Medical bills, combined with missed time at work, can be devastating after you are injured on the job. Florida workers’ compensation laws provide injured employees with coverage for their medical bills and lost wages.
But while these laws may seem straightforward at first, 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.
After a construction worker in Orlando had 150 pounds of construction material dropped on his head, he was left permanently disabled and unable to work.
Morgan & Morgan helped him receive a settlement of $1,117,500. If you or a loved one is dealing with a workers’ comp claim, they may be able to help you as well. Contact us for your free consultation 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 Orlando workers’ compensation attorney.
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.
Contact our Florida Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today
As an injured worker, you cannot count on your employer or its workers’ compensation carrier to have your best interests in mind. Most will go to great lengths to minimize their expenses for your injury and will consider your long-term health and well-being to be secondary at best.
If your employer is denying your claim, forcing you back to work too early, or claiming that your recovery is progressing too slowly, you need an Orlando workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
Call Morgan & Morgan at 877.667.426 or contact us online to have your situation evaluated by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.