On-the-job injuries happen all the time. Unfortunately, injuries can occur in any industry and to any worker. Because of this, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities if you are injured while working. Knowing what these are will put you in the best position to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
One of the best ways to understand Florida’s workers’ compensation laws and requirements is to work with our Florida work injury lawyers. However, you can also learn more here.
Understanding the Basics of Florida Workers’ Compensation Requirements
Many people believe that they will automatically receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured while working. However, to get these benefits, meeting set criteria is necessary.
If a worker submits a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida, their employer will carefully review the information and decide if they will pay the claim.
When employers (or their insurance company) do not believe you have met the requirements, they will deny the claim. If you receive notice that your claim has been denied (for any reason), you should contact our Florida work injury lawyers.
Our attorneys can review the information in your claim and why it was denied. The attorney would file an appeal if the claim were denied in error. The appeal is handled by the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims. If the appeal is successful, you can begin receiving benefits in just a few weeks. However, the claim may still be denied. If this happens, the only option is to file a lawsuit.
Talking to Florida work injury lawyers from Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, is highly recommended for anyone injured while on the job. Our experienced attorneys can help with each step of the workers’ compensation legal process to help you recover the benefits you are entitled to. We aim to help ensure your benefits are paid and handle the legal process moving forward.
What Can You Receive from Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?
If your workers’ compensation claim is approved, then you can receive certain benefits. In the state of Florida, you may be entitled to three types of benefits. These include:
- Medical coverage for the injuries you experienced in the workplace accident/incident.
- Wage replacement benefits until you are cleared or ready to return to work.
- Career training or occupational rehabilitation if you can’t return and work the position you were in before the accident.
When it comes to replacement wages, there are specific amounts that apply. In Florida, you can receive weekly benefits that are equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. An example is if your average weekly age is $1,000, you are paid $666 a week while receiving workers’ compensation.
You can receive these benefits for a maximum of 104 weeks or until the state-approved doctor you are being treated by releases you to return to work. If you cannot go back to work after the 104 weeks, then your Florida work injury lawyers can demand a settlement or some type of permanent compensation for the disability you have sustained.
Something to remember in Florida workers’ compensation cases is that the most you are entitled to receive per week is
$917. This means that if you usually make $2,000 per week while working, you will lose a significant amount of money while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
However, the benefits are not taxed. This means that if you usually make less than the limit, then the payment you receive is very close to what you would normally receive for a full week of work.
You Must File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim on Time
You have just 30 days to file your workers’ compensation claim in Florida. If you don’t meet the set filing deadline, then your claim will (most likely) be denied. At this point, there is no option for recourse.
Because of the strict time limit, filing for workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible after the accident and injury are necessary. If your claim happens to be denied because of improper filing, then your legal team can file an appeal for you. Unfortunately, the likelihood of being approved is very low.
The workers’ compensation commission believes that 30 days is more than enough time to file a claim.
If your claim is denied for another reason, then our attorneys will work to help you file an appeal to try and have the benefits approved.
Understanding Florida Workers’ Compensation Requirements
To have your first claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida approved, you must meet specific criteria. No matter where you live in the state, the required criteria are all the same.
The first requirement is to make sure that you report the claim within 30 days. Additionally, the accident and injuries had to have occurred while you were on the clock. If you work on-site, then the incident must have occurred on company property.
If it is discovered that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the accident occurred, then your claim for benefits will be denied (there are no exceptions to this rule).
There are several other reasons that your workers’ compensation claim in Florida may be denied, which include the following:
- You refused to take the required drug test based on company policy.
- You refused treatment from the workers’ compensation doctor approved by the state.
- You did not comply with the treatment recommendations from the state-approved doctor.
- Your employer discovers you are working another job while you are still receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
- Your employer’s insurance company discovered you had some pre-existing medical condition that was the cause of your injury.
- It was discovered that the injury you sustained did not occur on the job.
Besides the issue of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the incident occurred, your Florida work injury lawyers should be able to file an appeal to attempt to have your benefits approved.
Steps to Take if Your Claim is Still Denied
Sometimes, your claim may still be denied even with a strong appeal led by our experienced Florida work injury lawyers. If this happens, you have the right to take legal action. Your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
If the legal action is successful, then you can demand back pay for the time you were unable to work. It’s also worth noting that your employer will also have to pay any medical bills you incurred because of the workplace accident. If you are fired because you file a workers’ compensation claim, you can request your prior position in the company.
Sometimes, we have clients who have experienced permanent injuries. In these situations, they must pursue a lump sum payment from their employer.
An example of this would be a worker who sustained a spinal injury due to a fall from a ladder or height. In this situation, the injury made it impossible to continue doing the same job for the same amount of time each day. You may only be able to work 20 hours per day. If this happens, you can request that your employer pay the difference between what you would have earned if you were still working full-time and what you earn working part-time.
Don’t Wait to Contact Our Florida Work Injury Lawyers for Help with Your Claim
Recovering workers’ compensation benefits may seem simple and straightforward on the surface. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You must meet the set requirements to secure the benefits you are entitled to.
In Florida, there are strict requirements in place. This is done to ensure that only those who were truly injured on the job receive these benefits. However, there are situations where your claim may be wrongly denied. If this happens, it’s necessary to contact our Florida work injury lawyers from Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, for help and information.
We offer all new clients a free initial consultation to discuss their claims. Our goal is to help ensure that our clients have the quality and professional representation they need.
Even if you think your workers’ compensation case will be simple, you must meet rules and requirements to receive and continue receiving these benefits. Be sure to keep the information above in mind and let an attorney help you with each step of the process.