A workplace injury can hurt you both physically and financially. When an injury causes you to miss work and lose wages, it can become difficult to pay medical and household bills.
There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2015 — the most recent date, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The occupations that had the highest number of workplace injury cases resulting in days away from work included tractor-trailer truck drivers, laborers and freight, material movers, and nursing assistants.
Florida’s workers’ compensation laws help to take care of injured workers by providing coverage for their medical bills and lost wages. However, employers and their insurance companies have shown that they are willing to do whatever they can to minimize their expense.
This can include minimizing your injury, claiming it isn’t work-related, suggesting you have received an unreasonable amount of treatment or demanding you return to work unreasonably soon after a serious injury.
When Ocala employers refuse to stand by employees who have been injured on the job, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are there to help.
If you or a loved one has had a workers’ compensation claim denied or received inadequate compensation, we may be able to help. To find out what our Ocala workers’ compensation attorneys may be able to do for you, please fill out our free case evaluation form today.
What to do After Being Injured on the Job in Florida
Besides getting medical treatment, the most important thing to do after suffering an on-the-job injury is to report it to your employer. Claims not reported within 30 days may be barred, but as a practical matter, it is best to report a claim as soon as possible.
When a claim proceeds as it should, the employee receives care from a physician, who identifies the injury and determines what treatment is necessary and when and if the injured worker can return to duty.
The worker begins receiving biweekly checks for two-thirds of their average biweekly wage, typically calculated based on the preceding three months until they are able to return to work.
Unfortunately, Florida workers’ compensation claims do not always proceed as they should, and can be fully or partially denied for a number of reasons:
- The attending doctor (who is typically chosen by the employer) determines that the worker does not have a significant injury, despite complaints of serious pain.
- Even though the worker is clearly injured, the employer determines that the injury did not take place on the job. For instance, the employer suggests that the worker injured their back at home and simply reported it as a work injury.
- After a period of treatment, the attending doctor determines that the worker has recovered and is able to return to work, even though the worker is still in pain.
- After a period of treatment, the attending doctor determines the worker is not recovering as they should and suggests that the worker is exaggerating their symptoms.
When this occurs, it is time to contact an Ocala workers’ compensation attorney.
Workplace Injury Cases We Handle
Workers’ compensation can mean a lot of different things when dealing with filing a claim. Our attorneys handle claims involving a number of injuries that happen on the job. This can include:
- Muscular injuries, broken bones, torn ligaments, torn rotator cuffs, and herniated disks from lifting, pushing, or other actions;
- Sickness from exposure to toxins, including occupational diseases like mesothelioma or Black Lung;
- Head injuries like concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from falling objects, falls, etc.;
- Tendonitis or other repetitive motion injuries;
- Construction accidents;
- Hearing loss or damage;
- Cold and heat stress or burn injuries from accidents like electrocution; or
- Assorted injuries to the back, spinal cord, shoulder, eyes, knees, neck, hip, respiratory organs, ankles, wrists, feet, and hands.
What Benefits are Available for Injured Workers in Florida?
- Injured workers are entitled to receive necessary medical treatment free of charge.
- A worker who is temporarily disabled is entitled to receive biweekly wage loss benefits for up to two years or until they can return to work.
- A worker who is partially disabled— that is unable to perform their previous job but still able to perform a less demanding job— is entitled to wage loss benefits for the difference if the pay rate of their new position is less than 80 percent of that of their former position until they are able to return.
- If a worker is still partially disabled after reaching maximum medical improvement, they can continue to receive 75 percent of their benefits for an amount of time determined by the severity of their remaining disability.
- A worker who is so badly injured that they can never return to work can receive permanent disability benefits until age 62 (or age 75 if they do not qualify for Social Security). If an injured worker ultimately dies, their family may be entitled to benefits as well.
There are other workplace injuries we handle as well. Ultimately, the specifics of your injury will determine whether you have a case to make a claim.
Contact Us About Your Workers’ Compensation Case
If you were injured on the job, you may be able to recover compensation through a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit against a third party. To have an Ocala attorney review your case and discuss your legal options, please complete our free case evaluation form today.