Florida has strict workers’ compensation laws that protect employees who suffer injuries or illnesses in a broad set of circumstances. That means there’s a good chance that you may have the right to compensation if you get hurt while working.
Laws that govern Florida Workers’ Compensation can be difficult to understand, especially if you’re a first responder. As such, you’ll want to work with skilled Florida workers’ comp lawyers from Sternberg/Forsythe, P.A. to understand your legal options and ensure that your right to compensation is not denied.
Here are ten things you need to know when filing for a workers’ compensation claim in Florida.
1. Fair compensation should adequately cater for all damages
The primary purpose of workers’ comp law is to ensure minimum interruption of a worker’s everyday life due to a work-related illness. That said, fair compensation should ensure that all damages suffered by a worker are adequately compensated. These include:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Temporary or permanent disability, or even
- Death benefits
2. Not every injured worker is eligible to pursue workers’ comp benefits
When you suffer a workplace injury, your eligibility to collect benefits by the industry you work in or the number of employees in your company. For instance, you will qualify to collect benefits if you work in a construction company, regardless of their company’s number of employees.
For those working in the agricultural industry, your eligibility to collect benefits will depend on whether or not your employer has six regular employees or twelve seasonal workers working for at least 30 days. In other industries, the employer must have four or more part-time or full-time workers.
3. Only work-related injuries or illnesses are compensated
Workers’ comp benefits are only available to employees who get injured or fall ill while engaging in job-related activities. In other words, if the actions resulting in an injury deviates from the employee’s regular work duties, the worker may not qualify for these benefits.
4. Documentation is vital
Documents form an important part of a Florida workers’ comp claim. Not only do they prove and quantify your claim, but they can also help challenge any unfavorable rulings. Some of the common documents you will need include:
- First report of injury
- Medical records, including past records.
- Statements from the employee, witnesses, and employer.
- Medical authorizations (help you obtain worker’s medical records)
- Wage records
5. You must report your injuries in time
Reporting your injury or illness or your employer is the first step toward collecting benefits. In Florida, this should be done within 30 days from the day your doctor confirms that your injury is, indeed, work-related. In the case of a workplace condition or disease, notifying your employer should be done 30 days of discovering its relationship to your work.
6. The statute of limitations
It’s not unusual for your employer’s insurer to deny your claim. When that happens, it follows that you will want to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit.
In Florida, the statute of limitation allows a worker a two-year window from the date of the injury to file a workers comp lawsuit. After two years, the worker loses the right to file for compensation. But you shouldn’t despair if the statute of limitation has expired before filing a lawsuit. The dependable Florida workers’ comp lawyers from Sternberg/Forsythe, P.A. can help you explore other options available to you.
7. The law protects the worker from employer retaliation
Injured workers sometimes fail to pursue workers comp benefits for fear of retaliation from their employer. The good news is that Florida employers are prohibited from firing an employer because of filing for a worker’s compensation claim. If you have been fired or your employer is threatening to reiterate for filing a workers’ comp claim, it would be best to talk to Florida workers’ comp lawyers about your situation.
8. Witnesses help legitimize your claim
The stronger your case is, the better your chances are at getting fair compensation. Testimonies from coworkers, supervisors, and any other persons present at the time of your accident can help your workers’ comp lawyer build a strong case vital in recovering fair compensation.
9. It is vital to work with a lawyer
The workers’ compensation claim process can get complicated and may overwhelm the victim, resulting in under-compensation. Considering that most lawyers work on a contingency plan basis, there’s no reason why you should shy from hiring Florida workers’ comp lawyers to help you collect benefits.
10. Sternberg/Forsythe, P.A. is the law firm for you if you have been injured at work
If you’re hurt on the job, Sternberg/Forsythe, P.A. is ready to help you get the right compensation you deserve.
Our highly skilled team of skilled Florida workers’ comp lawyers are dedicated to providing personalized legal representation to injured Florida workers ensuring the best outcome in their claims.
Please contact us online today for a free consultation and learn how we can do the hard work for you, so you focus on your recovery.