Workers' Compensation Attorney in Jacksonville501 Riverside Ave, Suite 1200
Jacksonville, FL 32202
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Jacksonville Workers' Compensation
Workers’ compensation is meant to benefit everyone involved. Even when it does, it can be helpful to have a lawyer. But sometimes it doesn’t benefit an injured employee like it should, and at times like these it’s more important than ever to have experienced attorneys by your side.
With over two decades of experience helping employees recover workers’ compensation benefits, Morgan & Morgan understands the tactics employers and their insurance companies use to reduce the compensation paid to workers who were hurt on the job. Sometimes, they will try to minimize the extent of your injuries; others have claimed that an injury was the result of a preexisting condition, disqualifying you from receiving benefits.
Our attorneys in Jacksonville work with medical and workplace injury experts to demonstrate both how severe your injury is and how it was caused by an accident at work. We know what it takes to help you in times like these, and our consultations are no-cost and no-obligation. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at work, contact us for your free consultation.
How an Attorney Can Help After a Workplace Injury
The process that comes after getting injured on the job can be complicated, and at times a long one. Here are some of the steps of getting workers’ compensation that a Morgan & Morgan attorney in Jacksonville can help you with:
File a Claim: To qualify for benefits, you need to report the injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. Hiring an attorney for this can entail letting them complete paperwork, the forms and questionnaires that must be filled out in your report. While they do this, you can focus on your recovery.
Evaluate Your Injuries: Our attorneys, in workers’ compensation cases, often work with medical experts to help evaluate the extent of your injuries. Using this evaluation in tandem with your required independent medical examination, we can help you seek damages to compensate you for the injuries you suffered. Generally, under workers’ compensation the employer is required to pay for all necessary medical treatments and rehabilitation resulting from a workplace injury - our evaluations help make sure they do.
File an Appeal: Hopefully your claim will be quick and painless, and you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. But sometimes, your appeal can be denied for invalid reasons. There are many instances of an employer or insurance company denying a workers’ compensation claim on the basis that an injury was caused by a preexisting condition. In Florida, you’re allowed to appeal these denials.
In the appeals process, you have the right to a hearing, where your attorney can present your case to a judge. He or she can present evidence to the judge, such as medical records, expert testimony on your medical condition, or a witness testimony. The judge often makes their decision within 30 days of the hearing. If they also deny your claim, your case can still have a chance with an appeal in the Florida court system.
Handle Mediation: In some cases, a workers’ compensation claim is settled out of court through mediation. At the mediation, your workers’ compensation attorney can present evidence to an independent, third-party mediator who will try to facilitate a settlement.
Options For Additional Compensation
In addition to all of these methods of help, a Morgan & Morgan workers’ compensation lawyer can also help you to be aware of other ways to get compensated for your injury. Workers’ compensation is generally the exclusive way an employee can seek any compensation after a workplace injury. However, in some instances third-party lawsuits are possible.
In a third-party lawsuit, you can attempt to seek damages against a party other than your employer. For example, if a defective piece of machinery or equipment was involved in your accident, a third-party lawsuit could be possible against the manufacturer of the defective equipment.
The other major way you could potentially get added compensation is if your employer retaliates against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This could possibly result in a separate lawsuit against the employer; for example, if their retaliation is to fire you, you could have a wrongful termination case.
How To Know if Your Employer Has Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Though it’s extremely likely that your job does carry workers’ compensation insurance, it is important to know for sure. Florida’s workers’ compensation system states that, with a few exceptions, any employer that employs four or more employees (whether part-time or full-time) must have workers’ compensation insurance.
One of the exceptions is for anyone who works in construction; for the construction industry, workers’ compensation insurance is required for any employer with at least one employee. If you work in an agricultural industry, an employer must have either 6 regular employees or 12 seasonal employees that work 30 days or more in order to have coverage for workers’ compensation.
If your employer doesn’t employ the number of people required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, it is still possible that they have it. If they don’t, and you’re injured on the job, you could potentially have a case against your employer.
Independent Medical Examination
To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must take an independent medical exam (IME). An IME is conducted to evaluate the extent of your injuries and determine whether it was caused by a workplace accident. Insurance companies, however, sometimes use the IME to minimize payouts.
The insurance company hires the doctor who will conduct the IME. In some cases, however, the doctors, rather than being independent, are biased in order protect the financial interests of the insurance companies that hire them.
An attorney will work to ensure that you receive an accurate and unbiased diagnosis of your injuries. If your claim is denied as a result of a biased IME, your attorney may get a second opinion from another physician to prevent the chance of any inaccuracies.
Get Your Free Evaluation ASAP
Morgan & Morgan’s workers’ compensation attorneys have helped countless Floridians get the benefits they deserve for their injury. If you or a loved one suffered an injury on the job, fill out our free case review form to find out how a Jacksonville workers’ compensation attorney can help you recover compensation.
