Injuries happen in the workplace on a regular basis. Whether you work on a construction site or in a retail store, you could find yourself with a serious injury. Sometimes, those injuries are unavoidable and the hurt individual is just a victim of bad luck. However, other accidents are preventable.
Whatever the circumstances of your accident, you deserve compensation for your suffering. A worker’s compensation lawyer in Florida can tell you more about your options for recovering damages. 1-800-Injured has the ability to connect you with an experienced attorney.
What is a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Attorneys tend to specialize in certain areas of the law. This is because every niche is very different. If a lawyer spends most of their time in one niche, they quickly become an expert on the subject and they know all of the loopholes and effective strategies for winning cases.
Workers’ compensation in Florida is a particularly challenging area of law. A workers’ compensation lawyer understands the law well enough to help victims of workplace injuries seek compensation for their injuries. Typically, this includes medical expenses and lost wages.
You aren’t required to have an attorney to file for workers’ compensation. However, the process is usually difficult. One small mistake could mean you lose the right to damages. By working with someone who has knowledge of workers’ compensation law in Florida, you can improve your chance of a successful claim.
Your lawyer ensures you fill out and file all of the required paperwork. They also make sure you don’t miss any deadlines. If you fail to file in time, you lose your chance at compensation.
For a successful outcome, you need evidence that supports your story. Once again, your lawyer is the one who does the work. They know how to collect evidence on your behalf. Once the claim is processed, your lawyer negotiates with the insurance company. Typically, the company isn’t willing to give victims the money you deserve. It takes a skilled negotiator to get results.
Representing You in Court
The negotiation process isn’t always successful. Fortunately, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Florida can also help with this. They go to court for you and represent you at a hearing or in the trial.
As a result, you don’t need to settle for an unfair amount of damages. You may be able to get enough money to cover all of your accident-related expenses.
Can I Sue After Workers’ Compensation?
Generally, you can’t sue your employer during or after the workers’ compensation filing process. But don’t let this dishearten you. Employers have an advantage when it comes to workers’ compensation. Unlike a personal injury claim, workers’ compensation claims do not require evidence of fault. Whether or not the employer was liable for the accident, the employee is eligible for compensation.
The one disadvantage is that you cannot sue for pain and suffering. While a personal injury lawsuit allows you to sue for pain and suffering, a worker’s compensation claim does not.
When Can You Sue?
That said, you may be able to file a personal injury claim instead of a worker’s compensation claim. It’s one of the first questions to ask a workers’ comp lawyer.
To file this type of claim against an employer, your accident needs to meet one of two circumstances. Your employer must have caused you intentional harm, or your employer must have too little or no workers’ compensation.
If you were fired because of your workers’ compensation claim, you could have an entirely different lawsuit. In this case, you would file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Instead of suing your employer, you may be able to sue a third party. This is often the case when there is a defective product, toxic substance, or a contractor to blame for the accident. Then, you are able to hold them financially responsible for the accident.
Damages for Personal Injury Claims
A personal injury lawsuit can get you much more money for your accident. If your lawsuit is successful, you could receive money for pain and suffering. Depending on your injury, this could be a significant value.
It is difficult to place a value on your pain. So, you need to rely on medical records and expert testimony to demonstrate your degree of pain and suffering. One possible way of estimating this number is to multiply your economic damages by a certain number. The multiplier depends on the severity of your injury. If you have a permanent and life-changing injury, your multiplier will be high.
What Happens at the End of a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Every workers’ compensation case is different. The outcome varies greatly depending on your circumstances and whether or not you have legal representation.
Do You Get a Settlement from Workers’ Compensation?
It’s important to note that not all workers’ compensation claims end with a settlement. A settlement is not required; it is voluntary. Therefore, the insurance company does not need to agree to give you a settlement.
That said, there are other ways to get money for your accident. An attorney can explain more about your options.
A Settlement Offer
Another option is for you to have a settlement offer. If this occurs, your case is resolved. An accepted offer is final. After you agree to it, you cannot take any further legal action. This means you are not allowed to file a personal injury claim against the attorney.
If you accept the offer, you receive the money. However, you also give up your right to receive money for future medical treatment. To avoid getting less money than you deserve, you should speak with your lawyer. They know how to calculate a fair settlement offer.
Should You Get a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Florida?
If your claim is even slightly complex, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Florida. They will be there for you throughout every step of the process. Here are a few reasons you might be in need of an attorney with knowledge of workers’ compensation in Florida.
1. Your Employer Denies Your Claim or Withholds Payment
Your employer or their insurance company could deny your claim. In fact, this happens more frequently than you might imagine. Some employers and insurers don’t think workers’ will appeal denied claims. Then, they are off the hook for making a settlement.
You have a right to appeal their decision. Depending on your attorney, you may not need to pay any money up front for legal support.
2. The Settlement Doesn’t Cover Enough of Your Losses
Your settlement offer should be enough to cover all of your medical bills and missed wages. But this isn’t always the case. At times, a judge signs off on an unfair settlement offer.
If you suspect that your offer is lower than you deserve, you should work with a lawyer. In fact, you should do so before you accept any offer. You might not realize how much your injury can impact your life. And so, you could accept less than you deserve. An experienced attorney knows the true cost of injuries. They can tell you whether or not an offer is fair and negotiate a fair offer.
3. You Have a Permanent Disability
Whether you have a partial or full permanent disability, your case is complicated. You could be entitled to receiving weekly payments for a lifetime of missed wages. Because this costs the insurance company a lot of money, they are likely to fight this type of claim.
They might dedicate all of their time and resources on fighting your claim. To take them on, you need someone in your corner.
4. You Want or Already Receive Social Security Disability
Your settlement could directly impact your Social Security benefits. If you want to avoid very low benefit payouts, you need to structure your workers’ compensation settlement a certain way. They can limit the effects of your settlement on your benefits. In some cases, they may completely eliminate it from changing your benefits.
5. Your Employer Punishes You for Your Claim
As an employee, you have a right to workers’ compensation. But some employers get angry about claims and take their frustrations out on the employees.
If your employer demotes you, cuts your hours, reduces your salary, or fires you because of your claim, then you can take legal action. By working with a lawyer, you may be able to remedy the situation and hold the employer responsible.
6. You Think Someone Else Caused Your Accident
If you believe a third party caused your accident, you are eligible to file a personal injury claim against the individual or entity. However, the claims process requires an aggressive attorney.
In Florida, there were 242 privately owned insurance companies who wrote workers’ compensation insurance during 2017. Despite the abundance of companies, some employers don’t have any workers’ compensation. This would be another reason to work with an attorney.
Working With Us
In 2017, there were 299 fatal injuries in Florida workplaces. Thousands of workplace injuries occurred. If you were injured or have questions to ask a workers’ comp lawyer, call 1-800-Injured and connect with an attorney in our network.