After an accident in the workplace, you might be wondering what is the process of a workers’ compensation claim? How do workers comp cases work?
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help victims of a workplace injury or illness pursue the benefits that they deserve. Further, our work comp lawyers assist our clients with quickly obtaining competent medical care for those injured on the job.
[Read more: Top Five Mistakes Made After a Job Injury]
Every year, victims file millions of workers’ compensation claims in an attempt to receive compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and mental anguish. Some victims are fortunate enough to complete the process with little strife; others are not so lucky.
Countless employers and their insurers attempt to escape responsibility for injuries that victims incur within the workplace. This is just one reason why victims stand to benefit from partnering with a workers’ compensation attorney throughout the claim process.
These legal professionals can also assist victims by facilitating communication with medical and insurance staff, offering advice on how to fill out crucial paperwork, and helping clarify muddled legal processes.
A workers’ compensation attorney’s job is to help employees settle their workers’ compensation cases if an insurance adjuster fails to resolve their case. Unlike your employer, who may only feel concerned for his or her own welfare, a trustworthy workers’ compensation lawyer’s job is to help protect your best interests.
That means that an attorney will help you seek whatever benefits you deserve after enduring a devastating experience. It is essential you find a lawyer experienced in handling workers’ comp claims.
We are a full-service personal injury law firm that also represents individuals injured in the scope of their employment. It is our goal to ensure clients receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits.
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Will Help You After You File Your Claim
Many workers’ compensation claimants find that they benefit from seeking an attorney’s advice before they even delve deeper than the surface of the claims process.
The process of filing a claim often proves simple and straightforward, even without legal advice from an experienced professional; but partnering with a lawyer early allows victims to get to know their attorneys—and attorneys to become familiar with victims’ cases—which can be a benefit if the claims process proves more difficult than anticipated.
Your workers’ compensation attorney will have the knowledge and extensive experience you assist you as you fill out the required documents. They can even help you gather documentation from other parties like doctors.
The inclusion or exclusion of certain verbiage or information may be able to help speed your case along—an attorney can help ensure that you stand the best chance at a smooth claims process.
Seek an Attorney as Soon as Possible Following a Workplace Injury
If you fall victim to a workplace injury, contact a legal professional.
It is very important that you inform your employer and ensure that they fill out an incident report as quickly as possible after the incident occurs. This should include things such as:
- Where the accident occurred
- Any witnesses to the accident
- Date and time of the accident
- What caused the accident
Following this, you should prioritize seeking medical attention. Workers’ compensation claims may involve victims seeing a doctor of their employer’s choosing.
Seeking legal advice can help ensure that your employer’s insurance company doesn’t deny your claim—and if it does, it puts you in a better position to appeal.
What On-the-Job Injury Claims Does Your Workers’ Compensation Law Firm Handle?
There are many different injury claims we deal with, a few but not all are listed below:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscular injuries
- Head injuries
- Hearing loss or damage
- Chemical exposures (resulting cancer or mesothelioma)
- Electrocution injuries
Your employer has a duty to ensure all employees are working in a safe environment. Many workplace injuries could have been avoided by proper safety precautions and adequate trading set in place by that employer.
For a free legal consultation, call 833-552-7274
When Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Workers’ Comp Claim?
Deciding that you need a lawyer depends on how your employer, mainly their insurance company, goes about handling your claim. There are a few things you can look out for when making this decision:
- If your employer states the accident did not happen at work. Sometimes they try to state the accident did not occur at work if the injury took time to become aggravated. The same can be said about injuries having to do with chemical exposure over time.
- Permanent disabilities that prevent you from being able to return to work are also likely to be fought by insurance companies because of the money involved in such cases.
- Your employer is taking their time with your claim and not moving it along in an appropriate manner which should take no more than 30 days to complete.
- If the insurance companies deny your claim. This is when an expert is needed and you should absolutely contact a workers compensation attorney near you.
There are many other signs that you should hire a professional to handle your workers’ compensation claim. Should you feel uncomfortable or like your employer does not have your best interests in mind, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help if Your Claim Is Denied
Many victims of workplace illness and injury are forced to endure the stress and uncertainty of petitioning denied workers’ compensation claims. This process is often already rife with anxiety and self-doubt; insurance companies often leave victims unsure of whether they really do have a right to compensation.
