Florida law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage pays for medical treatment if you get hurt on the job and replaces part of your lost wages if you cannot work. Unfortunately, some employees who sustain serious work-related injuries or illnesses must fight for the benefits they deserve.
If you are having a hard time getting benefits, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Miami from our firm can help you. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can explain your options now during your free case review.
How Would Having a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Benefit You?
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can manage your case by:
- Protecting your legal rights throughout the claims process
- Collecting important evidence to support your claim
- Managing communications with your employer and its insurer
- Determining the cost of your medical bills and other expenses
- Explaining each aspect of the process and ensuring you understand your options
- Assisting with preparing and submitting important claim documents
Whether you just sustained an injury, already opened your claim, or the insurance company has denied your claim, our workers’ compensation team in Miami can help.
What is the Process of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Per the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation, you generally have 30 days from the date of your injury to report it to your employer.
However, we recommend reporting it immediately to protect your legal rights. You should also seek medical attention promptly. If you wait, the insurance company may assert that you were not seriously injured (or that your injury is not work-related).
Here’s What Happens Once You Report Your Injury
Your employer has seven days to report your injury to the liable insurance company. From there, you can expect the following to take place:
- You or your employer must complete a detailed report of the accident that caused your injury and submit it to the insurance company.
- The workers’ compensation insurer will use this report as its basis for approving or denying your claim. Consequently, you or your employer must complete it correctly. It must accurately reflect how your injury affects your life.
- The insurance company may require you to undergo an independent medical evaluation (IME). A doctor chosen by the insurance company will examine you and report their findings to the insurer.
From there, the insurance company will accept or deny your claim based on its findings. If your claim is denied or undervalued, you could file an appeal. Our lawyers in Miami can help you with this.
What Benefits will Workers’ Compensation Pay You?
In Florida, workers’ compensation insurance pays for your medical treatment and care for injuries you sustain on the job. If the injury prevents you from returning to work, this insurance also pays a portion of your lost wages.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Although you must use authorized doctors and care providers, workers’ compensation insurance should cover visits to your doctor, medications, tests, medical procedures and devices, and therapy/rehabilitation.
- If you are out of work for seven days or more, workers’ compensation will pay you two-thirds of your weekly wage, up to the state maximum (which changes per year) for up to 104 weeks (two years).
- If your injuries left you fully or partially disabled, or if the doctors determine you have improved as much as possible, the insurance company will calculate impairment benefits based on the degree of your disability.
Workers’ compensation claims do not come with pre-determined monetary values. Your payments will vary based on your situation.
Does Your Employer Have to Provide Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
According to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation, the following entities are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage:
- Any business with four or more employees
- Any construction agency with more than one employee
- Any state or local government entity
- Any farmers with more than five full-time employees or 12 seasonal workers who work for more than 30 days
Who Doesn’t Have to Carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
If the law requires your employer to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and you are an employee of the company, you should qualify for benefits if you get hurt.
Some types of workers are exempt, however. These include domestic workers in private residences and professional athletes. In addition, some small companies with a limited number of employees do not have to provide this benefit.
Small farms are also exempt if they employ fewer than five regular workers or fewer than 12 seasonal workers (for 30 days or less).If you work as an independent contractor, rather than a salaried or hourly employee, you do not qualify for WC benefits. Sometimes, employers mistakenly classify employees as independent contractors.
Your Employer Might Not Carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Just because your employer must carry workers’ compensation benefits doesn’t mean they do. You can verify your employer’s coverage by visiting the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Employee Assistance Office (EAO). On this page, if you click “Search for My Employer’s Coverage” on the top right-hand side, you can enter your employer’s name and get results.
If your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation benefits, don’t worry; our attorneys in Miami can explore your options.
We Can Determine Whether You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation in Miami
We can use the following information to show that you deserve workers’ compensation benefits:
- Your employment records. These documents could provide insight into the nature of your profession, your employment history, and other matters related to your job.
- The accident report. When you got hurt at work, hopefully, your employer filled out an accident report. This information could detail the cause of your accident, where it happened, and how severely you were hurt.
- Your medical records. We can use information from your doctor to prove the severity of your injuries and the treatment you required.
We may also interview witnesses to the accident to learn more about your overall situation.
What Types of Injuries does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation generally covers any health-related impairment that happens while on the job. For instance, if you developed asbestosis while working in construction, you could receive workers’ compensation for your losses.
On the other hand, if you suffered a fall while on a construction site, suffering a broken bone, you could receive compensation for your medical treatment and other expenses.
Workers’ compensation generally covers:
- Illnesses due to chemical exposure
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back or spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Strains and sprains
- Organ damage
You could qualify for compensation even if you suffered conditions not listed here.
Why Would the Insurer or Your Employer Dispute Your Claim?
The insurer or your employer could contest your claim if:
- It thinks you were engaged in horseplay before getting hurt.
- You were under the influence of a mind-altering substance at work.
- You were actively committing a crime (like trespassing) before getting hurt.
- You were intentionally trying to injure yourself or someone else.
While denials for the reasons listed above are valid under the law, workers’ compensation insurance companies also often deny valid claims. If this happens to you, our team in Miami can help you.
Take a Look at These Resources
If this is your first time filing an injury claim, you likely have a lot of questions. Our team wants you to understand all of your options when working with us. As such, here are some resources that could be of interest to you:
- The Florida Department of Financial Services has a two-page pamphlet about filing for workers’ compensation benefits, including timelines and other specifications.
- Miami-Dade County has a list of forms that could apply to your workers’ compensation case.
- You can file your workers’ compensation claim through the City of Miami, if your employer neglects to do so.
We will keep you updated on any changes in your case and supply all the necessary forms you need.
We Go the Extra Mile for Our Clients in South Florida
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine offers free consultations, so you can make informed decisions about your legal rights. To explore working with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Miami, dial 1-800-747-3733.
We want to put our knowledge, experience, and resources to work for you.SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY NOW