West Palm Beach workers’ comp lawyers from Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. are available to help with any workers’ compensation claim and provide advice and guidance along the way. While these incidents can be confusing and stressful, there is help available.
You don’t expect to be injured or develop a work-related illness on the job. Unfortunately, workplace injuries occur every day. If you happen to be a victim of one of these incidents, calling a West Palm Beach workers’ comp lawyer from Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. is a smart first step.
Hiring an attorney gives you access to a legal professional who understands your situation and needs. While this is true, you may still have questions. Our legal team gets workers’ compensation-related questions all the time. Some of the most common questions we are asked have been answered here.
Knowing your rights and what you are entitled to will be beneficial as you move through the workers’ compensation process.
1. How long after your accident do you have to file a report with your employer?
According to Florida Statutes 440.185, you have just 30 days to report your claim from the date of the accident. If you fail to report the incident within 30 days, your claim will likely be denied.
Even though you have 30 days, our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys recommend that you report the incident as soon as possible. You should also request that co-workers or witnesses provide a written account of what happened. All this is beneficial if you have issues recovering benefits at some point.
Additionally, if you fail to report your incident quickly, the insurance company or your employer may try to deny your claim. The reasoning is that if you were seriously injured, you would have reported the incident immediately. They may also claim the injury did not occur while you were on the job. You can avoid these issues by immediately reporting the accident and injury to your employer or supervisor.
2. Should you call your West Palm Beach workers’ comp lawyer after every doctor’s appointment?
You must update your attorney about all medical treatment you receive. However, you don’t have to contact the office after every appointment.
Some of the times you should call your attorney include if your doctor tells you something important about your injuries or recovery or if they have requested additional testing. In these situations, your attorney needs to know what is going on and why.
All this should go in your file, along with any notes or bills you receive from the doctor.
3. What isn’t covered by workers’ compensation benefits?
While workers’ compensation is a system designed to provide benefits to injured workers, you will not be eligible if your injury occurs because of certain circumstances. For example, you would not receive benefits if your injury occurred because of a fight with another worker or while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, intentional and emotional injuries without an accompanying physical injury will not be covered.
4. Can you sue your employer if you are injured on the job?
The answer to this is no. Workers’ compensation is the single remedy available if a worker is injured while on the job. Along with protecting employees, this system also protects employers from lawsuits.
Florida workers’ compensation law requires all employers with four or more employees, regardless of if they are full- or part-time, to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. The only way that you could sue your employer is if they failed to provide you with sufficient workers’ compensation coverage after you were injured.
5. How much can you receive in workers’ compensation benefits?
In most situations, your workers’ compensation check will equal 66 2/3% of your average weekly pay. In Florida, you will receive checks bi-weekly. Your average weekly wage is determined by using the wages you earned for the 13 weeks before your injury, not counting the week of your injury.
If you worked under 75% of the 13 weeks before your injury, pay for an employee in the same company and doing a similar job who worked 75% of the 13 weeks will be used to determine your full-time wage.
6. What options do you have for a bad experience with a workers’ compensation-approved doctor?
Our West Palm Beach workers’ comp lawyers have received complaints from some of our injured clients about how they are treated by the workers’ compensation doctor they are seeing for medical treatment.
The insurance company usually selects workers’ compensation doctors in Florida. Unfortunately, many of these doctors are underpaid and overworked, and some don’t care about the worker’s injury. After all, they are paid by the insurance company. One way you can handle this situation is to let your concerns be known.
If you get to the point where you don’t feel like the doctor has your best interests in mind, changing doctors may be your only option. Based on the law, you can file a written request to have your doctor changed once. It’s required that the insurance company respond within five days of receiving your request and provide you with a new option. If they do not do this, you can choose your own doctor, and the workers’ compensation insurance provider must still cover all medical-related costs.
It’s important to remember that changing your doctor still poses risks when receiving workers’ compensation benefits. For example, the insurer may suspect you of “doctor shopping” because your injuries are minor, and sometimes, the second doctor may be just as bad or even worse than the first.
It’s also important to remember that you can only change your doctor one time. Even if you don’t like the second doctor, you will have to continue seeing them for the duration of your medical treatment.
7. Is it possible to simultaneously receive workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits?
The answer to this question is yes. However, a reduction or offset in your workers’ compensation benefits may be applied. This is because Florida law states that combined, the two benefits can’t exceed 80% of the average weekly wage you earned before your injury.
8. How do you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits?
If you are injured on the job, the first step is to report the incident to your supervisor. When you report the accident, be sure you include as many specific details as you can. This includes the date and time of the accident, where it occurred, and what happened.
Your employer must report your accident and injury as soon as possible; however, they must report it within seven days after receiving notice of what happened. Once reported, the insurance company must send an informational brochure to you within three days of receiving the notice from your employer. The brochure aims to ensure you know your rights and responsibilities and provide more information about Florida’s workers’ compensation law.
It’s also necessary to ensure you receive proper medical treatment and care. Your employer should also provide you with time off work, if necessary, because of your injuries.
9. Should you hire a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer for your case?
It is smart to hire a West Palm Beach workers’ comp lawyer at the beginning of your case to help protect your rights. In Florida, the law allows you to recover compensation and other benefits if you are injured at work. However, if you miss any of the set deadlines (explained above), you may also lose your ability to receive these benefits. Also, hiring an attorney ensures you have someone to help guide you through the legal process, get the necessary medical care, and help you apply for benefits.
Let Our West Palm Beach Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help with Your Case
Being injured on the job can be a huge source of stress for workers. If you are injured while working in Florida, you have rights. One right is to receive benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
To receive the benefits you are entitled to, you should hire a West Palm Beach workers’ comp lawyer from Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. We can review the facts of your case and help ensure you get the legal representation and guidance needed to help you receive the benefits you deserve.
While some workers will fully recover from the injuries or illnesses they are dealing with because of their job; others may experience life-changing injuries. In any situation, you can count on our attorneys to help you through the legal process. Contact us for a free consultation.