Work Accident Lawyers in Orlando, FL
What you need to know about Florida workplace accidents
You spend much of your life working, and it’ common for injuries to happen. In fact, every 7 seconds, something injures a worker on the job causing over a BILLION lost days of work. If you experience an injury while on-the-job, and have lost time at your work, you and your loved ones could be suffering. Our Orlando work accident lawyers understand how difficult lost time and money an injury at work can cause for you and your family and we’re eager to assist you on the path to recovery, both physically and financially.
Note: Worker’s compensation covers injuries that occur on-the-job, but if someone else was being neglectful, we may consider it a personal injury case. Our lawyers handle both types of injury cases and can advise you if you would need to file for personal injury
You might be uncertain about the process of filing a worker’s compensation (sometimes called “workers comp”) claim. You may feel your boss will get angry with you and retaliate. Our Orlando work accident lawyers can answer your questions and help you feel confident about pursuing your rights to compensation.
Bonus fact: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 2.8 non-fatal injuries and illnesses per every 100 full-time employees reported in 2017.
What is a workplace accident?
Workplace accidents are an injury or illness that happens to you while working, leading to physical or mental harm. Even if the accident happens off the company’s property, if you are carrying out business tasks, then Florida law still considers the accident to be work-related.
Usually, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is to be eligible for Florida worker’s compensation benefits. You do not have to prove the accident was anyone’s fault or mistake. When you file for worker’s compensation in Florida, they review your claim like insurance. Florida law requires your employer to have worker’s comp insurance for you. If you suffer an injury on-the-job, such as a back, neck, or knee injury, the worker’s compensation insurance carrier provides benefits to the injured worker for lost wages and medical bills.
Oftentimes, payouts by workers’ compensation are small and don’t always cover all the expenses an injured person has. When this happens, you may need the assistance of a skilled Orlando workers comp lawyer to help you seek maximum compensation for your damages.
What should you do as a Florida workplace accident victim?
Even though significant efforts have been made in the past decade to create safer workplaces, work-related accidents still happen all the time across the U.S. and in Orlando. When injured in this type of accident, knowing what steps to take is essential to ensuring you can recover the compensation deserved for your injuries and subsequent damages.
The damages and benefits you may receive include things like reimbursement for any medical expenses and wage replacement. However, it is necessary to make sure the proper steps are taken after your work-related accident.
Knowing what to do and what to avoid will help you throughout the workman’s compensation process.
After an injury on the job, you have limited time to file a claim. If you suffered a workplace injury, you must report it to your employer immediately, no later than 30 days. However, don’t speak with an insurance company representative or sign any insurance document just yet. It is important for you to consider all of your options before accepting any compensation. By accepting worker’s compensation from your employer, you give up your right to pursue the matter in court. These entities are out to protect themselves, but our lawyers are here to protect your legal rights and promote your best interests.
After reporting your injury, consult our experienced Orlando workplace accident lawyers to discuss the best way to proceed with your claim. It might worry you how to move forward after suffering an accident at your workplace. Our Orlando workers comp lawyers understand how you feel and want to see you on the road to recovery as soon as possible.
Here is a more detailed overview of what to do after being involved in this type of accident. Going through the process step-by-step can help ensure you get the compensation deserved after a workplace accident.
A detailed overview of the workman’s comp process in Florida
Report the accident immediately
As mentioned above, you must report any accident right away. Even minor workplace accidents need to be reported to a supervisor. Sometimes, workers are involved in what seems like a small accident, fail to report it, and realize a few days or weeks later that the injuries are more serious than they suspected.
If you don’t report your accident within 30 days, it can result in your benefits being denied, regardless of how credible your claim is. Along with reporting the incident to your supervisor, you should also complete a “First Report of Injury or Illness” form and submit that to your employer. While your employer should give you this document, you can also print it online.
File the workman’s comp claim
Once you report the incident and file the required documents, your employer should take over and file the claim with the provider of their workers’ compensation insurance. This should be done within seven days from the time of the accident.
At this point, the insurance carrier must provide you with an informational brochure within a period of three days after receiving the claim notice from your employer. When this brochure is received, you have confirmation that the employer has reported the injury.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go this smoothly. Suppose you find that your employer has not reported the injury or situation. In that case, it is up to you to act by contacting the Employee Assistance Office at the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Seek and complete the prescribed medical treatment and intervention
After you receive approval for your claim, you can start receiving the necessary medical treatment. This treatment must be provided by the doctor that is authorized by your employer’s insurance carrier or your employer.
