The Florida workers’ compensation system was designed to protect employees when they suffer on-the-job injuries. This system provides workers with monetary benefits in exchange for limiting their ability to file a lawsuit against their employers.
If you have suffered an injury at work, you might be entitled to file a claim with the state workers’ compensation system. Let a workers’ compensation lawyer in Dayton Beach, Florida help you every step of the way.
The Nature of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is a system of “no-fault” insurance provided to most employees in the State of Florida. It is considered to be no-fault because an injured worker does not have to establish that their employer was negligent in order to recover monetary benefits. To avoid an onslaught of work-related injury claims, the state adopted this no-fault system as a means of limiting workplace injury litigation.
The state workers’ compensation system is overseen by the Division of Workers’ Compensation and workers’ compensation insurance is administered by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). At its core, the system is a form of insurance paid for by employers. Most companies in the state are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. There are some exceptions that apply to small companies as well as independent contractors.
To consult with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer serving Daytona Beach, call 855-686-6752
Available Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The potential benefits for a workers’ compensation claim can be robust. This financial compensation not only could cover your medical bills, but it could also replace your lost wages for years to come. These benefits include:
For many injured workers, the disability payments are the most important aspect of workers’ compensation benefits. These payments are designed to replace a workers’ wages. They can be awarded on either a temporary or permanent basis.
Temporary benefits are not intended to replace a worker’s wages forever. Instead, they exist to provide compensation to an injured worker for as long as they are unable to return to the job. However, there is a cut-off point for these benefits. Your benefits will only continue until your doctor says you can return to work, you have received benefits for two years, or when your doctor says you have reached your maximum degree of recovery and will not improve with further treatment.
When temporary benefits are no longer an option, permanent disability could come into play. If your doctor has determined your impairment is permanent, you will be entitled to these benefits until you are 75. They will last for the rest of your life if you are not eligible for Social Security.
Injured workers are also entitled to have their medical care paid for. As long as the doctors tell you that this care is necessary, you could recover not only the cost of your treatment but also your transportation expenses as well.
Should an employee die due to a workplace injury or illness, their family could receive survivor’s benefits. The workers’ spouse or children could be entitled to a portion of the worker’s wages as well as money to cover the cost of the funeral.
For some people, a workplace injury will prevent them from ever returning to the job they had before. Physical limitations could simply make returning to that profession impossible. In these cases, benefits could be available to pay for vocational rehabilitation. This form of rehabilitation could prepare a worker for a new line of work.
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Common Grounds for Denied Claims
While this system is designed to be “no-fault,” there are countless ways that employers and their insurance companies will work to avoid paying out on these injury claims. Every day, insurers deny claims related to legitimate, work-related injuries.
The good news is that there is an appeals process that allows for workers to appeal unfair denials. Some reasons commonly cited by insurance companies for these denials include:
- The injury was not work-related. One of the most common grounds for a denial is the allegation that an injury was not related to work. You are only entitled to these benefits for injuries or illnesses that stem directly from the workplace. Injuries that occur elsewhere are not covered.
- Failure to cooperate. Workers have a duty to cooperate with insurance companies, including submitting to medical examinations. The failure to cooperate with their investigations can lead to a denial.
- Missing paperwork. There are strict requirements related to the documentation attached to an injury claim. A worker that fails to attach all the necessary documents could see their claim denied.
- Late claim. There is a time limit for bringing these claims. A worker that waits too long to file a claim or report the injury to a supervisor could miss out on the right to seek benefits under a workers’ compensation policy.
- Your injury is not covered. There are certain circumstances that can lead to an injury that are not covered by workers’ compensation laws. These examples include injuries to a worker that was intoxicated on the job or involved in roughhousing with another employee.
- Failure to seek treatment. Injured workers have a duty to seek medical treatment and mitigate the severity of their injuries. A worker that fails to go to the doctor or does not follow a prescribed treatment plan could miss out on benefits.
Each of these grounds could result in a successful appeal under the right circumstances. Your attorney could review the facts of your case and advise you on your chances of appeal.
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Talk to Bogin, Munns & Munns About Your Workplace Injury
Suffering an injury on the job is never easy. While the workers’ compensation system was designed to provide workers with an avenue to recover compensation for their injuries, successful outcomes in these cases are never guaranteed. Thankfully, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Daytona Beach, Florida could help.
The personal injury attorneys of Bogin, Munns & Munns are proud advocates for the working people of Daytona Beach. We work tirelessly to help our clients get the medical treatment and disability benefits they deserve. If you have suffered an injury on the job, let our firm help you pursue your claim for monetary benefits. Call (386) 763-2092 for an initial consultation right away.