Those who have been injured in the workplace can receive and do deserve benefits to help account for the losses endured as a result. Taking steps to partner with a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney helps victims navigate the experience of appealing an insurance company’s decision.
Your employer’s insurance company may elect to deny your claim for a variety of reasons. A handful of these crop up with staggering frequency; compassionate and knowledgeable lawyers are familiar with these denials and can often help boost the chances of your petition’s success.
Common Workers’ Comp Denials and How to Fight Them
Here are some of the more common denials we see when it comes to workers’ compensation claims and how you can fight them.
The Insurance Company Claims Your Injury Is Non-Compensable
If your employer’s insurance company claims that your injury is non-compensable it means that the insurance company is attempting to assert that your injury doesn’t meet Florida’s requirements for workers’ compensation coverage. This may or may not be correct, but the easiest way to understand your options moving forward is to seek legal counsel. Because the term is vague and leaves ample space for interpretation, this reasoning faces a high potential for misuse.
Working in tandem with a workers’ comp lawyer will help you better understand the nature of your injury as it relates to Florida law. You may find that you have several options to move forward and pursue compensation despite your employer’s insurance company’s claims. Intimate familiarity with state statutes and the legal claim process helps paint a clearer picture of your situation.
The Insurance Company Claims You Suffer from a Pre-Existing Injury
When the insurance company claims that you suffer from a pre-existing injury they are often trying to dodge responsibility for the injury or illness you experienced. Many insurance companies will take any steps necessary in an attempt to avoid compensating victims for their experiences. This reason is one of the most commonly cited when it comes to workplace injury claims. It’s all too easy to tell a victim that previous medical experiences or pain can be found at the root of their workplace experience.
An attorney can help you understand how to navigate denials like these, which are often reductive and belittling for victims to receive. Your legal representative will understand that your previous experiences likely have no bearing on the pain and suffering you experienced in your workplace. Florida law dictates that victims who endure injuries that aggravate or accelerate pre-existing medical conditions must be compensated accordingly.
Experienced lawyers also understand the finer points of rules and regulations like these. For example, preexisting conditions which are unrelated to your current injury should, in theory, have little or no bearing on your workers’ compensation claim. A legal professional can help you navigate laws like these and better understand your chances of receiving benefits.
The Insurance Company Claims You Lack the Necessary Supporting Medical Documentation
If the insurance company claims that you lack supporting medical documentation and you know that you provided adequate documentation and paperwork, an attorney can offer insight into how to contest the issue. Your employer’s insurance company does have the right to review your medical history and any documentation directly relating to medical treatment for your workplace injury. Victims are asked to sign a variety of releases and other forms during the medical process; these forms are then sent to the insurance company for review.
Many insurers claim that they never receive this documentation, which is much rarer than these companies would like workplace injury victims to believe. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help fight for proper acknowledgment from your employer’s insurance company. They can also assist you in the process of gathering and sending this documentation if any paperwork really is missing.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help You Protect Your Rights
As a Florida citizen, you have a right to receive acknowledgment and compensation following a workplace injury. Many employers and their insurance companies attempt to deny victims this right. A caring and compassionate workers’ compensation attorney will work tirelessly to assist you in your pursuit of the benefits you deserve.
An attorney may also be able to help you understand which legal benefits you’re entitled to as an injured worker. Victims may collect compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and even disability benefits. A trustworthy legal advisor can help inform your efforts to pursue benefits.
Proving disability is often one of the most difficult components of victims’ fights for benefits. Some insurance companies insist on denying benefits as long as the injured party can perform virtually any job at all. This problematic process can wreak havoc on victims’ lives and financial wellbeing—and it’s just one more reason why seeking legal advice often proves critical in workers’ compensation cases.
A workers’ compensation attorney could help you prove your inability to work; or, they may be able to argue against a claim denial on the sole basis that you can work another job. Many workplace injury victims struggle to battle with insurance companies who insist that they don’t deserve compensation because of their ability to work in lower-paying positions following their injuries.
