Each year, thousands of people are injured while working in Apopka. If you find you have been injured at work or developed an illness due to your working conditions, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
These benefits are designed to provide injured workers with financial support while they cannot work and recover from the injuries or illnesses they sustained.
While many injured workers can begin receiving benefits without issue after filing a claim, there are situations where their employer or the insurance company will deny the claim.
At Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, our legal team has years of experience representing individuals who have had their workers’ compensation claims denied. When you contact our law firm, you can feel confident that we will work on your behalf to help you recover the benefits you are entitled to.
Workers’ Compensation Requirements for Apopka Employers
According to Florida law, employers with four or more workers must purchase and keep workers’ compensation benefits.
This is a “no-fault” system, meaning negligence and fault are not considered when making a claim.
While this is true, some employers still attempt to deny a claim by stating the injury was faked, occurred somewhere besides on the job, or was due to a pre-existing condition.
If your employer has denied your claim, our legal team at Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, can help. We have years of experience representing clients as they work to receive the benefits they are entitled to.
Benefits Offered by Florida Workers’ Compensation
The type and amount of workers’ compensation benefits are determined by how severe your illness or injuries are. You must have experienced a physical illness or injury to qualify for these benefits. According to Florida Statutes, you will not qualify for benefits unless there is a strong correlation between physical injury and nervous or mental injuries.
According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most non-fatal workplace injuries include fractures, sprains, and cuts. Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), or overuse injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are also common and often require expensive surgeries, extensive recovery time, and career changes later in life.
Usually, disability and medical benefits are paid based on a pre-established compensation schedule. In most cases, the checks you receive will equate to two-thirds of your average weekly wage (with caps on the total amount you can receive).
Other types of disability benefits may apply to your workplace injury, too, including:
- Permanent disability benefits: It is possible to receive permanent partial disability benefits for any worker suffering a permanent injury who is only partially impaired and can still engage in some work.
- Disability income benefits: If your permanent disability is expected to last over a year and you cannot do your former job or a new job, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
- Supplemental benefits: Types of benefits paid by the worker’s employer to help cover the cost of extreme injuries.
- Permanent total benefits: Injured workers can receive these benefits if they can no longer work because of how serious their injuries are.
- Death benefits: A worker’s family members may be eligible for death benefits like funeral expenses, dependent support, and educational support for their spouse.
It is worth noting that attempting to secure any benefit can be challenging, and you may have to deal with a lot of red tape. You should seek help from an experienced and trusted Florida workers’ compensation attorney, regardless of the type of benefits you would like to receive.
What to Know About Filing a Claim for workers’ Compensation in Florida
According to Florida law, if you are injured at work, you must report the accident to your employer within 30 days. At this point, your employer is required to report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance company within seven days. If everything is handled properly, you will have two years to file the claim for workers’ compensation.
Once your accident is required to the insurance company, an insurance adjuster should contact you regarding more information about the process and next steps.
One step is the independent medical examination (IME). You must seek an evaluation by an approved physician (one approved by the workers’ compensation insurance company) quickly and as soon as possible after the accident occurs. The findings of the IME have a huge impact on the benefits you do (or do not) receive.
However, if you experience serious or severe injuries, you should go to the emergency room right away. Even in these situations, you should let your employer know what happened. Most employers will help injured workers throughout the workers’ compensation process. The IME is designed to define how serious the medical condition is and confirm that it was an injury that occurred on the job.
Medical Benefits Offered by Workers’ Compensation
Florida workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover all medical costs related to your accident and injury. This includes the time you must stay in the hospital, surgeries, recovery, rehabilitation, and doctor visits. Workers’ compensation benefits should also cover any prescriptions and medical devices ordered by your doctor.
Make sure you go to all your scheduled appointments. Failure to do this may result in your benefits being discontinued. If you must travel to your doctor appointments, you may receive payment for gas mileage. Be sure you keep track of your travel time to all appointments and save all medical statements and receipts.
Options for Dealing with a Denied Workers’ Comp Claim
There are situations where your claim for benefits will be denied. You have the right to appeal this decision. The Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims handles appeals.
If you plan to appeal the decision, contact our legal team first. We will work to help develop your case and gather evidence to ensure we can prove why you should receive benefits.
Also, hiring a workers compensation lawyer from our law firm means you have someone to help negotiate settlements via alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation. Most workers’ compensation cases will settle before going to court; however, our attorneys will provide the representation you need if your case goes to trial. While these situations can be complex, they are often emotional. The legal process is often frustrating and confusing, leaving you angry.
As you are trying to recover from a work-caused injury or illness, you must take steps to reduce the stress you are under. Part of this stress can be alleviated by contacting our attorneys at Sternberg | Forsythe, PA.
Get Help with Your Apopka Workers’ Compensation Claim
The workers’ compensation law in Florida can be complex and confusing. Because of this, you need help from our legal team at Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, for help and information. We can review the facts of your case and help develop a strategy to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation. We will review your situation and help you pursue a claim to recover the benefits you deserve for your work-caused injury or illness.