Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
While the number of injuries occurring in the workplace is holding steady, the number of fatal workplace injuries is on the rise. Even if there was no increase in workplace accidents, the number of workers injured on the job each year is staggering.
According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured while on the job every seven seconds in the United States, which reduces workplace productivity by over 104 million days. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are preventable.
When an employee is injured on the job in Fort Lauderdale, they may be entitled to money through workers’ compensation. If you were injured on the job, talk with a workers’ compensation lawyer today. A workers’ compensation lawyer understands the importance of not only having income while you recover but getting medical treatment to help you get better.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance designed to assist employees when they are injured on the job. The law provides for monetary payments, medical prescriptions, and any medical care required following the on-job injury.
Most employers are required under Florida law to purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy. By providing this coverage, most types of injuries would prevent an employee from filing a lawsuit against the employer.
To ensure that employees are provided with the benefits required under an insurance policy, Florida provides oversight through the Division of Workers’ Compensation. As part of the Department of Financial Services, the job of the Division of Workers’ Compensation is to ensure that employees receive the benefits provided through a workers’ compensation insurance policy.
The judges of workers’ compensation work under this department. These judges will order an insurance company to provide appropriate benefits to include lost wages and medical treatment. Despite being part of a self-executing system, these types of injury claims can be difficult and time-consuming. From receiving medical care to getting monetary compensation, a Fort Lauderdale workers’ comp lawyer can help. Call today for a consultation.
Who is Eligible for Workers Compensation in Fort Lauderdale?
Any employee can file a workers’ compensation claim. While there are a few exceptions, claims can be made by:
- Full-time workers
- Part-time workers
- Minor workers
- Work-release prisoners
- Contract workers
A claim can be filed when the injury was a result of work performed in the scope of employment and when the work performed was a major contributing cause of the injury. Because of the requirement that the injury is related to the scope of the job, injuries sustained outside the course and scope of the job may not pay any compensation. For example, if an injury resulted while driving to work and driving to work is not a specific duty required of the employment, it may not be sufficient for a workers’ compensation claim. Call Schlacter Law today if you have any questions as to whether you are in the course and scope of your employment.
Determining who is eligible for compensation is difficult and requires someone who understands these types of claims. If you were injured on the job, then contact a Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney today to help determine if you may be eligible for benefits following an injury.
How Do You Report an Injury?
It is important to report the injury to an employer in Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible following an injury. Typically, a report should be filed within thirty days after the accident occurred or thirty days after discovering the injury. If a report is not filed within the appointed time period, you could possibly lose your right to benefits. There are exceptions. Do not be an exception!
Following the accident, be sure to record any information you can recall pertaining to the injury. This might include:
- The date and time the accident occurred
- How the accident occurred
- The names of any witnesses to the accident
- The work conditions leading up to the accident
- The specific injuries or symptoms that occurred following the accident
The next step should be to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. While an attorney is not required, a lawyer can make sure you receive all the benefits that you are possibly entitled to under workers’ compensation law. Should your employer fail to report the accident to its workers’ compensation insurance company, a Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney at Schlacter Law can file a claim that will act as the first report of injury.
Following an incident report, your employer should provide you with the name of a doctor or facility that you should go to. If it is a severe injury or an emergency, you can seek emergency care. Should your employer not report the accident, you may also do so. After a claim is initiated with the insurance carrier, they will begin a review of your case. A review may look at your previous medical history, your previous work history, prior education, prior wages, and any other information pertinent to evaluating the value of your claim.
When the insurance company denies an accident or specific type of benefits, a petition for benefits needs to be filed within two years of the injury or one year after the last medical payment or wage payment, whichever is later.
While you are in pain and in need of money, time is of the essence. Deadlines exist and must be adhered to after having a workplace accident. This is where the help of a workplace injury lawyer in Florida is important. A Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney understands the necessity to adhere to deadlines and is accustomed to dealing with workers’ compensation insurance companies when they deny claims. If you had a workers’ compensation claim denied, then call Schlacter Law today.
