Thomas & Pearl Worker’s Compensation in Florida
If you work for a company in Florida, you most likely are covered by worker’s compensation insurance. That’s because it’s mandatory for employers with four or more employees (or only one employee in the construction industry) to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
The good news is that most accidents or injuries that occur in the workplace are indeed covered by workers’ compensation laws. And because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, an employee is not required to prove fault in order to gain benefits.
The bad news is that if you are actually injured while on the job in Florida, Florida laws are likely to ensure you’re going to have a very hard time receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
That’s because the laws in Florida regarding workers’ compensation are written to be employer-friendly– not employee friendly.
For example, in Florida:
- Your personal physician will not be seeing you
- That’s because the insurance company picks the doctor– usually one that’s been vetted by the company (an IME– or Independent Medical Examiner). The diagnosis by the doctor regarding your injury is going to be the critical factor in determining the benefits you’ll actually receive. In theory, the IME is supposed to provide an unbiased, thorough diagnosis and a schedule of treatment for the injured employee. In reality, Independent Medical Examiners sometimes work with insurance companies and deny claimed injuries, or clear an employee to return to work– even though they may not be capable of returning.
- You are limited in how long you can receive payments
- Getting back to work as soon as possible is terrific– but only if you have recovered from the injury. As soon as a doctor releases you ‘fit for work,’ benefits end– meaning a choice to either return to work, or suffer with no income.
- You may switch doctors only once
- If you disagree with the IME assigned to you in a workers’ compensation claim, and want a second opinion, you have the right to switch doctors– but only once.
- Your doctor may determine your injury is from a pre-existing condition
- Your claim can be denied if the IME assigned to you believes the injury was, in fact, a condition that existed before the accident.
- Your job is not protected
- Employers do not have to hold your job– even though it wasn’t your choice to leave it when you were injured. This can create even more pressure to return before you are ready.
- Disability may not mean you are unable to work anymore
- Insurance companies are concerned with limiting their liability for payments. You could be denied benefits if it is determined that while you cannot perform your old job, you are capable of performing ANOTHER job– even if it pays substantially less than the job you are now incapable of performing.
If you claim for workers’ compensation benefits has been denied, you have the right to appeal. Should you receive notice that your claim is being denied, you can file your appeal with the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). Your case will then be assigned to a judge for a hearing.
With the Florida Workers’ Compensation laws tilted so much in favor of employers and insurance companies, an attorney is the only person who can be counted on to look out for your interests. It is best to seek the advice of an attorney experienced in workers’ comp cases in Florida immediately after your injury. But the assistance of a worker’s compensation attorney retained before an appeals hearing can make the difference between denial of your appeal and winning.
Have you or a loved one been injured while on the job?
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job while working in Florida, the attorneys at Thomas and Pearl want to speak to you. Thomas and Pearl can use medical records to prove your injuries, and how those injuries were related to the job. Your attorney can acquire separate medical opinions as to your ability to return to work and perform their job responsibilities going forward.
The insurance companies have legal counsel to best represent their interests. Your Thomas and Pearl attorney will be there to help you.
$150 MILLION in verdicts and settlements
Thomas & Pearl attorneys have the skills and training, plus the financial resources necessary to conduct a thorough accident and injury investigation. Ask about our experience as attorneys helping victims of workers’ compensation injuries in Florida.
Ask about the more than $150M (MILLION) dollars in recent and past jury verdicts and settlements we have gained for our clients.
We’ll evaluate your case situation with you, develop a strategy to win or successfully negotiate the highest amount of compensation for you.
Experienced legal help can make the difference between a successful resolution and losing. And you pay nothing unless we get that successful resolution for you.
Contact Thomas & Pearl at any time.
At the hearing, the worker can present evidence showing why they are entitled to benefits. This evidence often includes the details of the workplace accident—where, when, and how an accident happened— and a detailed account of the employee’s subsequent medical treatment.