Tampa Workers’ Compensation Attorney

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Image Of Eric Feldman

Eric Feldman

Eric is an experienced personal injury attorney with more than 40 years in practice. …

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Image Of Alex Uriarte

Alex Uriarte

Alex has been interested in law since his childhood when he would accompany his father to work in the cou …

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Image of CJ Czaia

CJ Czaia

Growing up the son of a Foreign Service officer, CJ spent his early years traveling and living in many di …

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Marc Pacin

Prior to forming Pacin Levine, P.A., Marc handled catastrophic injury cases, trucking accident cases, wro …

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Safety is the most critical prerequisite of a workplace, and employers have a duty to provide a safe work environment. Unfortunately, many workplace injuries and illnesses occur in Tampa every year. If you or a family member has experienced a workplace accident, you likely have numerous concerns regarding the injury.

How will you manage the expenses of your medical treatment and rehab? How will you support your family financially if you cannot work? What options are available if your injury necessitates surgery, long-term medical treatment, or physical therapy? Can you consult with a specialist or seek a second opinion if necessary?

Dealing with an injury or illness related to your job is already challenging, but understanding your eligibility for Tampa workers’ compensation benefits and the process to seek your rightful compensation can be overwhelming. With a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney in Tampa on your side, your chances to recover compensation can increase significantly and the process gets expedited.

photo of injured builder

Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation in Tampa

It’s important to recognize that Florida’s workers’ compensation system operates on a no-fault basis. This means you aren’t required to prove that your employer is responsible for your workplace injuries.

The following are the four basic eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation benefits:

  1. The injured individual should be an employee.
  2. The employer should carry workers’ compensation insurance.
  3. The injury or illness should be work-related.
  4. The employee should adhere to Florida’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing the workers’ compensation claim.

Additional rules and procedures exist for specific categories of employees, such as domestic workers, agricultural workers, seasonal workers, or contract workers employed through a temp agency.

Workers’ compensation coverage should provide adequate support for medical treatment and a percentage of lost wages due to the injury. However, obtaining these benefits can often be more challenging than anticipated. It’s astute to seek the assistance of an established workers’ compensation attorney in Tampa to navigate the claims process effectively.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Tampa

The type and amount of workers’ compensation benefits in Tampa depend on the severity of the injury or illness. To qualify for workers’ compensation, the condition must be a physical injury or illness (barring exceptions where a mental health injury may be accepted as a workplace injury.).

According to Florida workers’ compensation law, mental, psychological or emotional injuries do not typically qualify for compensation unless there is a reasonable correlation with a physical injury. However, medical and disability benefits are generally determined based on a predefined compensation schedule, with the benefits amounting to two-thirds of the average weekly wage up to a specific limit. Other disability benefits that may apply to workplace injuries include:

  • Disability income benefits: Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in Tampa are available to individuals with a permanent disability expected to last over a year and render them unable to perform their previous work or find new employment.
  • Permanent disability benefits: These are provided to workers in Tampa who have a permanent partial impairment but can still perform some work.
  • Permanent total benefits: These benefits apply when an individual cannot work due to severe injuries.
  • Supplemental benefits: These benefits are paid by the employer and can assist Tampa workers with serious injuries.
  • Death benefits: In the unfortunate event of a worker’s death, these benefits cover funeral expenses, financial support for dependents, and educational assistance for the spouse.

Filing for any type of benefit under the workers’ compensation laws in Florida can be complex and involve bureaucratic processes. Regardless of the benefits you are seeking, it’s always a good idea to engage the services of experienced Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers.

Who can Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Tampa?

Florida law mandates that employers with four or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. The construction industry is an exception where even if there is only one employee, the employer must still provide workers’ compensation coverage.

Only employees are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This includes:

  • Full-time employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Minors
  • Aliens lawfully or unlawfully employed
  • Prisoners on work-release programs
  • Individuals under appointment or contract, whether oral or written

Certain individuals are not considered employees and do not qualify for benefits unless their employer voluntarily provides workers’ compensation coverage. These individuals include:

  • Independent contractors
  • Domestic workers or nannies in private homes
  • Professional athletes
  • Casual laborers hired for short-term jobs lasting no more than ten days
  • Volunteers

To be eligible for workers’ compensation in Tampa, the most important condition is that the injury should have occurred “out of your employment and in the course of your employment.” This means the injury must occur while you are engaged in an activity directly related to your job.

