Experienced Jacksonville Workers Compensation Lawyers
Serving Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach and Clients throughout Northeast Florida
An employee that is injured on the job or even off the job site is entitled to workers compensation insurance benefits under Florida state laws. These benefits are given to the employee so that he or she can recover from his or her injuries.
But, there are guidelines in Florida that determine how much compensation you may be entitled to – and the insurance company may purposely make it difficult to file your claim. Jacksonville workers compensation lawyer can help you.
What Type of Injuries Are Covered Under Workers Compensation?
One of the ways workers compensation insurance carriers try to get out of paying for your injuries is by stating that the injury, illness or condition you suffer is not work-related.
In general, any injury or illness that occurs during the course of regular employment should be covered under Florida Workers Compensation Insurance Benefits. This is a broad category of injuries, however, which is why there is confusion as to how it should be interpreted.
If you are injured and the first aid kit at your place of employment is adequate enough to treat the injury and you return to work the same day, then this is not something covered under insurance. But, injuries that are eligible for workers compensation include, but are not limited to:
- Injuries on the job site. This can include slip and fall injuries, defective products, etc. Repetitive injuries at the desk are also part of these injury categories.
- Injuries outside of work. If you were on your way to deliver a package and someone hits you, you are still covered under workers compensation. If you are running errands and fall and injure yourself, you are still covered.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to stress-related injuries. Injuries and illnesses, as long as they are the result of the work, are covered; therefore, a stress-related digestive problem or depression that is the result of being mistreated at work or just the job in general could be covered under workers compensation insurance.
In these types of cases, the employer is required to make accommodations to help you overcome the emotional distress, such as reducing hours, changing your job tasks, or even finding a different position in the company that is less stressful so that you can reduce any work-related stress or emotional discomfort.
Some occupational illnesses may be covered under workers compensation insurance, these can include:
- Lung disease
- Infectious diseases
- Stomach flu and viruses
As long as the work-related illness happened on the job (whether from job-related activities or exposure) it is may be covered.
If You Were at Fault
There is a common misconception that if you were at fault for the injury or partially at fault, you won’t be entitled to benefits. This is wrong. Even if you were at fault, you are entitled to some workers compensation benefits because the injury is still work-related. The only exception to this rule is when:
- You were injured because you were under the influence of alcohol.
- You were injured because of drug use.
- Your injuries are pre-existing and you purposely ignored doctors’ orders and aggravated the injury on the job.
Understanding the Benefits Included with Workers Compensation Insurance
The benefits you are entitled to can vary, but Florida state law requires employers to provide adequate enough insurance coverage for items like:
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Medical bills
- Temporary disability
In workers compensation cases, you are not compensated for pain and suffering. As an injured employee, you receive compensation for your inability to work – but not any emotional suffering or pain you suffer because of that.
Weekly Compensation Benefits
Because you are unable to work while on workers compensation, you will need to receive weekly compensation benefits. The length will vary and the amount depends on the type of disability, such as permanent versus temporary. Employees are entitled to four different types of employment compensation benefits, including:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Permanent partial disability
You can receive weekly compensation benefits for a limited time unless you are classified as permanently disabled. If permanently disabled, you may be able to reach employment benefits until the age of 65 when you would have retired from the job.
As part of your compensation, you are entitled to medical compensation. This should cover all reasonable and necessary medical care directly associated with the injury. If you have prescriptions or excess treatments that the insurance company feels are outside of the original injury, they may refuse to pay for the treatment.
Workers Compensation FAQs:
Workers Compensation is a system provided to help you recover benefits for injuries which occur on the job. It is a statutory system, and it is the sole mechanism by which workers gets paid for their job related injuries. Under the Workers’ Compensation system, regardless of fault, benefits are available.
No. Workers’ Compensation claims are generally your sole remedy. The only exception to this general rule is if there is a claim, provable in court, that the employer engaged in behavior rising to the level of an intentional act, which caused injury or death, or which was substantially certain to cause injury or death. It is only under this very rare exception that you may actually sue your employer in lieu of obtaining benefits under the Workers’ Compensation system.
The Workers’ Compensation system can be quite difficult to navigate. Many injured workers who proceed without a workers compensation attorney feel that they are getting the “run around.” If you do not have an advocate on your side who knows the system, you are forced to rely on representations by your employer, or, worse, an insurance company to whom you are just a number. The insurance adjuster is employed to do one thing and that is to limit the benefits you receive.
No. Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P.A. only handles Florida Workers’ Compensation claims.
First, and perhaps most importantly, you are entitled to continuous medical treatment for an injury sustained while at work. This includes, and is not limited to, surgery, pain management, prescription medications, and therapy. You are also entitled to receive two-thirds of your gross wages up to the statutory maximum. However, there are distinct time periods for which you may recover lost wages. After reaching maximum medical improvement, the amount which you can recover is reduced substantially and is called your impairment income benefit. The amount of money you receive in impairment income benefits is based upon a permanent impairment rating as determined and assigned by your doctor or authorized treating physician.
No. An employer faces civil liability if they fire you solely for filing a Workers Compensation claim. If they fire you for this reason, you can file suit against them for wrongful termination. It is important to note, however, that if you voluntarily leave your place of employment while receiving medical treatments pursuant to a valid Workers’ Compensation claim, you could suffer adverse consequences.
Attorneys’ fees are paid by the workers compensation insurance carrier or by the employer in some cases. In other cases the fees are determined by the judge as a percentage of any recovery. If no recovery is made, you will not pay any fee.
Do You Really Need a Workers Compensation Lawyer?
Too many injured workers make the mistake of trying to file their workers compensation claims on their own. If you are injured at work, do not assume your employer or their insurance company is on your side; instead, you need to protect your rights and the only way to do that is to hire a workers compensation lawyer.
Our Team of Jacksonville workers compensation lawyers can help you:
- With any denials from your employer. Employers may try to deny that you were injured at work so that they do not have to pay worker’s compensation claims.
- With any denials from the insurance company. Insurance companies bet on the fact that injured workers will deal with their denial. In fact, about 80 percent of denials never go to appeal. If you’re denied benefits you are entitled to, then our team of Jacksonville workers compensation lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.
- You are permanently disabled and cannot return to the same job. If this happens, you need an attorney to help represent your case against the insurance agencies and make sure you get long-term compensation.
- Keep your job. Some employers are tempted to retaliate against workers compensation claims by terminating the employee, but with a workplace injury attorney, they are less likely to take this type of action.
Injured at Work? Contact Our Team of Jacksonville Workers Compensation Lawyers Today!
If you were injured at work, do not try to go at it alone. Instead, hire our team of Jacksonville workers compensation lawyers at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton. We can help you with your workers compensation claim and even if you have been denied, we will assist you with the appeal. Contact us today for a free consultation by dialing 904-398-2212.