Employees have the right to compensation for workplace injuries. Some work-related injuries can be severe and affect not only your job performance but also your life. You could be left struggling with both health and financial problems.
Our Miami Springs workers’ compensation lawyers at Miami Lawyers 360 can guide you through the process of filing a claim and can also help if your claim was denied. Contact our personal injury attorneys at (786) 686-2857 for a free consultation today.
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What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system whereby medical costs due to injuries or illnesses which take place at/on, or due to the workplace are covered. This workplace policy protects employers from being sued, after the fact, if injuries do take place. It also puts extra protections in place for employees. This policy entitles employees to:
This would include hospital stays, paid for by the insurance company of your employer. In Florida, medical care/treatment is provided as long as the person is injured. This included emergency service visits, hospital appointments, and prescriptions. Your doctor may advise you to take some time off work.
Temporary Total Disability Benefit
If you must take time off work to recover, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits. In Florida, the temporary total disability benefit will amount to 2/3rds of your weekly wage. If you experience a severe injury that results in amputation, blindness, or paralysis the rate can be much higher.
You will need to take at least 21 days off to be eligible. For injuries in 2020, the cap was $971 a week.
You will receive the disability benefit until a doctor says you are well enough to go back to work. The doctor says your condition will not improve, and/or you reach the maximum threshold for this benefit. If you are permanently disabled, look into the Permanent Impaired Benefits.
Your injury may require you to access physical therapy in order to recover. You can access this through your employer’s insurance, and/or you 401(k). Florida has a Physical Therapy Association dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for all residents of Florida, one of their aims is pushing rehabilitation to its greatest capacity. They may be best suited to advise you on which therapist in Florida to access.
As stated in point 1, prescriptions will be provided for the whole duration the employee is injured. Under Florida statute 440.13 your employer cannot infringe upon your right to choose a pharmacy. Though, you may be limited to accessing the pharmacies which participate in the workers’ compensation program.
Necessary Travel Expenses
Check your workers’ compensation program to see how your travel expenses are reimbursed. Usually, mileage is reimbursed for travel to and from medical treatment, pharmacy, and other health-related journeys e.g. therapy. Some states reimburse if the total distance is above a certain threshold e.g. 20miles. Many states have adopted the 1RS mileage as the standard, whereas others have adopted their own. It is always worthwhile double-checking.
You may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation. Each state’s laws about workers’ compensation are different.
If, you can no longer continue on in your old job due to an ongoing mental or physical disability. Contact the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
What Should I Do if I’m Hurt on the Job?
Follow these steps if you have been hurt on the job.
Tell Your Employer You are Hurt
Many workplace injuries go unreported. The first thing you should do is let your employer, and employees know that you are hurt. This way, if the injury is directed linked to the workplace. They can log and fix the issue. They have to ensure a safe environment. But also, as an employee, if you delay telling your superiors it may cast doubt upon your story. Make a log as an incident report.
Visit a Doctor
If the injury requires medical attention, then get to a doctor. Even if you think you are okay, you may not judge your condition adequately so seek medical attention. Your medical report will be used to support your future claim, and this will support your incident report.
Start and Keep a Written Record of Your Injury and Symptoms
Start and keep a written record of your injuries and symptoms. You may want to begin with the accident and how it happened. Try and make sure you have the contact details of those who were present at the time.
Take Photographs of Your injury, if Visible
Not all injuries are visible, which is why it is vital to go to the hospital to get scans and x-rays done to see if there is any internal damage. If there is only external damage. Make sure to keep this documented with photographs.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you want to gain compensation for your injury, it is at this point you would file a worker’s compensation claim with the assistance of a worker’s compensation attorney. This attorney/lawyer will have the specialist skills necessary to navigate this complex area of law.
Rest and Recuperate
The most important step you now rest so you can be well again.
10 Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries
Sadly, no one knows when they will be injured at work, following are the most common injuries:
- Back/Neck Injuries – These injuries may cause stiffness, pain while moving, or a numbing to the affected area. Medical attention is advised as a brace/surgery may be necessary. Whiplash is one type of neck injury. Serious back injuries can cause paralysis.
- Burns – Burns and scalds are injuries caused by heat. Burns are caused by dry hot objects like a stove or iron, whereas scalds come from steam or hot liquid.
- Fractures – A fracture is usually a break in the bone. When the bone is broken then punctures the flesh, this is known as a compound fracture.
- Amputations – Machinery can cause amputations, or a body part may need to be surgically removed if there is serious damage to blood vessels or nerves.
- Hearing Loss – This involves difficulty hearing others speaking or making out what they are saying. In worse scenarios, the person goes completely deaf.
- Joint Pain – This involves soreness, aches, and discomfort in the body’s joints.
- Slip and Fall – Workers may slip and fall because their path was blocked or the surface was wet.
- Construction accidents – Accidents that take place on construction sites include electrocution, falling from heights, and crushed to death.
- Accidents while traveling for business – Business trips blur the line between work and professional life but generally speaking, the employer is held liable. It is vicarious liability.
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools – Falls from heights, unsafe ladders, and or equipment.
Why Should I Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer?
The most important reason for hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney/lawyer is that they know what they are doing. With this being their specialism, they have knowledge of the entire process which will be valuable to you. A commercial lawyer would not be as valuable in this sense.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Workers Compensation Attorney?
When you work with Miami Lawyers 360, you do not have to worry about the cost of legal services. That is because we offer free consultation and don’t charge upfront fees. We receive a contingency fee after winning your case.
What Should I Do if My Workers Compensation Claim is Denied?
If your Workers Compensation claim is denied the first step should be to meet with your employer to see if anything was wrong with the compensation claim. This will also be an opportunity to avoid having to go to court.
If the reason for the denial isn’t an error, you can contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for help filing an appeal.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have in Filing a Workers Compensation Claim?
An employee is responsible for reporting the incident before leaving the scene. Employees also have a responsibility to accept medical treatment and support the claim with additional information and photographs.
Can I be Fired for Claiming a Workers Compensation Claim?
No, you cannot be fired for claiming a Workers Compensation Claim.
Is there a Time Limit to File a Workers Compensation Claim in Florida?
Can I Sue my Employer?
Usually, you cannot sue your employer although this depends on what state you’re in. In Florida, this is only reserved for the most severe cases.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers Compensation Claim?
According to Florida Statute section 440.02(15)(c)3 independent contractors cannot file a workers compensation claim.
What Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
The overall claim can vary but it will be compiled of numerous things. Lost wages, medical bills, out of pocket costs, future bills, house amendments, etc:
- Medical Bills – The costs you would have incurred `having to engage with medical services.
- Rehabilitation Costs
- A Percentage of your lost wages.
- Prescription medication
- Any necessary travel expenses related to the treatment of your injury
- Income loss replacement benefit, which will be 2/3rds of your weekly benefit (currently capped at $575 per week)
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – an additional sum of money of the authorized treating physical issues a disability rating in compliance with the American Medical Association Guidelines.
Contact Our Miami Springs Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you were hurt on the job, contact our personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm today. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions. Call (786) 686-2857 or fill out our online contact form to set up your free consultation.