You won’t be covered if the injury happens during your commute to or from work unless you are specifically executing a duty en route. Lunch breaks or personal breaks are generally not covered.

Which Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Tampa?

All physical injuries and illnesses, including cardiovascular and neurological conditions, are covered by workers’ compensation in Tampa, provided the necessary proof of injury can be obtained. Harmful exposure-type injuries and illnesses and repetitive trauma injuries are also compensable. However, they are often denied by insurance companies, requiring the injured worker to fight for the benefits they are owed. Depending on the nature of your work, mental health injuries and illnesses may also be compensable.

Notice Requirement for Workers’ Compensation in Tampa

In Tampa, you must inform your employer of your injury within 30 days of the incident at the workplace. You should ideally provide written notice of the incident and your intention to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.

Sometimes, employers may refuse to report your claim to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Therefore, keeping copies of all text messages, emails, or any other evidence confirming that you reported your injury and requested medical treatment within the required 30-day period is essential.

Interacting with their employer about a workers’ compensation claim can be uncomfortable for many injured workers. However, if you engage legal representation soon after your injury, your attorney can handle the necessary paperwork to expedite the compensation process.

photo of injured worker getting consultation

Understanding Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) in Tampa

Maximum medical improvement (MMI) in Tampa is the date determined by the authorized medical professional, signifying the stage at which they believe your condition will no longer significantly improve. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are fully healed; it simply indicates that the physician doesn’t anticipate further improvement.

Unfortunately, reaching maximum medical improvement often means having physical restrictions or limitations to contend with. After reaching MMI, unless you’re permanently disabled, indemnity benefits are discontinued. Additionally, you become eligible for impairment-related benefits.

Once you have reached MMI, you must pay a copayment of $10 in Tampa for your visits to the doctor and prescription drugs coverage. In any case, the medical and prescription coverage will continue. If you reach the point of MMI but are still unable to work or have specific work restrictions, you should pursue a claim for permanent disability. Talk to a Tampa workers’ comp attorney to understand your rights in this situation.

Denial of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Tampa

Insurance companies in Tampa sometimes find reasons to deny or minimize workers’ compensation claims. These reasons include failure to file the claim within the specified timeframe, incomplete or insufficient paperwork or application, or lack of adequate medical documentation.

Upon complete or partial denial of a Tampa workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company must provide you with a notice detailing the benefits being denied and the reasons for the denial.

After a denial of workers’ comp benefits, you can appeal the decision within the prescribed time limit. If your claim was wrongfully denied or your workers’ compensation insurance carrier is acting in bad faith by not following Florida’s procedures for workers’ comp benefits, you can engage the services of experienced Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys.

Florida’s Laws Make Claiming Workers’ Compensation More Challenging

Filing for workers’ compensation following a work-related injury is challenging everywhere; unfortunately, in Florida, workers injured during their job have limited rights, and insurance carriers have plenty of opportunities to deny or diminish claims.

For example, your employer and insurance company may dictate which medical professional you must visit to evaluate your injury and determine your ability to return to work. Without the option for a second opinion, you may feel frustrated if the healthcare provider assesses your injuries as less severe than they are.

Moreover, Florida’s insurance regulations have a rigid interpretation of partial or total disability. Your employer might argue that you can return to work in a diminished capacity with lower earnings than you earned before, compromising your ability to claim sufficient replacement income.

You deserve maximum financial support to aid your recovery from your workplace injuries. Do not let insurers or employers intimidate you into thinking you have no legal options. A proven and diligent workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa can assist you with your case and appeal any denials you have received.

Photo of an Injured Man on Floor

Workplace Injuries Caused by Third Parties in Tampa

If your workplace injury in Tampa was caused by someone else’s negligence (other than your employer), you may be eligible to claim personal injury damages. For instance, if you were injured due to an electrical company’s negligence while working under contract, you could file a personal injury claim against the at-fault third party.

In Tampa, depending on the circumstances of your case, you also have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party injury claim simultaneously. Discuss your options with a workers’ comp lawyer and personal injury lawyer Tampa.

You Need a Seasoned Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer on Your Side

Florida’s laws constantly evolve, and employers often provide injured workers in Tampa with incorrect information out of ignorance or even intentional deceit. To protect your rights, you should have a knowledgeable and experienced Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer.

1-800-Injured is a lawyer and medical directory that helps connect victims of workplace injuries in Tampa with dedicated legal representation. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to arrange a free consultation.