Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

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 an experienced worker’s compensation attorney who can investigate your injury case for a maximum damage award. The potential for multiple lawsuits exist in 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.

Workers’ Compensation FAQs

What Is Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ comp is an insurance system that covers specific losses for employees who get hurt on the job. An employee who gets injured at work can receive compensation for their medical bills as well as replacement income if they’re unable to work.

Workers’ comp allows injured employees to get the help that they need without having to prove that the employer is responsible for their injuries. Most employers satisfy their workers’ comp obligation by taking out insurance to pay claims for injured workers.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?

Workers’ compensation works by allowing injured employees to receive payment when they’re hurt at work. Unlike traditional negligence claims, an employee may receive payment without having to prove that the employer was negligent.

Workers’ compensation pays for medical bills related to treatment. It also pays for lost income and provides compensation for loss of use of body functions. Most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits for their employees.

How Much Do You Get for Workers’ Comp?

How much you get for workers’ comp depends on your injuries and the time you spend away from work. Your medical bills related to the injury or illness should be covered entirely until you reach the maximum medical improvement possible.

If your injuries prevent you from working, you should receive pay to compensate you for missed work. However, you will receive a reduced rate of pay based on your pay before the injury. While it varies by state, you can usually expect to receive approximately two-thirds of your regular pay up to a maximum amount.

What Is Workers’ Comp Based On?

Workers’ comp is based on the costs of your medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost work, and loss of use of body functions. Your medical bills should be paid in full. That should include all of the expenses with helping you recover as much as possible. Other things that workers’ comp is based on are the amount of money that you made before the accident and the extent to which your injuries prevent you from working.

How Do I Maximize My Workers’ Comp Settlement?

You maximize your workers’ comp settlement by reporting your injuries, seeking medical care, and following your treatment recommendations. It’s also important to carefully read your workers’ compensation benefits to ensure that your wage calculations and other benefits are being paid fairly. If you’re not paid fairly, you can maximize your workers’ comp settlement by pursuing appeals and even filing a legal claim.

What Qualifies You for Workers’ Comp?

An on-the-job injury qualifies you for workers’ comp. In addition, to qualify, your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Most employers are required by the state where they do business to carry the insurance. Your injury must require medical treatment or prevent you from working for a period of time or both. To qualify for workers’ comp, you must report your injury and demand compensation.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Workers’ Comp Settlement?

It typically takes about 60 days to get a workers’ comp settlement. If there’s no serious dispute about the extent of your injuries and the compensation that you deserve, the time it takes to get a workers’ compensation settlement is within 60 days. However, you may have it sooner than that. If there are contested issues and you have to fight for your settlement, it may take two years or more to get a workers’ comp settlement.

How Long Can You Be on Workers’ Compensation?

You can be on workers’ compensation indefinitely. Some states allow a person to be on workers’ compensation forever, while other states terminate workers’ compensation at 65. You can be on workers’ compensation for as long as it takes for you to receive treatment and get back to work. The time limit for how long you can be on workers’ compensation depends on your course of treatment and the laws in your state.

What If I Get Fired While on Workers’ Comp?

If you get fired while on workers’ comp, you may have a claim for retaliation and wrongful termination. It’s illegal for an employer to fire an employee for making a workers’ comp claim. While you can get fired for a legitimate reason, or even without cause in some states, your employer can’t retaliate against you by firing you for making a workers’ comp claim. If you have a claim for retaliation, you may receive compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.

What Happens If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?

If your workers’ comp claim is denied, you may appeal the decision. You have the opportunity to present more information and make your case in an effort to reverse the decision. If requests for review and administrative appeals don’t work, you can file a demand for compensation in a formal court proceeding. You must take action to appeal a workers’ comp claim denial. You have the right to assistance from an attorney for denied workers’ comp claims.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Workers’ Comp Claim?

An attorney for a workers’ comp claim can ensure that you receive the maximum settlement amount. They can also help you through the claims process so that you get the compensation that you deserve in the most straightforward manner possible. While it’s up to you whether to have a workers’ comp claim attorney, an experienced attorney knows how to win your case and what mistakes to avoid.

Contact Our Tampa Workers’ Comp Attorneys

Were you hurt in an on-the-job accident? Get the workers’ comp payments that you deserve! Don’t be a victim twice. We have experience fighting for the rights of injured workers. Contact our Tampa workers’ comp attorneys for a confidential consultation about your claim. Your call is free. Call today to connect immediately with our team.

Sources

[1] FLA. STAT. § 440.01 (2019)

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