Miami Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you have been injured at work and you're wondering what to do next, you're not alone. According to OSHA, over 4 million people are hurt at work every year. The unexpected medical bills and lost wages can make your life very difficult. Worse, your employer or insurance company may look for ways to avoid giving you fair compensation. With all these uncertainties on top of your injuries, the entire workers’ compensation claim process may feel overwhelming.
When Should You Report Your Work Injury
If you're injured at work, you need to report the accident as soon as possible to your employer. According to section 440. 185 of the Florida Statutes
, you should report your injuries no later than 30 days from the date your accident occurred. Failure to report within this time frame, you risk getting your claim denied.
After you report the accident to your employer, it's their responsibility to report the injury to their carrier as quickly as possible so that you can receive your benefits quickly. In case your employer doesn't report the accident, you should contact the carrier and report the accident yourself. However, if you don't have the carrier's information, you can call the Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office
directly to help you get that information. Alternatively, you may contact a Miami workers compensation lawyer for assistance.
At Scott J. Sternberg & Associates P.A., our Miami workers’ compensation attorneys have decades of legal experience. We have helped several clients like you with their workers’ compensation claims. Our experienced attorneys are familiar with all tactics insurance companies may use to avoid paying you your benefits. They have effective counterarguments that will make sure that you get fair compensation.
Over the years, we have seen the devastating impacts that workplace injuries can have on a family, and we want to help keep that from happening to your loved ones. Therefore, if you were injured in the line of duty and think that you're not receiving fair compensation, you may want to consider talking to a Scott J. Sternberg & Associates P.A. attorney. To find out how a Miami workers compensation lawyer can help you complete a free case evaluation form today.
Is it Always Necessary to Hire a Miami Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Not everyone will need a Miami workers’ compensation lawyer. For instance, if you sustain minor injuries or your employer doesn't dispute that you were injured at work, you may not need an attorney in such a situation. However, in case you're seriously injured, or your injuries keep you out of work for a long time, you may want to hire an experienced workers compensation lawyer to help you get fair compensation to cover medical treatment expenses and lost wages.
When Should You Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer?
Workers' compensation insurance is a requirement for almost all employers in Florida. This type of insurance is designed to provide employees with wage loss benefits and cover medical costs to injured employees while on active duty. For this reason, most employees who get injured at work assume that they won't need an attorney. After all, why would you hire a Miami workers compensation lawyer if there is a system specially put in place to protect you in case of a work-related injury or illness?
Workers’ compensation is either funded by the employer or by an insurance company. However, your employer and its workers' compensation insurance have one similar goal, which is to pay you as little as possible or not to pay you at all.
Additionally, there are some situations when it's not clear what caused a workplace injury. In such an event, your employer or insurance company may make accusations that the injuries were sustained outside the workplace, or that a pre-existing condition caused your illness. In such a situation, you may want to enlist a Miami workers compensation lawyer to protect your rights and help you get the compensation you're entitled to.
Why Should You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Hiring a Miami workers compensation lawyer from Scott J. Sternberg & Associates P.A. has some key benefits. Among them, you'll get sound legal advice from someone who can defend your rights. With this in mind, here are some of the top reasons for hiring us.
You have a pre-existing condition
If you have an underlying health condition
, your employer or insurance company may use it as an excuse to deny your workers’ compensation claim. They may declare that your underlying condition is the cause of your current ailment. However, not all pre-existing conditions can disqualify you from receiving benefits.
You want to file a claim
Sometimes you don't realize that you have been injured at work until a few days or weeks later. In such a scenario, you may want to reach out to us to help you file your claim, even if it's been a few days since you were injured.
We will do the following to help you:
- Collect and document all the details of the incident.
- Notify your employer
- Help you get medical care
- Respond to your employer or its insurance with the requested information
Your benefits have been denied
Most employees whose benefits have been denied suffer in silence and don't pursue their benefits further. However, even if your benefits have been denied, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't appeal or seek other legal remedies. A Miami workers' compensation attorney will guide you through the entire process and request a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission, where they will present all the evidence.
The workers' compensation system is designed to prevent employers from making civil claims. However, in some cases, civil claims can be made. For instance, if you sustained serious injuries because of defective machinery, you may make a claim against the manufacturer. A civil claim may result in a higher settlement because you can pursue both economic and non-economic damages.
To negotiate a settlement offer
Even after the workers' compensation insurance agrees to settle, they will provide you with an offer that is lower than what you deserve. Therefore, you should have a Miami workers compensation attorney in your corner to evaluate your case and determine how much your medical bills and wage losses will cost and negotiate on your behalf. This is especially important if you have sustained serious or permanent injuries, and you will be unable to go back to work.
Your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance
With a few exceptions, all employers in Florida are required to have workers' compensation insurance. This is the case even for small businesses and non-profit organizations. Employers can choose to fulfill this requirement through an insurance company or self-insurance. If your employer doesn't have workers’ compensation insurance, consult with our Miami workers compensation lawyers to find out other options that can help you get compensation.
Your employer or insurance company has requested a reevaluation
Even after your benefits have been approved, your employer or its insurance company may sometimes request a reevaluation to determine whether your injuries are less severe. This is referred to as an IME or Independent Medical Examination
. This procedure is often performed by the company doctor to prove that your injuries are no longer severe or don't exist.
When your employer or insurance requests an IME, it means that they want to terminate or reduce your benefits. Therefore, if you have been asked to submit to additional tests, then you need to seek legal advice to ensure that your benefits are not unfairly cut off or reduced.
Can Your Employer Fire You Because of Filing a Claim With a Miami Workers Compensation Attorney?
Most injured workers are worried that if they file a claim with a local Miami workers compensation attorney, they could get fired by their employer. Fortunately, employers in Florida are not allowed to punish or fire their employees because of filing a claim with the help of an attorney. According to Workplace Fairness, employers can face serious civil liability for punishing or firing an employee for filing a workers' comp claim.
If your employer fires you for the sole reason of filing a claim, you can sue them for wrongful termination and collect damages. Therefore, if you have suffered an injury while at work, notify your employer, seek medical attention, and contact a Miami workers compensation lawyer.
Tilt the Scales in Your Favor
If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to fair compensation for lost wages and medical bills from your employer's carrier or a third party. To determine whether you have a valid claim, contact Scott J. Sternberg & Associates P.A.
today. Our experienced team of legal experts has all the legal solutions that can work for you. We will get started by analyzing your case, and then take the appropriate measures, including investigating the facts of your accident and confront the negligent employer