A Miami workers’ compensation attorney can help you through the workers’ compensation legal system. The system is designed solely to protect workers who have been victims of on-the-job injuries. In Florida, these benefits are available to injured workers regardless of fault, meaning an employee can collect workmen’s compensation benefits even if he or she is responsible for the accident that led to his or her injuries.
If you are involved in a work injury and are in need of counsel from a Miami personal injury attorney about workers compensation insurance we have a workers compensation lawyer that can answer these questions in more detail. Get a free consultation from a workers comp lawyer that is familiar with the workers’ compensation board.
Table of Contents
Are You Covered by Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Workers may worry that their employer does not have workers’ comp coverage, leaving them high and dry in the event of a serious accident. Thankfully, except for a few specific exemptions, the vast majority of employers in Florida are covered by the worker compensation system.
The law says that if your employer is in any industry other than construction and has four or more employees, either full or part-time, then the employer must carry workmen compensation coverage. Those employers in the construction industry must have insurance to cover each employee in need of workers’ compensation if they have one or more employees. For more clarity, a Miami Florida workers compensation lawyer can help.
What Should You Do if Injured at Work?
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident there are few things you must do. First, even before you get in touch with a workers comp lawyer you need to notify your employer as soon as possible. This means telling your immediate supervisor or some other person in a position of authority at the office.
This notification can happen in person, orally, or in writing. When you notify your employer, you should ask them to complete a notice of injury as soon as possible so that you can be sure the claim makes its way to your employer’s insurance carrier.
If you’ve been injured you should also seek medical treatment. If your company has an on-site doctor, go there. If not, you can go to your own doctor. The important thing is that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible so that the extent of your injuries is recorded and cannot be as easily challenged down the road. And after you have notified your employer and gotten medical attention, then you should contact a personal injury attorney familiar with worker competition in Florida to get advice.
How Soon Should I Report My Work Injury?
Injured workers need to report the work-related accident as soon as possible, but should do so no later than 30 days from the date the accident occurs. If you fail to report your injury within 30 days, your claim may be at risk of being denied.
What Happens if Your Employer Won’t Report the Injury?
Besides needing to report the accident to your employer, your employer has obligations of their own. Your employer should report the injury to their carrier quickly to ensure the claim is processed in a timely manner and you can begin receiving your benefits quickly. If they refuse to report the claim, you can contact the insurance carrier and report the accident yourself.
The workers’ comp insurance information should be posted somewhere in the office, providing the contact information for the insurance company. If not, you can call workers compensation Florida, Employee Assistance, and Ombudsman Office, for help locating this information, or again, contact a local Miami workers compensation lawyer for assistance.
Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim the Same Thing as a Lawsuit?
This can be understandably confusing for workers who have never dealt with a workers’ comp claim before. Though it might make sense that a worker’s comp claim is the same thing as a lawsuit against your employer, the reality is very different. A worker’s comp claim is not a lawsuit against your employer, it is instead a claim against the insurance policy that your employer has purchased. To learn more about workers’ compensation law, a good Miami workers compensation lawyer can provide good insight.
Can You Sue Instead of File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
What if you’d rather file suit against your employer or coworker, rather than file a workers’ comp claim, is that allowed? Unfortunately, no. In Florida, and many other states, workers’ compensation is what’s known as an exclusive remedy. This means that an employee is not able to bring a personal injury claim against his or her employer, even if no workers’ comp claim is brought. The only exception to this is workplace injury claims that relate to a third party, which can still be brought in court. For example, if a visitor from another company who entered your place of business injured you, you could file a civil lawsuit against that person, just not your company.
Determining Fault in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Unlike many other personal injury matters, the workers’ compensation system is somewhat strange in that it operates on a no-fault basis. This means that workers’ comp benefits are payable regardless of the employee’s fault or the precise cause of the injury. This can be a great thing for employees, eliminating the need to pin the blame on your boss or fellow coworkers and speeding the process along as an investigation into the exact cause of the accident need not slow things down.
It’s also good because employees don’t have to worry about being left with expensive medical bills if they are to blame for the accident. The law says that an employee’s fault only matters if the employee’s injury was caused by any form of intoxication on the job or by the willful intent to harm him or herself. In these cases, the workers’ comp claim can be denied. However, if the claim is denied and the victim is innocent certainly contact a Miami workers compensation lawyer without delay.
What Benefits Does a Miami Workers’ Compensation Attorney Offer?
First and foremost, employers are required to cover any and all medical costs related to your workplace injury. Additionally, workers can receive compensation for the time off work due to these injuries. This will be paid out at 2/3 of your pre-injury average weekly wage. Another bit of good news: workers’ comp benefits are not taxable, meaning more of what you receive gets to stay in your pocket. A workers comp attorney can help with all of this because all good workers comp lawyers should be very familiar with ALL aspects of workers’ comp insurance.
How Long Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In Florida, workers are allowed to continue receiving wage loss benefits as long as they are either on a no-work status or have light duty work restrictions in place with no light-duty options provided by your employer. In these cases, workers are able to receive a maximum of 104 weeks of benefits.
What Happens if You Are Still Injured After 104 Weeks?
Though it’s good to know that injured workers can expect to receive 2 years’ worth of benefits, what happens if you were seriously injured and aren’t recovered within 2 years? In that case, you may be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits. Assuming the injuries are severe enough to justify it, these permanent total disability benefits can be paid until the person reaches age 75.
Can You Choose Your Own Doctor?
There are some exceptions to the general rule, but usually, a person does not have the right to choose his or her own doctor in a workers’ compensation case. This is because in most cases, the insurance company will choose the doctor. That being said, as the injured employee, you do have a right to file a one-time change of doctor request. If the insurance company does not select a new doctor for you to see within five days, then you will have the right to seek treatment with a doctor of your choice. Seek the advice of a Miami workers compensation attorney to get his or her advice about your options.
How Long Do I Have to File a Miami Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The time limit for filing a claim for benefits is technically two years. However, this can depend on the specific facts of your case. Additionally, even if a worker has two years to file a claim, the reality is that any delay in reporting the accident to your employer or in seeking medical treatment may work to seriously undermine or even destroy your ability to bring a successful workers’ comp claim for benefits. As a result, it’s important that you act fast and get in touch with a qualified Miami workers compensation attorney to start the claim process. For more information on the statute of limitations for workers’ comp claims in Florida, click here.
Can You Be Fired Because of a Workers’ Comp Claim?
This is a common worry among injured workers, that if they come forward with a workers’ comp claim they could be punished or fired by their employer. Thankfully, there is no reason to fear being fired for bringing a workers’ comp claim. If this is a concern then the workers’ comp lawyer or the employer needs to be educated on the way workers’ compensation insurance is meant to work.
Employers in Florida are not allowed to fire workers because they filed a claim with a personal injury attorney for workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, employers would face serious civil liability if they fired someone solely for filing a workers’ comp claim. If that were to happen the worker would be able to sue the employer for wrongful termination, potentially collecting damages as a result of the lawsuit.
So if you have suffered an on-the-job injury in Miami, after notifying the employer and then seeking medical attention, then contact a Miami Workers Compensation Attorney to set up a free consultation about taking the next step to help you to help with your lost time from work.