As a Florida employee, you can take comfort in the insurance protection most employers are required to carry in case of work-related injuries. However, getting those benefits is not automatic, and the specific steps necessary to apply for them can sometimes be complicated.
The workers’ comp process can be stressful because you are already injured, in pain, and worrying about providing for yourself or your family if you do not know how long you may be out of work. A seasoned personal injury attorney could help alleviate some of your concerns. Contact an Inverness workers’ compensation lawyer for help understanding your rights and responsibilities, taking the appropriate steps towards filing a claim, and defending one if it is rejected.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a mandatory insurance program that pays employees after workplace accidents, replacing lost income and covering medical services. Employers benefit because, for the most part, injured employees cannot sue them, except in cases where the employer fails to provide this coverage, intimidates, or terminates an employee for filing a claim. The system does not allocate blame other than if an employee is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol and causes their own accident.
Common Workplace Injuries
Workplaces often train employees to follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards, but accidents still happen. A worker handling everyday items, such as using a box cutter to unpackage components, can result in serious harm. The most common injuries listed on claims for Florida workers’ compensation are:
- Sprains and strained muscles, tendons, or joints
- Cuts and lacerations
- Severe bruising, including internal bruising and organ damage
- Broken bones or fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries from falling from heights
Injuries can build over time and are still covered by workers’ compensation insurance. For example, the secretary who types all day may develop carpal tunnel syndrome, the gardener may develop lung issues from breathing insecticides, and the police officer may develop stress-related heart disease.
These injuries can range from modest to catastrophic. Some individuals can return to work almost immediately, but others may suffer from a permanent disability. A workers’ compensation attorney’s job is to ensure injured Inverness workers receive fair treatment and compensation that adequately reflects the extent of their needs.
Benefits Afforded by Workers’ Compensation
Injured employees receive medical treatment for their condition. An employer may provide a list of physicians from which the worker can choose. However, in Florida, workers are entitled to rely on their family doctors if they are not satisfied with the one chosen for them.
Workers could be awarded temporary disability benefits for up to 104 weeks if they will eventually return to work. Impairment benefits apply if a worker’s sight, hearing, or cognitive function will impair their ability to perform their job.
Permanent total disability benefits are awarded to employees deemed unable to work in the future because of workplace injury. If the employee dies from an injury, death benefits are awarded to the family to compensate for lost income and emotional loss.
Although workers are entitled to these benefits, denials are all too common. Employees whose claims are denied should immediately contact an Inverness workers’ compensation attorney.
Contact an Inverness Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you are lawfully employed in Florida by a company with at least four workers, you are entitled to compensation if you are injured in a workplace accident or develop a condition over time attributed to your job. Our team can help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact an Inverness workers’ compensation lawyer to begin your claim today.