Although most office workplace settings are, generally speaking, much less dangerous than construction sites, office environments still present hazards for workers, along with the prospect of certain injuries and illnesses. Office workers may suffer from injuries and illnesses while on the job due to environmental hazards or an improper maintenance.
If you have sustained an injury or illness while on the job, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. You may also be able to recover for the medical treatment you sustained as a result of your injuries or illnesses and/or receive compensation for the time you missed from work.
The knowledgeable Florida workers’ compensation attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will be able to review all of the facts and circumstances of your workplace injury or illness case with you and can help you to obtain the compensation that you need and deserve.
Common Injuries and Illnesses Sustained in the Workplace
Some of the more common types of injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace may include the following:
Carpal tunnel syndrome and ‘repetitive use’ injuries – These conditions are typically caused by performing the same types of work activities day-in and day-out, such as typing. One of the most common types of repetitive use diseases sustained in an office setting is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome stemming from a workplace injury can sometimes be difficult to prove since insurance companies oftentimes look to a worker’s age, degenerative hand conditions, or pre-existing arm and hand injuries to reduce their liability exposure and attempt to explain the presence of carpal tunnel.
Cervical strains, slipped discs, back injuries, and disc disease – These conditions are usually sustained by working in the same position for hours on end (usually for an eight-hour work day, five days per week) and/or from poor posture.
Eye Disease – Everyone knows that staring at a computer monitor for eight hours per day, five days a week, is bad for a person’s eyes. Staring at a computer monitor for long periods can bring about degenerative eye conditions, resulting in the need for high cost-corrective eye procedures and other remedial measures.
Sprains, strains, tears, and fractures – These usually result from slip and falls in the office workplace, where slippery surfaces are not properly marked or when clutter accumulates in high-traffic areas.
Asbestos disorders – Asbestos is a general term that applies to a group of naturally occurring minerals that show resistance to heat and corrosion. Asbestos has often been used in common building products, such as pipes, floor tiles, and in building materials. Workers who have been exposed to asbestos in an office environment or in a factory setting may suffer from various related illnesses and medical conditions.
Basis for Bringing a Florida Worker’s Compensation Claim
All employers in the State of Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that will cover an employee’s medical costs and other expenses in the event of a worker’s on-the-job injury. Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage is available to injured workers, regardless of who is deemed ‘at fault’ for a job site or workplace injury. The accidental injury must simply occur while the employee is ‘on the job,’ for the coverage to be available to an employee.
In order for the Florida workers’ compensation laws to come into play, all three (3) of the following requirements must be met:
- The injury must be an accidental injury (i.e. without regard to fault).
- The injury must have occurred while the worker was on the job or in the workplace.
- The injury must have occurred while the worker was acting within the scope of (or in the course of) the worker’s employment.
Worker’s compensation benefits may provide coverage for medical costs, a percentage of the employee’s lost wages, temporary disability benefits, rehabilitation, vocational training, and permanent disability benefits (where applicable).
Maximizing Recovery in a Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Case
When a work-related injury falls within the ambit of workers’ compensation, injured workers should take the following steps as soon as possible after the accident occurs:
Report the accident and injuries to the employer. This will allow the employer to report the accident to the insurance carrier, thereby initiating the workers’ compensation claims process.
Seek immediate medical care at a hospital or urgent care facility. As soon as possible after sustaining injuries in the accident, the injured worker should seek emergency medical care at a hospital or other urgent care facility.
Follow through with all of the emergency room physician’s treatment recommendations. Prior to discharge from an emergency room or urgent care facility, the examining physician will typically instruct the injured worker to follow up at another treatment facility with another physician or specialist – or to follow up with a primary care physician. It is extremely important to do so, and failing to do so can negatively impact the value of the workers’ compensation case.
Avoid any significant gaps in treatment. Avoiding gaps in treatment means making every effort to continuously and consistently treat for the injuries sustained in the accident, beginning treatment immediately after the accident occurs, and continuing treatment until a level of maximum medical improvement is attained.
Contact a Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Soon after beginning your treatment for the injuries you sustained in your accident, one of the most important steps you can take is to contact the experienced Clearwater workers’ compensation lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys can represent you throughout your case.
If you have sustained injuries while on the job, our attorneys can review the facts and circumstances of your case and can assist you with obtaining the compensation that you are entitled to under Florida law.
Our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys will also be able to negotiate with your employer’s insurance company, file a claim or raise issues with the Florida Workers’ Compensation Commission when disputes arise, represent you at hearings, and/or assist you with settling your workers’ compensation case and bringing about a final resolution of your claim.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Clearwater, Florida workers’ compensation lawyer, please call us or contact us online.