The workers’ compensation claims process is a complicated one, and one you shouldn’t have to deal with alone. Focusing on your recovery should be your top priority, not fighting with the insurance company for the compensation you need.
One of Morgan & Morgan’s clients in Tampa was a heavy equipment mechanic who suffered a neck injury while loading heavy equipment onto a truck, and who required surgery. After his employer initially denied his workers’ compensation claim, our attorneys got to work on proving that he needed the compensation. The employer settled before ever getting to trial, and our client received a settlement of $450,000.
If you were injured while working on the job, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover damages for your injuries. To find out more about your available legal options, complete our free case review form.
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
- Assorted injuries to the back, spinal cord, shoulder, eyes, knees, neck, hip, respiratory organs, ankles, wrists, feet and hands
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.
How Can a Morgan & Morgan Attorney Help Me File a Claim?
The most important thing you can do after sustaining an injury on the job, especially if you have a particularly complicated claim, is to have an attorney with a comprehensive understanding of the claims process. That way, you can rest easy after an injury while we help you recover benefits you are entitled to. Your attorney can:
- Explain the claims process and guide you through each step
- Help you obtain necessary resources and documentation
- Handle discussions with your employer or your employer’s insurance company
- Help officially file your claim for benefits
In addition, if your claim is rejected or undervalued, your attorney can help appeal that decision to higher authorities.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
Most employers in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in case of on-the-job injury; it’s important to verify that your employer is one of them. To pursue workers’ compensation benefits, the following steps occur:
Notice: Florida law requires you to report your job-related injury to your employer within 30 days of the incident. Your employer then has 7 days to report it to their insurance company.
Claim and Report: Once you’ve reported your injury, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits. Along with this claim, you should have a detailed report of the incident that resulted in an injury. This is where a Morgan & Morgan attorney comes in handy - they can be a vital asset when gathering and analyzing information, as well as determining the most important information for the report and helping compose it.
Evaluating the Injury: When evaluating how severe your injury is, you are required to see a doctor that is approved by your employer or their insurance company. After this, you are allowed to get a second opinion from a physician of your choosing. Both of these evaluations will be taken into account when deciding how much you receive in benefits.
Insurance Evaluation: Your employer’s insurance company now reviews your claim, report, and medical evaluations and determines the benefits you’re eligible for.
Re-Evaluation: If the insurance returns with a claim, and you and your attorney feel the claim is undervalued, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the insurer. If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney may appeal the decision to higher authorities.
Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In some cases, an employer’s insurance company will deny an injured worker the right to any benefits entirely. This can happen for a number of reasons: insurers could accuse the worker of misrepresenting the injury, blame the injury on a pre-existing condition or even claim the injury was not sustained on the job.
Should you appeal this decision, your attorney will be required to file a petition with the Division of Administrative Hearings. Your case will be assigned to a judge, who schedules a hearing. In this hearing, both sides can present information (including evidence and witnesses) that supports their position. The judge, using this information, makes a decision.
If the judge also denies your appeal for benefits, your attorney may file a second appeal with the Florida First District Court of Appeals, where the information is presented in front of a different judge or panel of judges.
What Are Third Party Lawsuits?
If a third party was involved in or contributed to the incident causing your injury on the job, you may be able to seek additional benefits. These lawsuits must be filed in addition to workers’ compensation claims.
A third party in a workers’ compensation injury could a defective tool or product that failed to work and played a crucial role in your injury - in this case, you could potentially file a product liability case against the manufacturer. Third party lawsuits can not be filed against your employer or any co-workers involved in the accident or injury.
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 a Tampa attorney review your case and discuss your legal options, please complete our free case review form.