Your employer will find out about it. In this case, they may sue you for workers comp fraud and demand the repayment of the wage replacements you received.

Consult with an experienced Ft. Lauderdale Workers Comp Lawyer

If you notice that your employer reduced your workers comp benefits, or filed a petition for their decrease, do not wait any moment. Get in touch with a Ft. Lauderdale workers comp lawyer and be honest about the circumstances of your accident and your actions afterward.

A skilled attorney may be able to block the petition and ensure that you receive the full amount of wage replacement as determined when your claim was approved.

Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation with Miami Lawyers 360 at 786-686-2857!

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