Workers’ Compensation Laws in Titusville407 South Washington Avenue, Suite #3
Titusville, FL 32796
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What Are the Workers’ Compensation Laws in Titusville, FL?
Located next to the Kennedy Space Center about 40 miles due east of Orlando, Titusville, FL enjoys a vibrant and diverse economy that is home to the tourist, tech, and industrial engineering industries. The bustling economy translates into a low unemployment rate that is the envy of other cities located in the Sunshine State. Nearly full employment means more workplace accidents happen in and around the east-central Florida city. If you sustained an injury or injuries caused by a workplace accident, what legal recourse do you have to recover the financial losses?
The answer is filing a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance company. The workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, FL protect employees against suffering huge financial losses. Unlike filing a personal injury lawsuit, filing a workers’ compensation claim does not require employees to prove the four elements of negligence. However, injured employees should follow some of the steps recommended for filing a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
Although Florida law stipulates employers must pay into a workers’ compensation insurance fund to provide coverage, some employers balk at approving certain types of claims. The primary reason for the refusal to pay out valid claims is the same reason why companies do not like to pay out health insurance claims. Every time a workers’ compensation claim gets approved by an employer’s insurance company, the employer’s workers’ comp insurance rates increase.
Because of the negative financial implications of having a workers’ compensation claim denied by your employer’s insurance company, you should consider hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in handling Florida workers’ compensation cases. At Morgan and Morgan, our highly-rated team of lawyers possesses a deep understanding of workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, FL, as well as knows how to gather the evidence required to submit a persuasive claim.
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What Are Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws?
Workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, FL cover financial losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and legal fees. Florida law mandates employers with at least four employees must purchase workers’ compensation coverage. The type of coverage required by Florida law depends on several factors, such as the size of a company, the number of employees, and the type of industry the business works within. For example, a large construction company pays more for workers’ compensation insurance than a small advertising agency. Florida law considers business owners who are LLC members or corporate officers to be defined as employees. Employers also need coverage if 12 or more temporary employees work at least 30 days during a season.
Florida provides three types of medical coverage for workers’ comp claims: Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), and impairment benefits. TTD benefits equal two-thirds of an employee’s regular wages. TPD benefits pay out 80 percent of the difference between 80 percent of your standard wages before the injury and the income you now earn living with some form of disability. Impairment benefits compensate a worker for the costs associated with a permanent disability.
Although there are a few exceptions, employees must report workplace accidents within 30 days after the development of one or more injuries. This is an important rule to understand because if you sustained injuries that produced delayed symptoms, the clock does not start ticking on your workers’ compensation claim on the date of the workplace accident. Instead, the clock starts ticking on the day when you received a diagnosis for the delayed symptoms. For example, you might receive a diagnosis for whiplash a few days after a workplace accident because the symptoms of whiplash sometimes do not immediately develop.
Workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, FL require employees to receive treatment from a physician that is authorized by the worker’s employer. You can seek a second opinion from your healthcare provider, but your employer’s chosen healthcare provider runs the diagnostic tests, as well as implements the treatment programs and physical therapy sessions. Florida law also does not require employers to offer workers the same jobs when the workers return to the workplace.
Hiring a lawyer who has handled a large number of workers’ compensation claims can help you better understand the workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, FL.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida?
Knowing the steps to file a workers’ compensation claim in Florida goes a long way toward determining the likelihood that your employer’s insurance company approves your claim for compensation.
Receive Medical Care
By far the largest expense you can expect to cover after a workplace accident concerns medical bills. You should get medical care for even the mildest types of injuries. Without medical evidence submitted on your behalf, you can expect your workers’’ compensation claim to come back denied by your employer’s insurance company. Remember that you must visit with a physician authorized by your employer’s insurer. However, for a serious injury that requires emergency medical care, you can receive treatment from the medical professionals located at the nearest hospital or trauma center.
Request copies of every medical bill and record to submit with your workers’ comp claim.
