Workers’ Compensation

Many workers compensation claims are handled properly by responsible employers who value the health of their employees. This is especially true when the injured party generates significant business and cash flow for the employer. But, there are also many employers that see any injury claim as being problematic, often based on the fear of increased insurance premiums or a potential fine for safety non-compliance. In addition, the material case facts of an injury claim can also offer ample opportunity for an employer or their insurance carrier to deny an injury claim based on any technicality. Denied injury cases become complicated quickly when employers or insurance claims agents are refusing the claim and defending their positions. These are the situations that require the injured party to retain a Tampa, Fl worker’s compensation and personal injury attorney who can conduct their own investigation and evaluate the injury claim for all parties who are potentially liable.

Qualifications for a Claim

workers comp formAll injuries do not qualify as workers compensation claims under the law. The injury must occur on the job and be reported within thirty days to the employer. In general, the information should be provided within 24 hours of knowledge that the injury exists. Many injuries, such as back injuries, take a significant time to manifest and are not always supported by an accident report. Repetitive motion injuries are claimable just as accident injuries, but this is an example of a type of injury that will require legal representation for full damage reimbursement. Injured employees are not allowed to sue for personal injury in a standard state court unless the employer does not carry worker’s compensation insurance. In Florida, the threshold is four employees before a company must provide worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. Small employers may be exempt, but an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney may still be successful in filing a standard personal injury claim. Claims that do not qualify for worker’s compensation coverage cannot be paid, and qualification is the first issue that the worker’s compensation insurance adjuster will address.

Burden of Proof

In a standard personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff’s legal representative is required to show that an injury occurred and the injury was the responsibility of the respondent. The plaintiff counsel must furthermore prove that the injured occurred due to the negligence of the respondent with respect to a reasonable duty of care for the plaintiff’s safety. In a worker’s compensation case, the injured party is not entitled to non-economic pain and suffering damages. Worker’s compensation insurance only covers wage reimbursement and medical bill protection. However, when your worker’s compensation attorney can demonstrate with documentation that the employer was non-compliant with state safety regulations, the possibility of an additional lawsuit for non-economic damage recovery can result. The only proof necessary in a standard work injury claim is that it actually occurred while the injured party was working at the time of injury. Proving negligence is not a requirement in a standard worker’s compensation injury claim.

Defective Product Claims

Many times work injuries occur as a direct result of malfunctioning equipment. It is not necessary for your worker’s compensation legal representative to prove negligence in a defective product claim either, as manufacturers are also held to strict liability when their products cause an injury. Your Tampa, Fl worker’s compensation attorneys can also conduct an investigation into an accident and assess the potential for a defective product claim. These claims must also be documented, but many times equipment may already have a history of malfunctioning in other situations. Defective product claims always carry the possibility of a punitive damage award if a case is actually tried.

Bad Faith Respondents

Many employers will routinely deny worker’s compensation claims as a method of eliminating an employee or reducing costs. When the insurance carrier acts in this bad faith manner also, a worker’s compensation claim can be difficult. However, an aggressive worker’s compensation attorney can also pinpoint the bad faith negotiation actions of either respondent, and many times a separate lawsuit can be filed when the responsible employer and insurance carrier can found colluding to deny the claim. Many worker’s compensation insurance companies incorporate borderline bad faith policies in every case evaluation, and they also routinely stop benefits during the benefit process. This is a primary example of bad faith tactics, and a solid workers compensation attorney will know when to file an additional suit.

Worker’s compensation injury claims are disputed on a regular basis. It is always a good decision to discuss a workplace injury with am experienced worker’s compensation attorney who can investigate your injury case for a maximum damage award. The potential for multiple lawsuits exist in very many workplace personal injury cases, and even the potential for a negligence suit against another individual is possible when the injury occurred due to the negligent actions of another person. Always consult with an attorney on all workplace injury cases.

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