Gainesville, FL Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation insurance is meant to protect employees and employers alike by offering no-fault claims to those who are injured at work. It can cover all types of work-related injuries, from carpal tunnel syndrome to accidents on a construction site.
However, sometimes the intentions of workers’ compensation insurance do not live up to reality. Workers’ compensation claims can drive up premiums, and since most employers are required to have this insurance, they often try to find ways to deny claims, no matter how valid.
For example, in Florida there have been 7,054 claims filed in 2020 as of the time of this writing, with only 2,535 cases paid. And while many claims are denied according to the rules, some employees are wrongfully denied benefits for serious injuries.
If you were injured at work and denied workers’ compensation, our Morgan & Morgan Gainesville office can help. We understand Florida labor laws and can help you fight to receive the benefits you deserve.
For further information, fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form.
Common Workplace Injuries
Some workplaces are more risky than others, but accidents can happen anywhere. Some injuries that commonly qualify for workers’ compensation include:
- Falls in construction sites
- Traumatic physical injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Hearing loss
- Occupational diseases like mesothelioma
Benefits and Compensation
Injured employees whose workers’ compensation claims are approved can receive benefits to treat their work-related injuries, including:
- Medical testing and treatment
- Physical therapy
- Compensation for missed work
- Permanent or temporary disability payments
Filing a Claim
If you are injured on the job, your employer should have all of the necessary paperwork to file a claim. The most important thing is to act quickly, as there are a number of cut-off dates that can impact your ability to receive benefits. Take these steps:
- Get immediate medical attention. For most workers’ compensation claims, you must see the doctor of your employer’s choice. Do this first; you can always get a second opinion later if needed.
- Report your injury within 30 days. Notify your HR department as soon as possible after an injury. Be sure to take note of the location, time, and cause of your accident, as well as any witnesses.
- File your claim. The maximum amount of time you have is two years from the date of your injury, but it’s best to file soon — while your (and your witnesses') memories of the incident are still fresh.
What Can Go Wrong
If things run smoothly, your claim will be processed without incident. However, there are ways that employers, insurance companies, and doctors can interfere with the process, including:
- Your initial doctor denies significant injuries. If you believe your injuries are worse than your employer-chosen doctor’s diagnosis, be sure to get a second opinion.
- Your employer asserts that your injuries didn’t happen on the job. This is where it’s important to keep records of where your injury occurred, as well as eyewitness accounts.
- Your employer asks you to return to work before you fully recover. Sometimes employers will put their concerns over yours and ask you to return to work before you are healthy enough to do so.
- Your insurance company asserts that the injury was the result of a preexisting condition. Employers will sometimes deny the accident was their fault and put the blame on previous health conditions of the employee.
You May Appeal
If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision in a hearing. In these cases, it is especially advisable to have an attorney on your side, as the other side will have legal counsel advising them. During the hearing you will:
- Describe the accident. You or your attorney will present the evidence of your injury, including a detailed account of how the accident happened and who witnessed it.
- Present medical testimony and costs. An attorney can help you use medical records to demonstrate the cause and extent of your illness, calling medical experts to testify if necessary.
- Hear rebuttals from your insurance company. The hearing will also present an opportunity for your employer and/or your insurance company to deny the fact that you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. They may call witnesses of their own.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
Labor laws are complex, and those regarding workers’ compensation are no different. Some insurance companies count on employees to drop their appeals because they believe they can’t afford a lawyer or just don’t know what to do.
If you believe you are being wrongly denied a claim, contact our Gainesville office. We have the experience, expertise, and resources you need to take on employers and big insurance companies. Moreover, you pay nothing up front and we only get paid if we win.
We can help you at any step of the workers’ compensation process, from filing your claim to helping with your appeal. To learn more, fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form and one of our lawyers will contact you