Workers' Compensation in Fort Myers12800 University Drive, Suite 600
Fort Myers, FL 33907
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Fort Myers Workers' Compensation
In Florida, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. These benefits offer injured workers the opportunity to recover insurance benefits to make up for lost wages and medical expenses. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies often want to avoid these payments. As a result, the workers’ compensation claims process has become overly complicated, especially for workers who file claims without the assistance of a qualified attorney.
At Morgan & Morgan’s Fort Myers office, our attorneys have extensive experience handling workers’ compensation claims and are familiar with the tactics insurance companies may use to deny you the benefits you deserve. We are committed to helping Florida workers collect the benefits to which they are entitled, ensuring the financial security of both our clients and their families.
We've seen great success in workers' comp cases here, including winning a $2.2 million settlement for a local landscaper who was injured catastrophically in a car accident on the job. Our attorneys may be able to help you as well. If you were injured while working for your employer, you may be eligible for insurance benefits. To learn more about your rights and how a Fort Myers workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help, please complete our free case review form today.
How Our Fort Myers Attorneys Can Help You File a Successful Claim
Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can assist you with each of the following steps to help you recover benefits.
Initial Report: Under Florida law, injured workers are required to report their on-the-job injuries to their employers within 30 days of the accident. Our attorneys can help ensure your employer reports your injury to their insurer within 7 days, as required by law.
Medical Evaluation: Your attorney will ensure you undergo an evaluation by a physician of your employer’s choice. Following this evaluation, your attorney may have you undergo a second evaluation performed by a physician of your choice.
Your Benefits Claim: Your attorney will help you to:
- Provide details of your accident (e.g. time, location, weather condition, job being performed)
- Collect witness statements to support your claim
- Analyze medical evaluations for any discrepancies
- Estimate the duration of your injury and its impact on your ability to work in the future
- Construct a claim that best represents why you should receive benefits, and
- Submit your claim to your employer’s insurance company for review.
Evaluation: Your employer’s insurance company will review your claim and determine—based on the severity and expected duration of your injury and your ability to perform your job in the future—the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Appeal: After you receive notice of the benefits you have been awarded, your attorney will help you review the insurer’s decision. If your attorney believes your claim was undervalued, he or she can try to negotiate with the company. If negotiations are unsuccessful, the decision can be appealed to higher authorities.
Fort Myers Workers’ Compensation FAQs
What if my Fort Myers employer does not report my injury to the insurance company?
You can report the injury to the insurer yourself. Contact the Employment Assistance Office for help at 1-800-342-1741.
What is considered a work-related injury?
A worker is said to have suffered a “work-related injury” if he or she is hurt while on the employer’s premises, performing a task for the benefit of his or her employer, or acting within the scope of his or her job duties.
Can I sue my employer after an injury for compensation?
No. Agreeing to receive workers’ compensation benefits waives your right to sue your employer.
Can I sue anyone else?
Yes, in some situations. If your injury is the result of a third party’s negligence, you may have the option of filing a lawsuit to recover compensation not covered by your workers’ comp benefits.
Can I receive Social Security benefits and workers’ compensation at the same time?
Yes, but the amount you receive between the two programs cannot exceed 80% of your average weekly income.
Can I receive unemployment and workers’ compensation at the same time?
No. Unemployment benefits require the worker to be medically able to work.
Can I be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
No. Your employer may not fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Does my employer have to hold my position while I recover?
Florida law does not require employers to hold jobs for injured employees.
If you were injured on the job, you may be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. To discuss your situation with a Fort Myers workers’ compensation attorney, please complete our case review form today. Our Florida office is currently offering consultations to all potential clients, at no cost or obligation.
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When Should I Hire Fort Myers Workers' Compensation Attorneys?
The Florida workers' compensation system is supposed to simplify the process of getting medical care and wage assistance when a worker is injured. It's a no-fault program that allows workers to collect benefits without proving the employer was negligent. Most employers have an obligation to provide these benefits. However, there are situations when you may need legal help to obtain the benefits you're entitled to receive. Here are some issues that our clients encounter:
When your claim is denied - Your employer's insurance carrier may deny your claim for varying reasons, some of which are not legitimate. Our Fort Myers workers' compensation attorneys can help overcome opposition by challenging their position.
