Every year, thousands of Floridians are injured while working. Not only do these injuries often result in huge medical bills, but many injured workers must spend weeks, months, or longer away from work while they recover.
As a top Boca Raton workers’ compensation law firm, we receive calls from stressed, frustrated workers all the time who are worried about paying their bills and supporting their families.
There are options. One is Florida’s workers’ compensation system, which provides benefits for workers after they are injured while working. We encourage you to reach out to us for more information about our services and how we can help with your situation.
Do You Really Need an Attorney After a Boca Raton Workplace Accident?
Workers’ compensation is considered a no-fault system. This means that you can receive benefits even if you aren’t able to prove who caused the accident or if you were the cause of your injury or condition.
Even though it is a no-fault system, it isn’t always easy to start receiving benefits. There are specific workers comp claims procedures, strict deadlines, and other requirements that you must meet. Even if you do everything properly, your employer or the insurance company they use for workers’ compensation may still challenge your claim.
With our Boca Raton workers’ compensation lawyers, you have someone who understands Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. We will work for you against the insurance company if they try to unfairly deny or reduce your deserved benefits.
Like other insurance providers, workers’ compensation providers don’t want to pay if they don’t have to. They will work on challenging any part of your claim they can. Our attorneys will work with you to help you overcome these problems. Some of the ways that an insurance company may try to deny or reduce your benefits include:
- Claims of a pre-existing condition
- Questions regarding if an illness or injury was work-related
- Questions related to the wage replacement benefits you deserve
- Pressure to go back to work before you can or should
In some situations, you may be able to sue a third party for damages that workers’ compensation benefits don’t cover. Our team of Boca Raton workers’ compensation lawyers has recovered millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients in and around South Florida. Contact us today to learn how we can use our years of experience to help with your case.
Common Causes of Florida Workplace Accidents
Every accident that occurs on the job is unique. While this is true, some accidents are more common than others. Some of the most common types of workplace accidents include:
- Car accidents: If workers travel for their job, they may be injured while driving.
- Overexertion: Workers may become injured by lifting, pulling, holding, tying, tugging, or pushing.
- Repetitive stress injuries: Sometimes, at-work injuries are sneaky and subtle. This includes situations where a worker makes the same motion repeatedly throughout the day, which can impact nerves and inflame the tissue in that area. One example of this is carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Struck by accidents: These occur if a worker is hit by something falling, such as merchandise, tools, cargo, etc.
- Falls: Fall-related accidents result in some of the most serious and devastating at-work accidents today.
Other types of accidents we represent include electric shock or electrocution, forklift accidents, trucking accidents, contact with toxic chemicals, crush accidents, crane accidents, trenching or excavation accidents, and more.
Workers may also receive workers’ compensation benefits in the Boca Raton area if they develop an occupational illness. One example would be breathing in dust day after day and developing lung issues. This would also qualify the individual for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida.
Common Injuries Caused by Workplace Accidents in Boca Raton
The injuries you experience during a workplace accident depend on what happens and the situation’s circumstances. While this is true, some of the most common workplace injuries include:
- Rotator cuff and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Head injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Loss of limbs
- Wrongful death
There’s no reason that you must allow a serious work injury to interfere with your ability to take care of your family and pay for your bills. Contact our legal team right away to receive help from our experienced team of Boca Raton workers’ compensation lawyers.
Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Boca Raton?
Most workers in Florida can qualify for workers’ compensation if the following circumstances are present:
- You were an employee when the injury or illness occurred (rather than an independent contractor)
- That you were injured or sustained an illness while engaging in work-related duties
- That the illness or injury occurred while you were working or in the course of your employment
It is possible to qualify for workers’ compensation in Boca Raton if you were not at your worksite when an accident occurred. For example, if you were handling work-related duties and were involved in a car accident that caused an injury, you can claim workers’ compensation benefits.
What Will Your Boca Raton Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
Workers’ compensation benefits will cover medical costs related to your injury or illness and a portion of your lost wages if you are hurt while on the job in Boca Raton. The details of this are highlighted here.
Your workers’ compensation benefits will cover all necessary and reasonable medical costs related to treating your injury or illness. This includes things like doctors’ visits, hospitalization, mileage for traveling to medical appointments, and prescription drugs.
However, you don’t have the option of going to your usual primary care physician for treatment. If you want to receive reimbursement for treatment, you must visit a doctor who the workers’ compensation insurance provider approves.
If you want to ensure the medical care you require is covered, you need to do the following:
- Report the accident and your injuries or illness to your employer right away
- If you go to the emergency room, provide the staff with the contact information for your employer and let them know you were injured while on the job
- Go to an approved caregiver for all authorized follow up care
- Make sure to go to all your medical appointments
You should never receive a bill for medical treatment related to your work caused by injury or illness. When you are awarded workers’ compensation benefits, then the insurance company will receive the bill. If you happen to receive a bill for any related medical treatment, it’s important to contact the workers’ compensation provider or talk to our team of attorneys.
Wage Replacement Benefits
Your wage replacement benefits will start after you have been out of work for a minimum of seven days after a work accident. If you are still disabled for a minimum of 21 days, then you will receive wage replacement reimbursement for the initial seven days of your total disability.
Based on Florida law, there are four categories of wage replacement benefits paid by workers’ compensation:
- Permanent total disability benefits: If you have an injury that is so severe that you cannot go back to work in any way, you receive these benefits.
- Impairment benefits: If you recover as much as possible but are still unable to work at your former full capacity, you receive these benefits.
- Temporary partial disability benefits offer compensation if you can’t earn 80% of the earnings you did prior to the accident but can work on a restricted basis.
- Temporary total disability benefits: With these benefits, you receive around 2/3 of the wages you earned before your illness or injury, but there is a weekly cap.
As an injured worker, you can receive up to 104 weeks of temporary disability benefits. After this point, you must explore the possibility of impairment benefits or permanent disability benefits for your situation.
It’s possible to settle your claim and get a lump sum instead of a weekly check. However, before you accept a settlement, you should speak to our team of experienced attorneys. We can help ensure you have the facts and that you receive the benefits that you deserve for your work-related injury.
If you have a family member whose workplace accident or illness is fatal, you may qualify for an additional $150K in death benefits if the following things occur:
- After five years of ongoing disability
- Within a year of the accident
You may also receive an additional $7,500 to cover burial expenses and funeral costs and compensation for dependents and the person’s surviving spouse.
Is It Possible to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Claim After a Workplace Accident?
Usually, it’s not possible to sue your employer if you are injured on the job. However, it is possible to sue a negligent third party for damages. This is referred to as a third-party claim. It’s often beneficial because there are situations where workers’ compensation benefits may not cover all your losses.
Based on personal injury law in Florida, the compensation you can receive from a third party who is found liable for your injuries in some way. Some of the compensation that you may receive will be to cover:
- Lost earning potential
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical treatment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical therapy, specialized care, and rehab
- Loss of earning potential
- In-home care
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
It’s important to note, this isn’t an extensive list, and more benefits may be available.
Are you unsure what caused your accident? If so, an attorney can help you figure it out.
How Much Time do You Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida?
It’s a good idea to immediately report your work-related injury or illness to your manager or supervisor. In the state of Florida, you have just 30 days to report the incident. After the 30-day period passes, you may lose your ability to claim benefits and receive workers’ compensation for your accident.
Contact Our Experienced Boca Raton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
`If you have been injured while on the job, our Boca Raton workers’ compensation attorneys’ team is ready to help. We can review the facts of your case and work to make sure that you receive the benefits and compensation that you deserve.