If you elect to hire a lawyer, they can also help illuminate some of the rights your employer may have failed to grant you within the workplace. This includes the right to a safe workplace. If your employer failed to take adequate safety measures or allowed your work environment to become a risk, this could benefit your case. Many employees fall victim to slip and fall accidents, burns, and a variety of other injuries as a direct result of their employers’ negligence.
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Offer Assistance in Instances of Retaliation
Some employers retaliate against their employees after they report workplace injuries or illnesses. All too many victims find themselves faced with employers who claim that their injuries were incurred as a result of negligence. Not only is this practice devastating and frustrating for victims, but it’s also illegal. Employers are not permitted to retaliate against employees who file workers’ compensation claims in Florida.
If you have experienced harassment, interference, or unfair treatment at the hands of your employer after filing a claim, you deserve legal guidance and support. No victim should be forced to face the emotional trauma that can arise from these actions. Compassionate and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys understand this and work hard to support victims facing retaliation from their employers.
A Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help Appeal a Denial
Countless workers’ compensation claimants are cornered into appealing their requests for compensation every year. If you find yourself in this position, you stand to benefit from seeking a lawyer to help with the process. It takes significant effort to appeal workers’ compensation denials in Florida, but that doesn’t mean that hope for compensation is lost.
It does mean that the more valuable information you can provide to your employer’s insurer, the better. It also may place you in a position where familiarity with workers’ compensation laws could prove beneficial. The average individual has little knowledge of these regulations and may not understand where to look or who to ask for crucial information.
This is why a workers’ compensation attorney could prove indispensable in your efforts to retain benefits. Your attorney can assist you in:
- Submitting your petition for benefits and ensuring that all necessary information is included in the petition; this includes details concerning your accident and injury (or injuries), monetary figures to illustrate wage losses, and which benefits you’re pursuing
- Your meditation hearing, which is an informal conference held between you, your lawyer, and the insurance company; a third party will be present to help resolve issues and ensure civility
- The trial, should your claim come to this point; trials only begin if mediation proved unsuccessful. This involved providing evidence, testimonies, and other information to further your case against the insurance company
Legal Counsel Is Important to Your Claim
With so many potential factors that could play into workers’ compensation claims, the process often presents varying degrees of challenges for claimants.
A hearing is not always needed, however, it can be very beneficial for your case. This hearing is where your workers’ compensation lawyer can advocate for you and present the evidence and details of the accidents and the injuries, pain, and suffering that resulted because of it.
A qualified legal professional equipped with a knowledge of workers’ compensation laws and processes may be able to assist victims greatly during their pursuit of compensation.
How Much Will a Workers’ Comp Attorney Cost?
One of the things that keep people from looking into hiring an attorney is concern about the cost. Those that are in need of a workers comp attorney are typically in a difficult financial position, to begin with, and paying upfront for an attorney may seem like too much.
Fortunately, workers comp attorneys are more than aware of this and do not work at an hourly rate, and do not demand a massive downpayment to secure their services. Instead, workers comp attorneys work for a contingency fee.
This means they take their payout of the money they manage to get for their client in the form of a pre-agreed percentage. The percentage is usually around 33% although this fluctuates depending on the case and attorney.
Plus, if an attorney fails to get you a settlement then they do not get paid. this ensures that your attorney has a vested interest in ensuring you get the maximum amount of compensation for injuries you suffered on the job.
Finding a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Near You
If you are wondering ‘Where is there a workers compensation attorney near me?’, keep in mind that Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have offices on both coasts.
We have an office in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, New Port Richey, Bradenton, North Miami Beach, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, and Boca Raton.
We cover workers comp claims throughout the State of Florida. Our firms are particularly active in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Our worker’s comp lawyer can assist you with your work comp claim anywhere in Florida.
An attorney can also help victims explore their options for benefits. Many victims are unaware of the extent of their options when it comes to the types of benefits they can claim. Florida law allows victims in some cases to pursue benefits for:
- Retraining and/or reeducation
- Travel expenses for medical appointments
Call a Workers’ Comp Lawyer for More Information
A workers compensation claim is a difficult process and having to handle a claim while suffering through the pain of your injuries, and loss of enjoyment from not being able to do the things you once loved, is not something you should have to go through alone.
If you are in need of a lawyer for workers’ compensation or have additional questions regarding a workers’ compensation claim, speaking with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.