Injured Employees Have Difficulty Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims In Florida
Many people, when they get hurt on the job, expect to receive significant compensation, and not just for covering their hospital bills, but also to cover any lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and the like. While workers’ compensation is meant to help an injured employee, in Florida, receiving ample workers’ compensation benefits is extremely difficult—much more difficult than it should be. Because of how restrictive the laws are surrounding workers’ compensation benefits, it may be in your best interest – if you were injured on the job – to hire a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer to help you make sense of the laws and receive the most benefits for your particular personal injury.
Florida’s Main Goal is to Protect Its Businesses
Florida is a business-friendly state, and as such, Florida laws are designed to help businesses grow. Because of this, even when a worker gets injured, Florida’s workers’ compensation laws are designed to benefit the employer as much as possible. Below are a few ways in which Florida workers’ compensation laws work against the injured employee and make it more difficult for them to file a successful workers’ compensation claim:
- You do not get to choose your doctor. If you work in Florida and get injured on the job, you will be referred to a doctor of the insurance provider’s choice. Even if you have your own family doctor that you regularly see, or if you have a particular specialist in mind, you will only receive maximum benefits if you use the physician referred by the insurance company. Unfortunately, the doctors chosen by the insurance companies are also employer-friendly, and tend to make diagnoses that are bound to result in restricted benefits, or to be denied altogether. Furthermore, these doctors will do everything possible to get you back on your feet faster, that way benefits only have to be paid for a short while. Oftentimes this means simply prescribing a pain medication and sending the employee back to work.
- Workers’ compensation pays for little to no lawyer fees. It is standard protocol to seek out the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer when you injure yourself at work or in public, but Florida’s workers’ compensation laws make it difficult to do so. Florida law dictates that in a workers’ compensation lawsuit, lawyer fees must be paid either via a payout from the insurance company, or directly by the insurance company. In many cases, it takes months for a personal injury lawyer to receive payment; in others, they will not get paid until the case has been settled. Because of this, it has become more difficult for injured employees to receive the legal assistance they need in a workers’ compensation case.
- There is a limit to how long you can receive workers’ compensation benefits. Florida law is designed to get you back to work as soon as possible—even if that means speeding up what should be a lengthy recovery. Once the doctor releases you back to work, the insurance company will stop sending you checks. Because most people need an income to survive, they have no choice but to return to work even if they are not feeling 100 percent recovered.
- You are not guaranteed a job when you recover. In most states, if you injure yourself at work, you are guaranteed the same position within the company when you recover. However, in Florida, employers are not required to keep your position open for you, and can hire someone to take your place while you are out recovering.
Seek the Help of an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
At The Pendas Law Firm, we are adept in helping our clients file workers’ compensation claims that achieve the maximum amount of benefits. If you were injured on the job in Florida, you are entitled to the benefits and damages that you deserve. To speak with a personal injury lawyer who is out to help you, contact The Pendas Law Firm to schedule your consultation today. Our firm serves clients throughout Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Miami.