When you're asked to make a recorded statement - You may receive a request to make a recorded statement concerning your injuries and how they came about. This is not unusual. However, you may need guidance on what to say so you don't unintentionally hurt your chances of getting your claim approved. Insurance adjusters are trained on how to interview claimants. You have not likely been trained on how to protect your rights.
When your employer retaliates - It is illegal if you've been threatened because you want to file a claim or your employer has taken retaliatory steps after you've filed a claim. Our Fort Myers compensation attorneys can take measures to ensure threats or retaliation are met with consequences.
When your disability rating is disputed - Your benefits depend entirely on your disability rating. It dictates how much you get and for how long. Your treating doctor is responsible for giving you this rating which insurance carriers may dispute. Suppose you've been given a permanent total or partial disability rating. In that case, you may be subject to exams, which is within the insurance carrier's rights. However, this is often the precursor to a dispute. You may need legal help if you disagree with your disability rating.
When you have issues getting medical care - Insurance carriers are always looking to avoid costs. As such, they may argue that a portion of your treatment or surgery isn't necessary. You shouldn't have to accept poor medical treatment for your valid workplace injury. Morgan and Morgan can help ensure you get the medical care you deserve.
You've sustained catastrophic injuries - Life-altering injuries often lead to permanent or temporary total disability ratings, which obligate insurance companies to pay benefits for an extended period of time. Because of this, you may be subjected to aggressive opposition as they try to minimize your injuries or argue they don't exist. When a lawyer represents you, you're less likely to be taken advantage of and, in all probability, will receive a higher settlement.
When Should I Report a Fort Myers Workplace Injury?
You have up to 30 days to report an injury that occurred while working. Still, we recommend you report a workplace injury as soon as possible. In the case of an occupational illness, you should report it as soon as you discover it. Your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier may use any delay to deny coverage. Once you report it, your employer must contact them within seven days. Then you should expect to receive an informational brochure within three days that details the next steps.
What Kind of Injuries Do Workers' Compensation Medical Benefits Cover?
Workers should expect to have their medical needs covered if any injury is sustained or an occupational illness is acquired through their employment. Still, some employee injuries or conditions might be challenged as not resulting from their job. Suppose you break your ankle after falling over a piece of equipment in front of several coworkers. In that case, you're usually not going to have an issue collecting benefits.
However, some injuries may be more closely scrutinized. Although repetitive use injuries are covered, you might find yourself questioned. For example, if you work as a butcher but also enjoy playing baseball, once you develop a condition like "tennis elbow," an insurance carrier may argue that your hobby is the source rather than your work and use this excuse to deny benefits.
When situations like this happen, it's helpful to look to our Fort Myers workers' compensation attorneys. Workers shouldn't be penalized because they enjoy activities outside of their employment. We can engage medical professionals to demonstrate the likelihood of developing repetitive movement syndrome is in step with your duties as an employee. While any "extracurricular" activities may aggravate the problem, it isn't necessarily the main reason behind its development.
Morgan and Morgan are experienced in dealing with workers' compensation insurance carriers. Our familiarity with their tactics to deny liability empowers us to fight back for our clients.
How Much Are Workers' Compensation Wage Benefits in Florida?
Injured workers are entitled to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage up to the maximum allowable, updated yearly. Catastrophic injury benefits (paralysis or blindness, for example) are higher at 80% of the worker's pre-injury wage for the first six months with no maximum cap.
How Long Can You Collect Workers' Comp in Florida?
Temporary total disability benefits should continue for a maximum of 104 weeks or until you meet one of these developments:
- Your treating doctor releases you to return to work
- Your doctor states you've reached the level of maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning that you have recovered as much as you'll ever be able to, even with future treatment
- You've collected benefits for the maximum allowable time
You may continue to receive temporary partial benefits if your doctor states you can return to work but are restricted from doing some labor (lifting heavy objects, or standing for an extended period, for example.) These benefits are meant to bridge the pay gap if your condition causes you to work in a position for less income than what you received pre-injury.
Workers with a permanent partial disability rating may continue to receive benefits after temporary benefits have expired, of which the amount will be based on the nature of their disability until death.
Workers who are permanently totally disabled are entitled to collect wage benefits for as long as they cannot work up to the age of 75. Afterward, they are entitled to collect Social Security Benefits.
Suppose you've been partially or totally permanently disabled. In that case, we urge you to reach out to Morgan and Morgan before you agree to any settlement. We can review the settlement terms to ensure you're getting everything you deserve and will advise you if the payment will conflict with any other services you are receiving.