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What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Workers' Compensation Attorney?
A Jacksonville workers' compensation attorney can help you navigate the complexities of workers' compensation laws in Florida, explain your rights and options, assess your injuries and damages, and work with your employer to ensure you receive the full benefits you are entitled to. They can also assist in negotiating a fair settlement with your employer's insurance carrier and represent you if the case goes to court. This gives you peace of mind because you don't have to deal with the complexities of pursuing compensation for your injuries.
When Should I Contact a Workers' Compensation Attorney?
Different scenarios may require the attention of a workers' compensation lawyer in Jacksonville, FL. Examples of such situations include but are not limited to the following:
- If your employer or their insurer denies your claim
- The insurance company takes too long to compensate you, usually more than 30 days
- You have a pre-existing condition that could jeopardize your claim
- You intend to file for Social Security benefits
- Your employer retaliates against you for filing a worker's compensation claim
- If you have suffered serious injuries, including partial or permanent disability
- Your employer's insurance company refuses to pay for your doctor-recommended treatment
- The insurance provider offers a low-ball settlement
At Morgan & Morgan, we offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation for individuals injured in the workplace.
How Much Compensation Can a Workers' Compensation Attorney Help Me Recover?
In Florida, the state's workers' compensation system provides benefits for up to two-thirds of an injured employee's average weekly wage. This may also include payment for all reasonable and necessary medical care related to their injuries. In addition, in certain situations, more compensation may be available for permanent or partial disability, death benefits for dependents, and vocational rehabilitation assistance.
Given that there is no standard compensation for such claims because each case is different, a competent workers' comp attorney can help you understand the specific benefits you may be entitled to after reviewing your case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim in Florida?
An employee injured in Florida must file a claim for workers' compensation benefits within two years of being injured. However, some exceptions may apply if:
- the injured worker is a minor;
- the injured worker is mentally incompetent;
- the employer misled the injured employee about their entitlement to compensation;
- the insurance provider misled or failed to inform the injured employee about their rights regarding compensation; or
- the injured employee has a medical device implanted due to the work-related injury.
Are Workers' Compensation Settlements Taxable in Florida?
Generally, in Florida, you do not have to pay taxes on workers' compensation settlements. This means that the injured employee will receive the full settlement without deductions for taxes. However, some special circumstances can make a portion of the settlement taxable. For example, if you receive disability benefits from various sources, a portion of that amount may be taxable. Be sure to speak with an experienced attorney to determine whether you should expect to pay tax on your workers' comp settlement if you win the case.
What Types of Injuries Does Florida Workers' Compensation Cover?
Florida workers' compensation benefits cover a wide range of work-related injuries. The types of injuries can range from:
- Physical injuries, such as cuts, broken bones, or burns.
- Psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), caused by an on-the-job accident.
Other illnesses and conditions related to your job may also qualify for Florida workers' compensation benefits.
If you were injured at work, and your employer or their insurance carrier is unwilling to process your claim, you should get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible.
How Can a Workers' Compensation Attorney Help if I Suffered Permanent Injuries?
If you have suffered a permanent injury due to a work-related accident, you may be entitled to certain benefits under Florida's workers' compensation laws. A skilled workers' compensation attorney may be able to help you secure the maximum amount of compensation for your injury and suffering. This includes but is not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, disability benefits, and more.
Can a Workers' Compensation Attorney Pursue a Claim and Lawsuit at the Same Time?
Yes, with the help of an experienced and well-equipped attorney, you can pursue a workers' compensation claim and lawsuit simultaneously. A workers' compensation attorney in Florida will evaluate your case and determine if filing a separate lawsuit is appropriate. While pursuing a workers' compensation claim will provide benefits such as medical care and wage replacement, it may not cover all of the damages you sustained due to your work-related injury. A lawsuit allows you to seek additional compensation for pain and suffering and other losses not covered by a workers' comp claim.
Here is an example of such a situation.
Suppose you got hit by another company's delivery vehicle while at work. In that case, your workers' compensation claim will only cover your economic damages. On the other, a lawsuit against the delivery driver could help you recover compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent disfigurement, and more.
Let Morgan & Morgan Workers' Compensation Attorneys In Jacksonville, FL, Fight For You
Workers' compensation claims can be complex, especially when dealing with serious injuries. Keep in mind that your employer and their insurance company will try to find any reason to deny your claim or minimize your benefits.
That is how insurance companies make money; they minimize their risks and maximize the insurance premiums their clients pay. On the other hand, having unsafe working conditions could mean that your employer will need to pay more premiums to the insurance carrier to maintain coverage.
You should not have to worry about that when you let Morgan & Morgan, the nation's largest injury firm, handle your case.
Our law firm files the most workers' compensation claims in the country, a testimony of our experience handling such cases.
Don't give up your right to compensation after a work-related injury; we can fight for you.
Not sure if you have a valid claim? We can review your case for free.