When you’re hurt on the job, you rely on workers’ compensation in order to pay for medical treatment and recover from your injuries. However, employers and their insurance companies often attempt to deny valid claims for workers’ compensation. They may also try to limit the amount of benefits that are paid out to injured workers. That’s where an attorney can help.
By hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Lakeland, you can help ensure that your rights to Florida workers’ compensation benefits are protected. At Morgan & Morgan, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are familiar with the tactics used by employers and insurance companies, and will aggressively negotiate on your behalf to make sure you receive the maximum benefit available to you.
If you have been injured at work and want to learn more about your legal rights, contact our Lakeland office for a free case evaluation. According to Florida’s Statute of Limitations, you only have a certain amount of time to file your workers’ compensation claim, so time is of the essence.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You After a Workplace Accident
File a Workers’ Comp Claim: In order to avoid any delays or have your workers’ compensation claim rejected, you have to report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you procure and compile evidence so that you have documentation to back your claim. He or she can organize all the paperwork while you recover from the accident.
Ensure a Correct Diagnosis: To be eligible for workers’ compensation in Florida, you may be assessed through an independent medical exam (“IME”). The IME takes note of your injuries and current medical condition and determines whether they were caused by a workplace accident. The doctor who performs the IME is usually employed by the insurance company, and then he or she is oftentimes partial to the financial interests of that company. An attorney can help you see through the insurance company’s tactics and ensure that you are diagnosed accurately.
Evaluate Opportunities for Additional Compensation: Workers’ compensation is generally the only way an employee can receive compensation for his or her injuries. In some cases, however, your attorney may be able to file a lawsuit against a corporation whose negligence contributed to your accident or injury. Furthermore, if your employer retaliates against you in any way for filing a workers’ compensation claim or inquiring about your workplace rights, the retaliation may provide grounds for a separate lawsuit against your employer.
File an Appeal: Workers’ compensation claims in Florida are frequently denied for incorrect reasons. For example, your employer may attempt to claim that your injuries were not caused at work or that you had a preexisting condition that contributed to your injuries. Under Florida law, you can file an appeal if your claim for workers’ compensation benefits has been denied. As part of the appeals process, your attorney may represent you at a hearing before a judge. During the hearing, your lawyer may present medical evidence and expert testimony regarding the injuries you suffered at work.
What Benefits Can I Recover?
Through Florida’s workers’ compensation program, your Lakeland attorney may be able to help you recover:
- Medical Expenses: Workers’ compensation provides benefits to cover all medical care that is necessary to treat injuries stemming from a workplace accident, including compensation for doctor’s visits, hospital expenses, physical therapy and prescription drugs.
- Temporary Disability Benefits: If your doctors expect you will be able to return to work, you may be able to receive temporary disability benefits while you are recovering from your injuries. In Florida, injured workers are eligible to receive up to 104 weeks of temporary disability benefits.
- Permanent Disability Benefits: If your injuries are so severe that you are unable to return to work, you may be entitled to receive permanent total disability benefits.
- Death Benefits: If a person dies within one year of a workplace accident or within five years of being permanently disabled because of workplace injuries, the victim’s spouse or family members may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation death benefits of up to $150,000.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, please fill out our free, no-obligation case review form to learn more about how a Lakeland workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you.