How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida

Most of my clients have heard of workers’ compensation claims in the past, but many do not understand how the entire filing procedure process is handled. In most cases, employers do not provide their employees with information on how to begin the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Either way, those who have suffered illness or injuries in the workplace are entitled to file an appropriate claim and obtain benefits.

In Florida, people who have suffered work-related injuries or illnesses can potentially receive compensation for lost wages and medical treatment and expenses pursuant to the Florida State Workers’ Compensation Program. Oftentimes, people who decide to file a workers’ compensation claim decide to work with a lawyer who is in charge of handling the entire process. In other instances, people decide to hire an attorney once their initial workers’ compensation claim is denied in whole or in part. Keep in mind that when you work with a legal professional who is tasked with handling your workers’ compensation claim, it takes away a lot of the stress associated with handling workers’ compensation claims.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a mechanism for providing cash-wage benefits and medical care to victims of work-related injuries, and for ultimately placing the cost of these injuries on the consumer, through the medium of insurance, whose premiums represent the cost of the product. Workers’ compensation acts are designed to provide automatic benefits to workers suffering from an injury or disease which arises out of and in the course of employment.

Entitlement to Benefits

Benefits paid under a workers’ compensation system are a trade-off between the need for the worker to prove negligence and the possibility of the employer facing prolonged litigation and potentially large damage awards. Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for injured employees in most jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions which do not provide for workers’ compensation as the exclusive remedy have generally carved narrow exceptions which permit an independent action where there is evidence of an intentional tort.

Workplace illness and injury victims may receive four different types of benefits: Medical care coverage, Temporary total disability (TTD), Up to 66 2/3 percent of victim’s regular wages, and temporary partial disability (TPD). This is reserved for scenarios where victims can return to work but cannot earn the wages they earned before the incident.

What Do You Need to Prove in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

The criteria necessary to establish a right to workers’ compensation benefits are an employment relationship and an accident or disease arising out of and in the course of employment. To determine whether an injury has arisen out of and in the course of employment, courts usually require a showing that the injury was caused by an increased risk to which the victim was subjected by the employment.

Benefits Entitlement Workers’ compensation law recognizes that an employee may be injured on the job through accident or through occupational disease. While state law establishes the exact criteria for what constitutes an occupational disease, the definition contains elements such as the disease must be actually caused by employment conditions that are characteristic of or peculiar to a particular occupation; the disease must actually be contracted during the period of time the employee was employed in the particular occupation; the occupation must present a particular hazard of the disease occurring so as to distinguish that occupation from usual occupations or the incidence of the disease must be substantially higher in the claimant’s occupation than in usual occupations.

How to Report a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida

The first step in the process involves reporting your injury. If you would like plan to pursue a workers’ compensation against your employer, you must report any injuries that you sustain in the workplace. This process begins with informing your employer of your injury. Florida law says that you should report your injuries within 30 days of the date of the incident. A few exceptions to this rule do exist. For example, if your employer knew about the injury and you informed them more than thirty days after the incident; the cause of the injury could not be identified without a legal professional & your employer did not inform you of the time restrictions surrounding workers’ compensation claims or finally, other exceptional circumstances outside the scope of the first two requirements.

Promptly reporting your injury (as defined by Florida state law) often proves one of the most critical aspects of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Next, after you inform your employer of your injury, it is your employer’s duty to refer you to an occupational physician. Florida law mandates that employers select victims’ treating doctors provided that emergency treatment is not necessary. Thereafter, your employer will have to let their insurance company know about your claim and injury within 7 days of your initial notification.

However, if your employer fails to file your claim with its insurance company within seven days of your report, you have the right to contact the insurance company directly.

What to Do When If Your Employer’s Insurance Company Denies Your Claim

Oftentimes, Florida workers’ compensation insurance companies fail to give victims the compensation that they deserve following a workplace illness or injury. Many insurers deny workers’ compensation claims for injuries that went unwitnessed by third parties. Victims who wait to file their claims also often end up battling with insurance companies for benefits; insurers tend to be wary when employees take a long time informing somebody about an injury.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today!

If you or a loved one need help filing your worker’s compensation claim, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can answer your questions and help you through the application process. The attorneys at Suarez and Montero would love to have an opportunity to explain the law in Florida to assist you in presenting a strong claim against your employer.

The attorneys at Suarez & Montero encourage you to reach out so that we can explain more about the different ways that our law firm and attorneys can provide legal help and guidance after a work injury. Make an appointment with us at one of our many locations. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. We are always available to talk with you and answer your questions.

Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.