Have you suffered an accident or injury while on the job? Has your employer denied you the benefits you are entitled to receive under Florida’s workers’ compensation law?
Accidents in the workplace happen often, and a work-related injury can be a life-changing event. In the most unfortunate circumstances, these accidents can result in permanent injury and an inability to earn a living. Injured workers often experience financial hardships that affect not only them but their whole family.
At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, Galen M. Novotny has handled workers’ compensation claims for both employers and injured workers since 2000.
With insight obtained from handling claims from both the employer and injured worker’s perspective, Galen M. Novotny has successfully secured workers’ compensation benefits on behalf of injured workers throughout Northwest Florida.
Whether your entire claim has been denied, you are not timely receiving the medical treatment you need, or you are not receiving proper compensation for your lost wages, our attorneys are ready to fight for you.
What Benefits Are You Entitled to Receive Under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law?
Pursuant to Florida law, it is the injured worker’s burden to prove that they have suffered an injury in the course and scope of their employment and, as a result, have a need for medical treatment for their injuries.
As an injured worker, you will need the medical opinion of an authorized treating physician (the doctor picked and paid for by the employer). This doctor will testify that you suffered a workplace accident, there is a need for medical treatment, and the accident is the major contributing cause for the need for treatment.
Once this is established, an injured worker may be entitled to any of the following benefits:
- Medical benefits—any medical treatment that is causally related to the on the job injury and recommended by your authorized treating physician;
- Temporary total disability benefits—compensation for lost wages if you are placed on a no-work status by your authorized treating physician;
- Temporary partial disability benefits—compensation for lost wages if you are released to work on a light-duty/restricted duty status;
- Permanent total disability benefits—permanent lost wages if you are unable to return to work on a permanent basis;
- Impairment benefits—compensation for the permanent physical injury that you sustained; or
- Settlement—a one-time lump sum payment in exchange for a waiver to any entitlement to any past, present, or future benefits that you would otherwise be entitled to receive under Florida’s workers’ compensation law.
How Do Workplace Accidents Happen?
Accidents at work happen more often than you’d think for various reasons. Some of the most common causes of workplace accidents include:
- Unsafe working conditions;
- Lack of safety gear;
- Faulty or malfunctioning equipment;
- Poor or inadequate training; and
- Improper use of tools or equipment.
Workplace accidents can occur for many other reasons, but the result is usually the same. Whatever the cause of your work accident, consult with a workers’ comp lawyer to discuss your case and your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
What to Do After a Workplace Accident
The steps you take following your work accident can significantly impact your claim and your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Seek Medical Attention
If your injuries are serious and require immediate medical attention, call 911. Even if you believe your injuries are not severe, you should still visit an emergency room or physician to conduct a thorough examination. Your health and safety should always come first.
Report the Accident to Your Supervisor or Employer
You have 30 days to report your accident to your employer. If you fail to do so, you may lose your rights to workers’ comp benefits. Your employer will fill out a workplace injury report with the information provided.
Seek Medical Attention
If your injuries are serious and require immediate medical attention, call 911. Notify your employer so that they can direct you to an appropriate authorized medical provider. If you seek treatment from a medical provider not authorized by your employer or the workers’ compensation carrier, you may be responsible for any bills.
Report the Accident to Your Supervisor or Employer
Report an accident or injury to your supervisor or employer as soon as possible. You have 30 days to report your accident to your employer.
If you fail to do so, you may lose your rights to workers’ comp benefits. Your employer will fill out a workplace injury report with the information provided and should direct you to an authorized medical provider to seek treatment.
Oftentimes, an employer will not want to report the accident/injury to their workers’ compensation carrier and promise that they “will take care of you”. Do not agree to these and insist that a claim be filed.
If your employer fails to report the accident/injury seek assistance with a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
If possible, begin gathering evidence as soon as possible after your accident. This can include:
- Medical reports,
- Photos and video,
- Witness statements, and
- Proof of lost wages.
The more information you collect, the stronger you claim will be.
File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Submit your claim for workers’ comp benefits to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. You have two years to file your claim to receive benefits.
Consult with a Pensacola Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can bring about many challenges, and there is always a risk your claim may be denied. Contact a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your claim and increase the chances of an approval.
Why Should You Hire a Pensacola Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
It is complicated for the average worker in Florida to navigate the complex workers’ compensation system alone.
The employer and the workers’ compensation carrier will have a team of trained professionals to fight your claim. Without the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you may not obtain the medical and wage benefits you deserve.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney:
- Your claim has been denied;
- You are not receiving the necessary medical treatment for the work injury;
- You are not properly compensated for your loss in income/wages;
- You do not believe your treating physician is providing the care you need;
- The employer or workers’ compensation carrier offers to settle your case.
If you have suffered an injury while on the job, do not hesitate to contact Emmanuel Sheppard and Condon. Take advantage of a free and confidential consultation with Galen M. Novotny to learn more about what benefits you are entitled to receive under Florida’s workers’ compensation law.
If it is necessary for our firm to assist you in pursuing the benefits you deserve, there is no fee unless a recovery is made. If the insurer wrongfully denied your benefits, the employer/carrier will be responsible for the attorney fees.
Contact us today, and let our firm fight for your right to compensation.