Experiencing a work-related injury can be a huge setback. On-the-job injuries may impact your livelihood and physical well-being. They are also stressful.
The state of Florida created its workers’ compensation system to be there when injured workers need it. While this is true, the claims process is not always as easy or clear as you may hope it would be. Sometimes it can be quite confusing.
Because of the issues that can arise with these situations, we recommend contacting our West Palm Beach workers’ comp lawyer from Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, for assistance with your claim.
Learn more about employee negligence, workers’ compensation, and other aspects of the claims process here.
Negligence and Workers’ Compensation Benefits
According to Florida law, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system.
This means that employees can receive workers’ compensation benefits no matter what caused the accident, even if it was their own negligence.
Also, your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The law has stipulations in place to protect workers from this type of retaliation.
Contact our workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance if you believe you were terminated because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Now that you know that you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits if your negligence contributes to the accident, you should know a few more things about these cases in Florida.
You Do Not Get to Choose Your Doctor
Some people are surprised to find out they cannot choose their own doctor to treat their work-related accidents. If you pursue a claim, the insurance provider that your employer uses for workers’ compensation insurance will choose what doctor you see.
While this is true, it is not permissible for the insurance company to send you to a medical professional who does not have the qualifications to treat the injury you sustained. For example, you cannot be forced to go to an obstetrician for a back injury. The doctor must have the proper training, education, and qualifications to treat your injuries properly and competently.
Failing to Report Your Injury Can Impact Your Claim
You must report your work-related accident and injury to your employer as soon as possible. If you experience an accident while working or performing any job-related function, it is smart to report it.
Many people do not report work accidents because they do not think they are injured. This is often a huge mistake since some injuries will not be immediately obvious.
In other situations, workers do not report the injury because they do not think they were actually on the clock when the incident occurred.
It is best to report the incident and let your attorney sort out the details. They can determine what is within the “scope of your employment” since this is not always clear.
Insurance Providers May Try to Undervalue Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
The goal of the insurance company involved in your case is to pay you as little as possible. After all, this is a business, and protecting the company’s bottom line is a top priority. They do not have any interest in paying the full amount of compensation for your claim.
It is important to remember that the insurance company has a financial incentive to deny your claim. If this does not work, they will try to pay you as little as possible, hoping you have not spoken to a workers’ compensation attorney.
This is another reason you need to have representation from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. They can help you with each step of the process to ensure you get the full compensation you are entitled to.
You May Have the Option to File a Negligence Lawsuit
When filing a workers’ compensation claim, you are waiving your right to sue your employer for the injuries you sustained. While this is true, it may be possible to pursue civil action against the negligent third party involved.
An example of when this would be an option is if you suffered an injury because of a malfunctioning ladder on a construction site. If this is the case, it may be possible to file a negligence claim against the ladder’s manufacturer along with the workers’ compensation claim.
Contact Our Workers’ Comp Attorneys for Help
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to help injured workers. If you are in this situation, our legal team at Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, is here to help. We offer clients a free initial consultation to review their case, create a plan to move forward, and help them recover the benefits they are entitled to.