Since the workers compensation system was introduced across the United States, many legal analysts have seen the system as being skewed in favor of the interests of insurance companies. While the workers compensation system guarantees workers the right to claim medical and income benefits for an injury, without the delay of having to prove negligence, it also grants employers immunity from negligence lawsuits as long as they have insurance. A significant percentage of injured workers struggle to return to their previous lives and might have been better compensated had they had the opportunity to sue.
Statistics from the Florida Department of Financial Services show that between the years 2005 and 2012, the number of Florida workers compensation cases involving occupational diseases fell from 1,134 in 2005 to 395 in 2012. That represents a 65 percent decrease in the number of cases. In money terms, the amount of benefits paid has fallen from more than $18 million to slightly more than three million dollars, an 83 percent decrease.
Workers compensation fraud is an extremely controversial topic. Recently, there has been a national initiative to reform the workers compensation claims process. Unfortunately, cost-cutting insurance companies are focusing on a miniscule number of fraudulent claims and making it difficult for injured workers to recover much-needed funds. According to studies, only one to two percent of all Worker compensation claims are fraudulent. This small portion casts doubt on 99 percent of legitimate claimants.
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