If you have a work-related illness or injury in Florida, you may qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation can help you pay your bills and care for your family when an injury leaves you unable to return to work right away.
Unfortunately, these cases are not always easy to navigate. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you get the benefits you need.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
To qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits, you must have a work-related illness or injury, report the injury on time, and follow the required procedures.
The Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier will look for any excuse to deny your claim, so we must work together closely to make sure you comply with every rule and meet every deadline to preserve your eligibility for benefits.
Does My Employer Carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
However, some employers refuse to follow state law or let coverage lapse. To find out whether your employer carries Workers’ Compensation coverage, check the Florida CFO coverage page.
Note: If you are a longshoreman, harborworker, an employee of a railroad, or a defense contractor for the federal government, you might be able to collect benefits through federal Workers’ Compensation programs.
Whether you fall within state or federal coverage, we will tell you the steps of the claims process and navigate the system for you to get the recovery you deserve.
What Types of Workers’ Compensations Benefits Are Available in Florida?
Our attorneys can examine your case to help you understand which benefits you are eligible for after a workplace accident or injury.
Workers’ Compensation carriers must pay medical benefits for:
- Medical treatment;
- Physical therapy;
- Diagnostics and testing;
- Prescription drugs;
- Mileage reimbursement; and
- Prosthetic devices.
“You have to go to the doctor the insurance company selects for treatment.”
Workers’ Compensation does not pay for treatment by your regular doctor. You can go to your physician for one visit right away if your employer approves, but after that, you have to go to the doctor the insurance company selects for treatment.
When you seek treatment, tell all health care providers who treat you for your illness or injury, including the emergency room, that your condition is work-related. Give them the contact name and phone number for your employer or the insurance carrier.
Lost Wages and Other Monetary Awards
There are four categories for lost wages and other monetary compensation:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) applies when you cannot do any work initially, but you will be able to work again eventually. Your benefits can equal between 66 2/3 and 80 percent of your regular wages, as long as they do not exceed the state maximum.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)applies if can work, but you cannot do everything you could before. If you get wages during this time that are less than 80 percent of your previous wages, you may be eligible for benefits.
- Impairment Income Benefits (IIB)may apply if your condition is not going to improve any further. An evaluator will assign you an impairment rating and calculate the amount of money you will receive.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) applies ifyou will never be able to perform any kind of work again because of your injury or illness. To qualify, your medical condition must have improved as much as it is going to and you must be completely disabled.
If a loved one died as a result of a work-related incident, you may qualify for death benefits. If a spouse or parent died within one year of their accident—or within five years of continuous disability—the state will provide up to $7,500 for funeral expenses, educational benefits for the surviving spouse, and compensation to dependents, not to exceed $150,000 in total.
How Much Time Do I Have to Report a Work-Related Illness or Injury?
You only have 30 days from the time the incident occurred—or a doctor informed you that your condition was work related—to report your injury. You may receive a denial for your claim if you wait too long.
That is why we recommend you file a report with your employer as soon as you know your illness or injury is work related. Do this in writing using the correct form, so you have proof of when you gave notification.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
You can file a Workers’ Compensation claim without an attorney, but having one will allow you to concentrate on getting well. If you have an unusual case or if your employer was guilty of gross negligence, a lawyer can help you get benefits you might not otherwise know about.
- Make sure you are eligible for benefits;
- Verify that your employer reported your claim;
- Report the claim if your boss refused to do so;
- Tell you what to expect at every turn;
- Listen to you and treat you with respect;
- Gather your medical and employment records to build your case;
- Calculate the value of your claim;
- Field settlement offers and negotiate on your behalf;
- Review all settlement documents; and
- Fight to get the money you deserve.
What If the Insurance Company Will Not Offer a Fair Settlement or Denies My Claim?
We can take your claim to multiple levels of decision makers. We will first try to negotiate a settlement with the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier. After we exhaust all available managed care grievance options, we can file a Petition for Benefits. This will send the dispute to mediation.
If we do not resolve your claim in mediation, we can get a hearing in front of a Workers’ Compensation judge. We can file an appeal with the 1st District Court of Appeal if we are not satisfied with the judge’s decision. The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine will do whatever it takes to get you the Workers’ Compensation benefits you deserve.