Report Your Injuries
Like most every other state workers’ compensation program, the workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, FL require you to report a workplace accident to your employer. Although state law gives you 30 days to report a workplace accident, you should act with a sense of urgency because the workers’ compensation system frequently slows down because of the overwhelming number of claims submitted by employees. Your employer should post the name of the workers’ compensation insurance company, along with the contact information for you to ask questions and determine the status of your claim.
If your employer has not posted the required workers’ compensation information at a central location in the workplace, contact the Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office to receive the information that you need.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney at Morgan and Morgan
After reporting the workplace accident, your employer is legally responsible to report the accident to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. Your employer also must hand you the forms you need to submit with a workers’ compensation claim. However, you should wait to complete and submit the claim forms until after you meet with one of the workers’ compensation lawyers from Morgan and Morgan. The lawyer assigned to your case conducts a thorough review of the evidence, as well as the statements made by witnesses.
Document everything, such as the details of your injury and medical expenses associated with diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions. Make copies of every document that is part of the claim filed for workers’ compensation benefits. Do not talk with your employer’s insurance company. Instead, the attorney that you hire from Morgan and Morgan acts as an intermediary between you and your employer’s insurer.
What Is the Appeal Process for a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida?
One component of the workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, Florida involves defining the appeal process. If you did not hire a Morgan and Morgan attorney to handle the filing of your claim, you should seek legal counsel if you have to file an appeal for a denied claim.
The workers’ compensation appeal process in Florida involves completing three steps.
Notification of Denial
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company should contact you a few days after receiving the report describing the accident. The insurance company conducts an investigation that should result in a decision issued within 30 days. Some workers’ compensation claims come back denied, with workers getting a notification of denial in the mail.
File an Appeal
Filing an appeal for a denied workers’ comp claim involves submitting a petition to the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC). You have two years from the date of the workplace accident to petition the OJCC to review your claim. The OJCC makes a decision regarding your claim and if the decision is in your favor, the OJCC sends the updated status of your claim to the employer’s insurance company. The insurance company can agree with the decision issued by the OJCC or file a response that justifies the original decision to deny your workers’ compensation claim.
Mediation represents a legal process that resembles the process of going through a civil trial. A judge reviews the specifics of the case before hearing both sides of the workers’ compensation dispute. The Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) represents a neutral third party who closely examines the evidence to determine the validity of a workers’ compensation claim. The judge issues a decision within 30 days of the hearing, with both sides having the opportunity to appeal the JCC’s decision.
What Should I Look for in a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Although getting a workers’ compensation claim approved is relatively easy compared to other types of insurance claims, hiring an attorney to provide legal support can help increase the strength of your claim.
The question is not whether to hire a lawyer, but what you should look for in a workers’ compensation attorney.
Experience Handling Workers’ Compensation Cases
Experience matters when searching for the best workers’ comp lawyer. Workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, FL often change to accommodate advances in preventing workplace injuries. The attorney you hire must be a Florida-licensed litigator who specializes in representing employees injured in the workplace. In addition to the number of years, experience also involves a proven record of helping clients gain approval for workers’ compensation claims.
Workers’ compensation cases are less formal than filing a personal injury lawsuit. The attorney that you work with from Morgan and Morgan can request to negotiate with your employer’s insurance company any time after the filing of your claim. Your legal counsel submits a reasonable value for compensation, which your employer’s insurance company either accepts, rejects, or sends back with a counteroffer. Several rounds of counteroffers can unfold until both parties agree to a settlement or decide to complete the workers’ compensation claim process.
Positive Online Reviews
Positive online reviews left by clients on sites such as Yelp and Google provide you with insight into the reputation of a workers’ compensation attorney. At Morgan and Morgan, our lawyers have earned high praise for possessing a deep understanding of rapidly changing workers’ compensation laws in Titusville, Florida. We also receive positive reviews for the transparent way we conduct business.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to initiate the Florida workers’ compensation claim process.
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