Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation payments are intended to offer financial assistance to people who have been injured or fallen ill, because of their workplace environment. Virtually all employers in Florida state are obliged to hold workers’ comp insurance, to offer payments for medical fees and lost salaries.
Nonetheless, this system consists of laws that differ from one state to another. Also, the outcome of these laws depends on various complex procedures. Suffice to say, insurance firms are familiar with these laws and understand how to manipulate them. This makes it unfair for many ill and injured workers. This is why you should contact a Tampa workers compensation lawyer from Pardy & Rodriguez P.A.
If you suffered injuries at work, our Tampa workers comp lawyers would assess every element of your circumstances during a free consultation. Please get in touch with us by calling (813) 491-8898 or completing the contact form below. We are proud to serve residents of Tampa and all of Florida.
Sections on this page:
- Eligibility for Workers’ Comp Payments
- Compensation Benefits and Laws for Florida Workers
- Frequent Injuries in the Workplace
- Measures to Take After an Injury at Work
- Hiring a Tampa Workers Compensation Lawyer
Eligibility for Tampa Workers’ Comp Payments
The law in Florida requires all Tampa employers with at least four employees to hold workers’ comp insurance. Nonetheless, in the building sector, even employers with one member of staff have to hold this insurance.
Only employees qualify for payments, including people who are:
- Working full time
- Working part time
- Immigrants (unlawfully or lawfully employed)
- Prisoners on work release
- Under contract or appointment, be it written or verbal
People are not classed as staff members, and will not be eligible for payments (if their employers choose not to offer workers’ comp benefits), if they are:
- Independent contractors
- Professional athletes
- Domestic workers or nannies in private homes
- Casual laborers, recruited for particular jobs that last under ten days
As an employee, your injuries must be caused by the workplace environment for them to qualify for workers’ comp benefits. That is to say, your injuries have to occur during a task that is linked to your job directly. The insurance will not cover you if you are departing from or traveling to work unless you are told to perform certain tasks on the way. If your injuries occur while you are taking a break or having lunch, you will not be able to claim.
When you injure yourself at work, you are responsible for notifying your employer of your injuries within a month of either:
- Your injury dates
- The date that you noticed symptoms of your injuries
- The date of the initial diagnosis of your injuries by a doctor
Failure to meet these deadlines could result in your benefits being denied indefinitely. Nonetheless, if you do miss a deadline, this does not always mean that you are not covered in some situations.
In addition, you have to file your claim for workers’ comp with the relevant division in Florida as quickly as possible. Because of the statute of limitations, you have to file within twenty-four months of your illness or injury or be at risk of losing your payments.
Compensation Benefits and Laws for Florida Workers
In Florida state, roughly 100k residents are injured at work every year and pursue workers’ comp payments. The workers comp system in Florida is mandatory. As a result, Tampa employers have to offer workers’ comp insurance to everyone they employ. Such insurance might be offered through the employer’s insurance firm, or through a private insurer.
The workers’ comp law in Florida does not apply to employers with less than four staff members. Most employers in the agricultural sector have to offer insurance to their agricultural staff, although some smaller employers might be exempt. These employers are allowed to choose whether to offer workers’ comp insurance to domestic staff, like housekeepers and nannies.
Choice of Doctor
In certain situations, your employer might give you a list of doctors to choose from. In other cases, your employer might allocate a physician to you. Once you reach MMI (maximum medical improvement), you have to pay a fee of $10 for medical treatment.
TTD (temporary total disability) payments are provided in amounts that constitute sixty-six percent of your salary when the accident occurred. With catastrophic or critical injuries, you might receive up to eighty percent of your salary for as long as half a year after an accident. TTD payments are restricted to weekly payment caps and might continue for a maximum of two years.
A TPD (temporary partial disability) classification will be applied to your disability if you can start working again on a lower salary with short term physical restrictions. In situations where you can go back to work on a lower salary, you will get the difference between eighty percent of your salary and your wages after your injuries.
Also, PTD (permanent total disability) payments are based on part of your salary and — as with TTD — have a weekly payment cap. Payments for PTD will carry on for the duration of your disability, however – most of the time – these payments cease at age seventy-five.
In addition, you might get payments for:
- Vocational rehab
- Physical rehab
The payments that you qualify for depend on your accident’s date, circumstances, and severity. Typically, you are eligible for any required medical treatments. Also, you might qualify for any lost income while you cannot work, usually at a lower rate.
Moreover, based on your employment history, education, permanent work restrictions and age, or if you are unable to work, you might be entitled to permanent total disability payments. If you stay partially or totally disabled, you might qualify for social security disability payments too.
Death payments can be claimed by surviving children or spouses. Similar to other payments, death payments are calculated as a portion of deceased employees’ salaries and are capped at $100k to $150k. Funeral costs for the victim’s relatives are available as well. Death for a workplace accident can be a complex legal matter, contact a Tampa Workers’ Compensation lawyer for a free consultation to learn your rights.
