A work accident can cause serious injuries and financial losses for an employee. However, Florida has established a system to handle work accidents that offers injured employees a way to receive medical care after a workplace injury. In some cases, workers may also receive other benefits. The Workers’ Compensation system should be straightforward, but sometimes injured workers may have trouble obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve.
You need to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the injury or your workers’ compensation claim could be denied. In turn, your employer is responsible for reporting the injury to its workers’ compensation insurance carrier. You should receive information from the insurance company explaining your responsibilities and rights under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. If your employer does not report the injury to the insurance provider, you can contact the Bureau of Employee Assistance or a Palm Beach County workers’ compensation attorney.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be entitled to a variety of workers’ compensation benefits. All injured workers have the right to receive reasonable and necessary medical care for workplace injuries and occupational illnesses covered by workers’ compensation.
In addition to medical care, you may be entitled to receive wage benefits. Wage benefits are based on what you earned before your injury. You do not receive full compensation for all wages, and there is a maximum cap for benefits. If your injuries result in a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work, you may also receive compensation for permanent impairment. The type and amount of benefits depend on the severity of your injury.
A Palm Beach County workers’ compensation attorney can review your case to determine the type of workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to receive. If you sustain a permanent injury, you may want to review your case with an attorney before you agree to a settlement. Once you settle your workers’ compensation claim, you are not entitled to additional benefits.
In return for receiving medical care and other benefits without the requirement of proving fault or negligence on the part of your employer, you also give up the right to sue your employer except in very limited situations. If your employer intended to injure you or engaged in conduct the employer knew would likely result in injury, you may have a claim against the employer.
Likewise, if your employer misrepresented or concealed dangerous or hazardous conditions that caused your injury, you may have a claim against the employer. Disabling safety measures and failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance could also result in claims against the employer. A Palm Beach County work accident attorney can explain your legal options after reviewing your case.
In some cases, you may have a third-party claim against another individual or company for a work accident. Third-party claims are personal injury claims that could result in full compensation for all damages, including loss of income and noneconomic damages.
A third-party claim may arise if a defective product caused your on-the-job injury or another driver caused a car accident while you were driving a company vehicle. You might have a third-party claim if you were injured while on another party’s property performing your job. Because workers’ compensation benefits are limited, a third-party claim can often result in a much higher amount of compensation for an injured worker.
The Florida workers’ compensation system also covers illnesses and health conditions caused by work conditions. If an employee develops a disease or medical condition because of work conditions or because of the type of work the employee performs, the employee may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. For instance, if an office worker or a production line worker develops carpal tunnel syndrome from the repetitive motion required to perform the job, he or she may be covered by workers’ compensation. Police officers and first responders are entitled to a presumption that their heart disease if work-related. Most recently, the Florida legislature enacted a similar presumption for firefighters who develop certain kinds of cancer during their career.
Another example of occupational illness is a worker developing cancer because of the fumes the worker inhales each day while performing his job. Other examples of common occupational illnesses include noise-induced hearing loss, breathing problems, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Injury claims involving work accidents can be complicated. Employees injured at work deserve to receive all the benefits provided by law. Let our Palm Beach County workers’ compensation attorneys help you receive the benefits you deserve after a work accident.
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