Workers Compensation Attorney
You were working on the job. And you were working hard. You were doing what you were supposed to. And then you got hurt. When should you hire a Florida Workers Compensation Attorney?
Now you’re out of work. You’re in pain. But you know there is workers’ compensation, and you trust that everything is going to be okay.
After all workers’ compensation exists just to help someone like you. You’re a worker, and you expect that you’ll get some compensation if you are injured on the job.
Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way. The reality is that insurance companies and your employer are out to make profits for their businesses.
Paying you the 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 justice. The good news is that the right Florida Workers 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 “at fault” who has to pay for the person who was injured through no fault of his or her own.
In other words, if you’re hurt — but somebody else is responsible for it — then you 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. People sometimes 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 1970s, the idea of workers’ compensation was born and went into effect. Workers’ compensation in Florida was supposed to provide everybody with compensation regardless of who was at fault.
This no-fault benefit would then provide some benefits to everybody who got injured on the job.
The flip side of this though is that all workers gave up their right to sue as part of the workers’ compensation deal. In other words, a worker can’t go and use the tort system to file a lawsuit even if his or her injuries were someone else’s fault.
At first, the new system worked out great.
But it didn’t take long for business owners to start complaining about the costs. They didn’t like to pay their workers’ compensation premiums; this was getting in the way of their profits.
So, the big businesses and the insurance companies that were paying out claims started talking to the lawmakers; these business owners put pressure on our legislators to start whittling workers’ compensation rights.
And that’s exactly what’s happened over the years. It’s become far more difficult to succeed in any workers’ compensation claim.
Do I Need A Florida Workers Compensation Attorney If Insurance Is Offering To Pay My Bills?
Insurance companies are big businesses. 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 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 Florida Workers Compensation Attorney about the offer before you accept it. You’ll most likely find out that the offer you’re getting is not nearly enough. A qualified attorney will help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Eligibility For Workers’ Compensation
In Florida, businesses with more than three employees and construction companies with any number of employees must provide workers’ compensation coverage.
Most injuries, diseases, illnesses, accidents, and deaths that occur in the workplace should be covered by workers’ compensation laws. And as discussed above, because workers’ compensation is a no-fault type of system, workers do not have to prove fault like they would in the tort system in order to recover benefits.
With that said, a Florida Workers Compensation Attorney usually steps in when insurance companies unlawfully deny claims — or when insurance 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 an accident, injured workers should be specific with the details. They should make sure that they write down the name of any witnesses, the location of the accident, what caused the accident, and the time and date of the accident and injury. The worker should ensure that his or her employer immediately receives all this information.
Appealing A Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you’re injured as a result of an accident on the job, understand that your insurance company will likely try one or more of the following tactics to deny paying your claim.
- Argue that your injury did not happen on the job, but happened somewhere else.
- Claim that you committed fraud or misrepresented your injury to the insurance company or to your employer.
- Claim that your injury is related to a pre-existing condition. In other words, you already had the injury before the accident that you had on the job.
Luckily, if you are denied your claim, you have a right to appeal.
Once you receive a denial, you contact a Florida Workers Compensation Attorney to help you. He or she will file a petition with the Florida Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. The Appeals Board is under the Division of Administrative Hearings, which assigns the case to a judge. The judge will then schedule a hearing within 40 days.
Your workers’ compensation attorney’s job is to prepare thoroughly for the hearing. He or she can present evidence showing why you are entitled to benefits. This can include details about the workplace accident, details about your injuries, and details that will show that you are truthful and therefore are not committing fraud or misrepresenting the facts of your case.
The Cost Of Hiring A Florida 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 us a penny.
Call our office today at 888-992-3429 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys. We have offices throughout Tampa Bay, and can even meet online or come to you if you prefer.