Helping South Florida and Treasure Coast Residents Seek Compensation for Work-Related Injuries
Workers’ compensation claims allow Florida employees to seek medical care and financial assistance for injuries suffered in the workplace. Workers’ compensation benefits often include medical treatment, rehabilitation and partial wage replacement in the event that you’re forced to miss work.
The firm of Thompson & Thomas was recommended to me by a friend and I could not have been more pleased. My case was very sensitive and they understood that at the onset. Their ability to listen, comprehend, and appropriately act in my best interest was immediately apparent. They are professional, compassionate, and confident in their approach and proved that to me over and again throughout a very challenging time in my life. If needed, I would use them again and recommend them to anyone needing legal services.
— Past Client
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
First of all, make sure you receive immediate medical attention, especially if your injury is serious and/or life-threatening. If your supervisor or employer does not witness the injury and does not have actual notice of your work related accident, you must file a notice of injury with your employer. Florida law gives an employee 30 days after a work related accident to report the injury to their employer. Once you’ve given notice of your injury to the employer, it’s your employer’s responsibility to submit the paperwork to its insurance provider.
Contested Workers’ Compensation Claims
In many cases, the employer may dispute your worker’s compensation claim if it feels you were not injured during the course and scope of employment, or if it feels the injuries complained of were not caused by the work related accident. If your employer contests the circumstances of your injury, or if there’s an issue regarding your employer’s insurance provider, your best bet is to consult an experienced employment law attorney. The workers compensation laws are very complex and confusing. Don’t try to take on your employer and its insurance carrier alone.
The Claims Process
The workers’ compensation claims process can be fraught with difficulty. If your informal request for benefits is denied, Florida law requires you to file a formal claim called a “petition for benefits” within two years of the date of the accident. If the workers’ compensation carrier denies your formal claim, you will have to attend a mediation conference to try and resolve the dispute. If no agreement can be reached at mediation with your employer and its insurance carrier, you will have to attend an administrative hearing before a Florida Judge of Compensation Claims. If you lose your hearing in front of the Judge of Compensation Claims, there are additional levels of appeal beyond the initial administrative level. Seek out an experienced workers’ compensation attorney right away so you don’t hinder your claim.