5 Things You Need to Know about Workers’ Comp in Florida
A work-related injury can be a major setback. Because on-the-job injuries affect your livelihood as well as your physical well-being, they are especially stressful.
In Florida, workers’ compensation is supposed to be there when you need it. Unfortunately, the claims process isn’t always straightforward.
In some cases, it can be downright confusing. Many injured workers are surprised when they encounter setbacks, long waits, and even denials of their claim.
A Jacksonville workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and assist you if you need to appeal your case.
A good place to start is by learning a few workers’ compensation basics. Ready to get started? Here are five things to know about workers’ comp in Florida.
1. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company Chooses Your Doctor
Many people are surprised to learn they don’t have the right to select their own doctor for treatment following a work-related accident.
Specifically, if you pursue a workers’ compensation claim, it’s your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider that chooses your doctor.
At the same time, the insurance company can’t send you to a doctor who isn’t qualified to treat your injury.
For example, the insurer can’t force you to see an obstetrician if you suffered a back injury. The doctor must have the qualifications, education, and training to competently treat your injuries.
2. It Doesn’t Matter If You Caused Your Work Place Injury
Under Florida law, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of whether their own negligence caused their injury.
Furthermore, your employer can’t fire you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. The law protects workers against this type of retaliation.
If you suspect your employer terminated your employment because you filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, contact a Jacksonville workers’ compensation attorney right away.
3. Failing to Report Your Injury Can Seriously Hurt Your Case
No matter what, you should always report your work-related injury to your employer. If you suffer an accident while performing a job-related function, it’s always best to report it.
Some people fail to report a work accident because they believe they aren’t really injured. This can be a big mistake, as certain types of injuries aren’t always immediately obvious.
In other cases, workers don’t report an injury because they believe they weren’t “on the clock” at the time of their accident.
This is a question best left to your workers’ compensation lawyer, as defining what falls within “the scope of employment” isn’t always as clear-cut as it may seem.
4. The Insurance Company May Try to Undervalue Your Claim
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Like any insurer, workers’ compensation insurance carriers try to pay out as little money as possible. They have no interest in fully compensating you for your injuries.
Insurance companies have a powerful financial incentive to deny your claim. When that fails, they usually try to pay out the bare minimum.
This is why it’s important to have a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer helping you every step of the way.
5. You May Still Be Able to File a Negligence Lawsuit
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you waive the right to sue your employer for your injuries. However, you may still be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against a negligent third party.
For example, if you were injured by a defective ladder on a construction site, you might be able to bring a negligence claim against the manufacturer of the ladder in addition to the workers’ compensation claim you file against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider.
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Get Our Team of Jacksonville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers To Represent Your Case
After any kind of work-related injury, it’s important to get in touch with a workers’ compensation attorney. Your financial security is too precious to leave to chance.
More importantly, your health and well-being depend on getting the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and receive the right treatment for your injuries.
Contact our team of Jacksonville workers’ compensation lawyers today to discuss your case.