Frequent Injuries in the Workplace
Regrettably, many types of injuries can occur at work, based on the sector you work in.
Here are some commonly reported injuries:
- Injuries to the Joints: Due to the constant strain they are under in some jobs, joints are vulnerable to injuries. Once they become injured, they are debilitating and painful and might need surgery. The healing process is slow as well. All joint injuries that need surgery, or a prolonged recovery time, qualify for workers’ comp benefits.
- Injuries to the Back: Back injuries are among the most severe – and the most common — injuries that workers suffer. An incident, such as slipping and falling or picking up a heavy object, can injure the back. In other situations, repeating the same action each day, like lifting and bending, can lead to injuries. If you have a preexisting condition, this might be aggravated by daily work tasks.
- Stress Fracture: This type of injury arises when the muscles are overused and become tired. This prevents them from absorbing the stress of heavy lifting and other hard work. As time passes, your tired muscles will transfer this stress to your bones, causing them to fracture or crack.
- CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome): This condition is painful, and it occurs when the wrist nerves become compressed. In America, CTS is the biggest sole contributor to missed work time. Typical symptoms include tingling, burning or loss of feeling/weakness in the hands, arms, or fingers. Also, you might find it difficult to grip or make a fist, which causes you to drop objects.
- Tendonitis: Workers who perform repetitive movements each day often experience tendonitis. With this condition, your tendons slowly tighten up, until the fibers they consist of start deteriorating.
- Chronic Pains: Lot of injuries in the workplace can cause chronic pains, and they last for a couple of months or more after the injury date.
- Loss of Sight: The human eye is a complex organ. It is fragile as well and easily harmed in workplace accidents. Some jobs carry the risk of eye injuries that could result in life changing sight loss. Common reasons for eye injuries are exposure to bright light or chemicals, foreign objects penetrating the eye and brain injuries.
- TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury): Typically, this injury is caused by a blow to the skull. It can damage your cognitive, psychological, and physical abilities. The majority of TBIs lead to widespread brain damage because the brain shakes inside the skull during an accident. Often, this requires long term therapy and medical treatment.
- Toxic Mold: Lots medical professionals have compared toxic mold to asbestos because there are numerous health risks linked to its exposure. Examples of these are cardiac issues, chronic bronchitis, cancer, MS (multiple sclerosis), rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Click below to watch a video about avoiding workplace pain.
- Avoiding Workplace Pain shows you how to prevent certain kinds of work injuries.
Measures to Take After a Tampa Injury at Work
In Florida, to receive workers’ comp benefits, you have to take the correct steps to qualify. It is vital to follow this procedure after an accident:
Tell Your Employer About it
- With non-emergency injuries, inform your employer straightaway and inquire where you ought to go for medical treatment. Should your employer be unavailable, find the telephone number/name of the insurance firm that will handle your claim straightaway. An insurance firm representative ought to direct you towards a certified physician who can treat you.
- With emergency injuries, you might seek medical care at the closest facility and tell your employer as quickly as you can. Under Florida law, you get one month to inform your employer of workplace injuries. You have to ensure that your employer understands precisely what occurred and the extent of your injuries. Also, ensure that they know what duties (if any) you are able to perform after your injury and what your limitations are.
- Speaking to your employer face to face is always preferable, however you should send an email or letter to confirm the details of your conversation. This will help you maintain a log of when you informed your employer, so you can prove you followed the right course of action during your claim.
- With subcontractor work, provide your direct employer with immediate notice – in writing – of your occupational illness or accident. Be mindful that, even if your accident/injury appears minor, it is vital to report and log it. Frequently, small injuries can result in severe problems further down the line.
Visit a Physician
- Once you believe you have been injured at work, you ought to seek healthcare immediately. You might not understand the severity of your injuries.
- Aside from diagnosing your injuries and offering expert care, a physician’s diagnosis strengthens your workers’ comp claim. You might have to acquire a physician’s report to receive the funds you deserve.
- You have to be treated by a physician who is approved by the relevant insurer, or your employer. If you are treated by a different physician, the insurer or your employer might ask you to visit a physician of their choice, prior to paying your lost salary.
- Always provide the healthcare professional who treats you with an in-depth explanation of your injuries, including the causes. By offering a detailed report, you will encounter less obstacles when pursuing your claim.
Get Your Claim Filed
Florida employers have to notify the workers’ comp insurance firm of your claim within a week of becoming aware of your injuries. Once this has happened, you will have to provide more details to the insurance firm.
Hiring a Tampa Workers Compensation Lawyer
The team of workers compensation attorneys at Pardy & Rodriguez P.A. will fight for your rights if you are injured at work. Please arrange a free consultation with us immediately, by phoning (813) 491-8898 or completing the form below.