Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When you’re injured on the job, there is an insurance fund, known as workers’ compensation, set up to provide you with assistance when you can’t go back to work. However, insurance companies (and sometimes employers) may try to minimize your claims in order to avoid paying out much-needed benefits. When this happens, consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Orlando can help maximize your chances of receiving the workers’ compensation benefits you need.
At Hornsby Law, our Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury and workers’ compensation. We aggressively fight for your rights and have been representing clients in workers’ compensation claims for decades in Florida. We have the experience to help you obtain the maximum compensation after your accident.
Orlando Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to pay for workers’ lost wages and medical expenses in the event that they are injured while performing a work-related task. Most workers in the state are covered under it, yet few understand their rights. The following provides answers to some of the most frequently asked workers’ compensation questions:
Do I Need an Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Yes, in most cases you probably do. If you’re dissatisfied with your doctor or you’re not receiving benefits or feel that you are being manipulated by the insurance company you should consultant attorney immediately.
How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
According to Section 440.185 of Florida statutes, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of its occurrence. That being said, the statute of limitations for filing your claim is two years’ time from the date that the accident or injury occurred.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Cases Settled?
In general, there are two types of workers’ compensation benefits that a worker is eligible to receive: medical benefits and lost wage benefits. Both of these benefit types can be settled. It is important to speak with an attorney about settlement options.
Are Death Benefits Available?
Yes – if a work-related death occurs on the job, within one year of the date of accident, or within five years of continuous disability, beneficiaries of the decedent may recover benefits totaling up to $150,000, including compensation for funeral expenses, compensation to dependents and educational benefits to the surviving spouse.
My Workplace Accident Involved a Non-Workplace Vehicle. What Do I Do?
Imagine a situation where you are on-the-job and working – perhaps you are in the middle of working on a highway construction project. Out of nowhere, a car crashes through your caution cones and hits you, causing serious injury. Do you file a workers’ compensation case, or a personal injury case against the at-fault driver?
The answer is that you can do both. Because your accident occurred on a work site while you were performing a work-related task, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, because a third-party acted negligently, you also have a right to file a negligence claim against this party as well.
Do I Have the Right to Choose My Own Doctor?
Unfortunately for workers who are injured in Florida, you must seek care from a doctor who is authorized by your workers’ compensation insurance company if you do not want to have to pay for the treatment out of pocket. The only exception to this is if the insurance company does not respond to your request for a change of physician, or if they refuse to authorize care for an unreasonable amount of time.
Can I Change Doctors?
As explained above, you must go to a doctor that is authorized by the insurance company. However, not all doctors are a good fit; if you do not like the doctor chosen by the insurance company, you have the right to a one-time change.
Who Is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Nearly all employees in the state of Florida are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. This includes undocumented and agricultural workers. Workers’ compensation is mandatory for all construction companies with one or more employees (full or part time), non-construction employers with four or more full or part time employees, and farmers with six or more regular employees and/or 12 or more seasonal employees who work more than 30 days.
What Is Permanent and Total Disability?
If your workplace accident results in an injury that is so severe that you are considered to be permanently and total disabled, and unable to return to work and earn a wage, you are eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits.
In the case of total permanent disability, compensation will be paid at a rate of 66.67 percent of your average weekly wages “during the continuance of such total disability,” according to Section 440.15 of the Florida workers’ compensation code. The statute also reads that no benefits will be paid if the injured employee is capable of engaging in employment.
What Is an Independent Medical Evaluation?
Under Florida Code Section 440.13, an Independent Medical Examination, or IME, is an “evaluation of the injured employee’s medical condition, including, but not limited to, impairment or work status….” An IME is performed by a medical expert or a physician, and can be ordered at the request of either party, a judge, or the workers’ compensation department. Insurance companies use IME’s to cut off benefits in most caes.
Understanding workers’ compensation laws can be confusing. When you have been injured at work, you do not want to have to deal with legal hurdles; you just want to get paid for your injuries. The attorneys at the Hornsby Law Group understand what you are going through and can advocate on your behalf to improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement amount. In the event that a third party was involved in the cause of your accident and injuries, we can also aid you in exploring and filing a third party liability claim for damages. To learn more about these rights and what protections are afforded to you as a worker in Florida, schedule your free case consultation by calling our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys at (407) 871-6375 today.
If I am Injured on the Job and incur Medical Bills do I Have to Pay for these Bills Myself?
No, as long as you go to an authorized Worker’s Compensation healthcare provider.
If I am out of work does the insurance carrier have to pay?
If your doctor has taken you totally off work the Worker’s Compensation carrier must pay approximately two thirds of your average weekly wage for the 13 weeks before your accident there are other exceptions to this as far as calculating your average weekly wage.
Under state law, it is required for Florida employers to provide workers’ compensation for employees if they have four employees or more (or one or more employees with respect to the construction industry). The program is broad, and covers any personal injury or death by accident arising out of and during employment, including diseases, infections, damage to various prosthetic devices, etc. Compensation is payable irrespective of fault regarding the injury.
However, in order to receive workers’ compensation, there is a very specific process that must be followed by an injured employee. Any employee who has been injured on the job must report the injury to their employer within 30 days and submit to an “independent medical exam” by an independent medical examiner, or an objective evaluation of the injured employee’s medical condition. Through this process, the employer’s insurance company sometimes tries to limit claim payouts and claim that the employee is well enough to return to work before they are. Thus, working with an Orlando attorney experienced in workers’ compensation throughout the process is important to ensure you are able to recover adequate compensation.
Because it is difficult to file a successful workers’ compensation claim, many find themselves appealing a claim denial. During this process, it is crucial that you work with experienced attorney to ensure that the appeals process is successful. You and your attorney will file a petition with the state Division of Administrative Hearings and have a chance to present evidence as to why you should receive benefits at the subsequent hearing.
Contact Our Experienced Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have been injured at work, we can help. The Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys at Hornsby Law have extensive experience with accident claims covering all forms of injuries, sickness, accidents, or other damage that has occurred at work, including emotional and psychological damage. If you have been injured, your employer’s provider must cover for your medical treatments, tests, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages. It is our job to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact our offices today for a consultation and to learn more about our services.