You were working on the job. And you were working hard. You are doing what you are supposed to do. And then you got hurt.
Now you’re out of work. You’re in pain. But you know there are workers, and you trust that everything is good to be okay.
After all workers compensation exists just to help someone like you. You’re a worker, and you expect they’ll get some compensation for this injury to happen while the job.
Unfortunately, it really works out that way. The reality is that insurance companies and your employer are in this to make profits for their businesses.
Paying you full value for your injury claim would stand in the way of the profits they want to make.
Don’t be surprised that you’re about to be in for a fight to get fair justice. Good news is that the right worker’s compensation attorney understands exactly how to drive your case forward to get the resolution that you deserve.
Workers Compensation: A Great Idea That Lawmakers Are Trying to Destroy
First, the idea of workers compensation is actually pretty great.
See, most of our injury laws are built around the tort system.
And in the regular tort system, it’s the person who is at fault that has to pay for the person who got injured who wasn’t at fault.
In other words, if you’re hurt but somebody else is responsible for it then you would have a claim against that person that can result in fair compensation for your injuries.
But the reality is that sometimes people get hurt purely by accident. Sometimes, at work people get hurt just because they have a relatively dangerous job and things happen. And under the tort system, these people wouldn’t have any claim.
So in the 70s the idea of workers compensation was born and went into effect. Worker’s Compensation in Florida was supposed to pride everybody with compensation regardless of who was at fault.
This no-fault benefit then would provide some benefits to everybody who got injured on the job.
The flip side of this though is that all workers would be given up their right to sue as part of the Worker’s Compensation deal. In other words, a worker can’t go and use the tort system to file a lawsuit even if there injuries were the result of the fault of someone else.
At first, it worked out great.
But it didn’t take long for businesses to start to complain about the costs. They didn’t like to pay their workers compensation premiums. It was get in the way of profits.
So the big businesses in the insurance companies that were paying out claims started talking to the lawmakers and putting pressure on them to start whittling the rights away for workers compensation.
That’s exactly what’s happened over the years. Workers’ Compensation claims become more difficult
Do I need an attorney if the insurance agency is already offering to pay my bills?
Insurance companies are big business. The way they make their massive profits is to minimize the amount of money they pay on claims.
You can almost be assured that the offer that you’re getting from the insurance company is a lowball offer. They want you to take it and run.
It’s always advisable to at least sit-down and talk to an attorney about the offer that you might. You most likely find that the offer you’re getting is not nearly enough. Attorney will help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Eligibility for Workers Compensation
In Florida, employers who have more than three employees and construction companies who have any amount employees must provide workers compensation coverage.
Most injuries, diseases, illnesses, accidents, and deaths occurring in the workplace should be covered by Worker’s Compensation laws. And as discussed above because Worker’s Compensation is a no-fault sort of system workers do not have to prove fault like they do in the tort system in order to recover benefits.
With that said the work of a workers compensation attorney is usually when carriers unlawfully denied claims. Or, when carriers accept the claim but deny the value of it and try to get the worker to settle for pennies on the dollar.
When first reporting the accident injured workers should be specific with the details making sure that they write down and let their employer know the name of witnesses, the location of the accident, what caused the accident, and the time date of the accident and injury.
Appealing A Workers Compensation Claim
If you’re injured as a result of an accident on the job understand that your insurance company can deny you benefits for the following reasons:
- by arguing that your injury never even occurred on the job but occurred somewhere else
- by arguing or accusing you that you committed fraud or misrepresented your injury to the insurance company or to your employer or
- claiming that your injury is related to a pre-existing condition. In other words that you already have the injury before the accident that you had on the job.
Luckily if you are denied your claim you have a right to appeal the denial of the benefits.
Once you receive a denial, you contact a workers comp attorney to help you. The workers’ comp attorney will file a petition for the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board. This is filed with the division of administrative hearings which assigns the case to a judge will schedule a hearing within 40 days.
Your workers’ comp attorney’s job is to prepare thoroughly for the hearing. Your workers’ comp attorney can present evidence showing why you are entitled to benefits. This can be everything including details about the workplace accident, details about your injuries, and details that will show that you are truthful and wouldn’t be committing fraud or misrepresentation.
Cost of Hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney
The good news is that most workers compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. At our firm, for example, if we do not secure you a financial settlement then you do not have to pay is a penny.