Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Process Lawyer
In Florida, most employers are required to provide their employees with workers’ compensation coverage, whether through a private company or through their own self-insurance program. In either case, this coverage provides employees who are hurt on the job with a wide range of benefits, including medical treatment, compensation for wage loss, and other financial assistance. To collect benefits, however, claimants must meet certain requirements, including reporting their injury within a specific timeframe. Those who fail to comply with these requirements could find themselves denied benefits, which can have far-reaching consequences for injured employees and their families. To learn more about the workers’ compensation process in Florida and what steps you can take to give your claim the best possible chance of success, please call one of our experienced Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation process lawyers today.
Reporting Your Injury
Florida’s workers’ compensation program is based on a no-fault system, which means that injured employees are not required to prove that an employer was negligent in order to collect benefits. Instead, workers will typically be eligible for benefits as long as their injury occurred on the job and they take certain steps and go through the proper channels when filing a claim. For instance, the first thing that an injured employee should do after being hurt on the job and obtaining medical assistance, is to report the injury to his or her employer within 30 days of the accident.
Investigation by the Workers’ Compensation Insurer
Once it receives a report, an employer must submit a claim to its insurer within a week of receipt, at which point, the insurer will determine whether a claimant is eligible for benefits by:
- Reviewing the injured party’s medical records;
- Ordering an independent medical examination to assess the claimant’s condition;
- Analyzing the claimant’s work experience and wages; and
- Requesting a functional capacity evaluation to assess the claimant’s ability to perform work duties.
If an employee is unable to work for more than seven days and his or her claim is approved, that individual can expect to begin receiving benefits, including:
- Temporary total disability benefits, compensating injured employees for two-thirds of their lost wages;
- Temporary partial disability benefits, which compensate injured employees for any difference in their pre and post-injury earnings;
- Impairment benefits, which compensate injured employees for any permanent disability resulting from their injury; and
- Compensation for the cost of medical treatment.
For help determining which of these benefits you could qualify for, please call our office today.
Appealing Your Claim
Unfortunately, many valid workers’ compensation claims are denied unfairly. In these cases, claimants have the right to file an appeal with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC), which will be tasked with reviewing the insurer’s decision for an error, assessing evidence from the case, and hearing testimony from both parties. Further appeals must be filed with the First District Court of Appeals.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have questions about the workers’ compensation process in Florida, please call 954-807-1334 to speak with one of the experienced Fort Lauderdale workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. about your concerns.