Accidents at work can cause serious injuries that require expensive medical care and time taken off work. Florida’s workers’ compensation system allows you to recover financial compensation for your losses whether or not someone caused your accident.
If you were injured in a recent workplace accident in South Florida, please contact a West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorney at LaBovick Law Group for a free consultation about your rights. Our workers’ comp lawyers can help you get through a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Why Choose LaBovick Law Group for Your Case?
- At LaBovick Law Group, our team has extensive experience handling complex injury and workers’ compensation claims throughout Florida.
- With every case we take, we are warriors for justice on behalf of our clients, and it is our mission to recover maximum compensation on their behalf.
- We will always fight for our client’s best interests, and this includes keeping them in the loop with information pertaining to their cases on a regular basis.
How Can a West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help?
Hiring an attorney can give you the peace of mind you need to focus on your medical treatments and healing. A West Palm Beach personal injury attorney experienced in workers’ comp claims will take care of important tasks such as gathering evidence, building a case, and hiring experts to testify on your behalf. With an attorney handling the legal process for you, you can fully focus on your recovery.
Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries
Every year, thousands of workers go to emergency rooms for injuries and illnesses sustained on the job. Many suffer permanent injuries, and some lose their lives. According to accident statistics, construction is the most dangerous industry in the U.S. However, every type of job can contain hazards that result in worker injuries.
Some of the most common workplace accidents and injuries suffered in Florida include:
- Commercial vehicle and car accidents
- Compound bone fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Getting caught in or between equipment
- Internal injuries
- Manufacturing or industrial accidents
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Severe burns
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Transportation accidents
- Wrongful death
Any injury or illness, major or minor, that occurs while performing work-related tasks can entitle you to financial benefits through Florida’s workers’ comp system. Learn more by speaking with a knowledgeable West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorney.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in Florida?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means as an injured employee, you do not have to prove anyone is at fault to be eligible for financial benefits. You can receive a monetary award regardless of whether or not someone else caused the injury through a careless act or omission.
A personal injury claim, on the other hand, requires proof of carelessness, recklessness, or intent to harm for you to hold someone else financially responsible. To file a workers’ comp claim and collect benefits in Florida, you must meet certain requirements. First, your injury or illness must have been caused by work activities.
Second, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. Third, you must cooperate with the insurance investigation. It is important, however, to protect your rights during your insurance claim and remember that an insurance company does not want to maximize your financial benefits.
What Benefits Are Available on Workers’ Comp?
During a workers’ comp claim, the insurance company’s main objective is to save money by limiting your payout. It is important to work with a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer in West Palm Beach if you believe an insurance company is devaluing your claim.
A workers’ compensation claim in Florida can result in the following benefits:
- Past and future medical care payments
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Temporary full disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Permanent full disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death benefits, if applicable
The value of your insurance claim will depend on many factors, including your type and degree of injury. A personal injury claim, however, can result in greater compensation, such as for your pain and suffering.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Denial in Florida
If your employer’s insurance carrier denies your claim for benefits in Florida, you have the right to appeal that decision. Do not take any denial decision as final, particularly when you need compensation. However, the first step in these situations is to try to resolve the dispute informally with the insurance carrier. If that is unsuccessful, you will need to start the formal appeals process.
To start the workers’ compensation appeals process in Florida, you will have to send a Petition for Benefits to the Clerk of the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC). This form will require you to provide various information about your claim, including:
- Details about the accident
- The nature of your injuries
- Whether or not you have lost any wages due to the injury
- What specific benefits you are claiming
In general, an appeal must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurred. However, if you happen to be appealing a specific benefit, including medical treatment, you must file your petition for appeal within one year from the last benefit payment or treatment date. We strongly recommend that you start the appeals process as soon as your benefits are denied by the insurance carrier.
After you file your appeal, your claim will be assigned a case number and sent to the OJCC district office closest to you. You will be able to track your appeal online after you have the case number. The first step in the appeals process is a mediation hearing. These are informal conferences where a neutral third party (the mediator) will work to resolve the differences between you and the insurance carrier. Typically, a mediation hearing will be scheduled within 130 days from your petition of appeal.
If the mediation is unsuccessful, your case will be assigned to a workers’ compensation judge who will set a pretrial hearing to identify the issues in dispute and so you and the insurance carrier can exchange evidence. If you and the insurance carrier have attorneys (which is strongly recommended), then you are allowed to submit written statements instead of attending the hearing yourself.
A final hearing will take place within 90 days after the pretrial hearing. At the final hearing, you and the insurance carrier will have an opportunity to present evidence as well as testimony from witnesses to the judge. After the hearing, the judge will review all of the evidence and issue a written decision that will be mailed to both parties within 30 days.
In the event you do not agree with the judge’s decision, you have the right to file an appeal. The appeal will go to the First District Court of Appeals and must be filed within 30 days.
Speak With a Workers’ Comp Attorney in West Palm Beach, FL Today
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a workplace accident, don’t hesitate to contact the West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyers at LaBovick Law Group for assistance. We can help you understand and defend your rights during this confusing time.
Find out how we can help you and your family today. Contact us online anytime or call our local law office at (561) 623-3681 to speak to a workers’ comp attorney directly. Initial consultations are free.