What if the Insurance Company Denies the Entire Claim or Parts of the Claim in Fort Lauderdale?
To start, be sure to let your employer know about a workplace injury within thirty days of it occurring. In some cases, particularly when an injury lands a victim in the hospital, it is all too easy to allow this deadline to lapse. If you are unable to report it, make sure someone does.
After filing a claim, the insurance company may choose to deny a claim. Here, Schlacter Law can help. Following a denial of a claim, a petition for benefits would need to be filed on your behalf with the workers compensation board. Once a petition for benefits is filed, the state of Florida will assign your case to a workers’ compensation judge and mediator. If you are unable to either resolve the issues at a mediation or settle the case in its entirety, then you will go before your assigned judge of compensation claims for a ruling as to whether you are owed the requested benefits. Schlacter Law can assist with this hearing by preparing you for the hearing and helping you to prepare any documents and evidence to show the extent of your injuries.
The process for getting benefits in Fort Lauderdale following a denial of a claim can be complicated. We are here to help. Our goal is to ensure that you get the compensation you need to help recover from an accident. We will make sure you get the best possible result whether that is the benefits that you are owed or a settlement of your entire case. Call us today.
What Benefits are Available in Fort Lauderdale?
In Florida, after an injury occurs in the workplace, workers’ compensation benefits will typically apply when an employee has been unable to work for seven days. The first seven days are not paid until it is shown that they are disabled for twenty-one days. Depending upon your pre-injury wages and the year of your accident, you can be paid a portion of your lost wages.
The classification of benefits you are entitled to depend upon the injuries and the opinions of your workers’ compensation doctors.
Due to the complexity of the benefits available through workers’ compensation, it is important to talk with a Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation lawyer to help determine the extent of the workplace injury and the amount of compensation available for that injury. With years of experience helping employees who were injured in the workplace, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help to get you as much compensation as possible.
There are additional benefits available in Fort Lauderdale to a worker injured in the workplace. One such benefit includes the payment of all medical bills that occur as a result of the injury. Under Florida Statute §440.13(2)(a), an employer shall furnish “medically necessary remedial treatment, care, and attendance for such period as the nature of the injury or the process of recovery may require, which is in accordance with established practice parameters and protocols of treatment… [including] medicines, medical supplies, durable medical equipment, orthoses, prostheses, and [any] other medically necessary apparatus.”
Additional benefits might also include any pain management programs that a physician refers to the employee. However, there are some limitations to the scope of available benefits afforded to an employee following an injury. One such limitation includes a limit on the number of chiropractic service treatments beyond a certain threshold.
Additional benefits allow for death benefits for a child, spouse, or other dependents when an employee was killed following a work-related injury. This benefit varies depending on the number of dependents and must not exceed $150,000 or two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. It might also include up to $7,500 in burial or funeral expenses.
When considering what benefits are available through a claim for workers’ compensation, it is important to consult a workplace injury lawyer. Knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers in Fort Lauderdale have the necessary experience to evaluate the severity of an injury, and the experience to know what types of compensation may be available following a workplace injury. Talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer today for an evaluation.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I sue my employer if I am injured?
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to give monetary protections to employees, but by doing so, it restricts their ability to sue an employer. However, receiving workers’ comp benefits, you may still be able to sue a third party that was responsible for an injury, such as a manufacturer of a defective product. It’s very important to talk with a lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to help determine potential other sources of compensation.
How soon after an injury must I file a claim?
Since some injuries do not present themselves immediately following an injury, there is some leeway in the amount of time to file a claim. However, in practice, it is best to inform your employer as soon as possible following an accident even if there were no “apparent” injuries. If an injury develops at a later time, then it could be helpful to the accident on record in case an injury develops at a later date.
How much money can I get through this benefit?
The types of benefits you are possibly entitled to under workers’ compensation, just like a settlement of claim, depends on many factors. The extent of your injuries, your ability to work in any capacity, the costs of your future medical care are just a few of the factors that are considered in evaluating your case. Call us today so we can help evaluate what you are too entitled to and make sure your rights are protected.