While it may be tempting to stop treatment when you get to feeling better, you must complete it. There is a reason your doctor prescribes a certain treatment, but if you don’t complete it, you may have issues with your claim, too.
If the claim you make for workers’ compensation in Orlando is approved, you can begin receiving temporary or partial total wage replacement benefits on the eighth day of your disability period. You do not receive benefits for the initial seven days of this period unless the injury results in you losing over 21 days at work.
According to Florida worker’s compensation law, most people will receive around two-thirds of the average weekly wage they earn in benefits. This is with the assumption that they receive temporary total benefits. When the injured individual achieves MMI or maximum medical improvement, they may be able to recover other impairment benefits or permanent total benefits. This is possible if the individual cannot work or if the injury they suffered caused some impairment that is still affecting their life.
When the work-related injury a person experiences results in the worker’s death, the individual’s dependents may receive their worker’s compensation benefits.
Hire an attorney for assistance with your case
Unfortunately, not all workman’s comp cases run smoothly. If you find your employer or the insurance provider has denied your compensation claim, working with an attorney may be a smart move. Having a legal representative help you with your case will minimize issues when helping to ensure you get the results needed – which is compensation for your injuries and the damages you suffered.
What types of workplace accidents do our Orlando work accident lawyers have experience with?
Over 35 years of professional experience between law partners Pardy and Rodriguez means we have the knowledge and expertise to handle even the most complicated of Florida workplace accident cases. There are few types of workplace accident cases we do not have experience with. However, your case is unique and deserves our best care, hard work ethic, and attention to detail. The most common cases we see, and are experts in providing help with, include:
- Work-related accidents involving injury to the back, knee, shoulder, neck, and head.
- Construction site accidents.
- Burned at work (fire, chemical, industrial accidents).
When you hire our workplace accident lawyers at Pardy & Rodriguez, PA, we immediately investigate your workplace accident and take the necessary steps to get you the compensation you deserve. With law offices in Orlando, Kissimmee, Poinciana, Tampa, Bradenton and Davenport, we are conveniently located near you. Visit our offices, contact us online, or give us a call us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll help ensure that your rights are protected and to explain your compensation options.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Florida work accidents & injuries
1. Can I sue my employer for an accident at work?
In most cases, you’re unable to sue your employer for an accident and related injuries that occur on the job. However, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to recover money related to your injuries and other damages. The key to success is documenting your accident and injuries, immediately reporting the accident to your employer, and filing a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible with the legal guidance of a qualified Orlando workers comp lawyer.
2. Is it worth getting a workers’ comp attorney?
You’re under no legal obligation to hire a workers’ comp attorney, but there are many benefits of doing so. Here’s why it’s generally worth getting an experienced Orlando workers comp attorney to handle your claim:
- Your workers comp attorney will help you avoid common mistakes and setbacks.
- Your attorney can manage the process from start to finish while you focus on your physical health and medical treatments.
- Your workers comp attorney knows how to communicate with insurance companies.
- Your attorney has the experience and knowledge in negotiating with insurance companies to get you the best outcome possible.
If you file a workers comp claim on your own, you could miss out on benefits that are due to you. Additionally, you’re more likely to fall prey to an insurance company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
3. How long do I have to sue for work-related injuries?
In Florida, your ability to sue an employer for injuries suffered on the job is limited. This only comes about in the most severe of circumstances. The best way to obtain compensation is by filing a workers’ compensation claim with the legal guidance of an experienced Orlando workers comp attorney. Two deadlines to keep in mind are: 1) You’re required to report on-the-job injuries to your employer within 30 days, and 2) You have two years from the time of your injury to file a formal claim.
4. How much does workers’ compensation pay for pain and suffering?
The Florida workers’ compensation system does not entitle injured workers to benefits for pain and suffering. Instead, if your injuries are severe enough to seek these damages, you’re able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation.
However, pursuing compensation for pain and suffering is harder than it sounds so be sure to consult with an experienced Orlando workers comp attorney who can review your accident details and injuries and make suggestions on how to obtain maximum compensation, including compensation for pain and suffering.
5. What are my rights if I am injured at work?
If you’re injured on the job in Florida, it’s critical to understand your legal rights. These include:
- The right to pursue medical treatment.
- The right to file a workers’ compensation claim for your injury or illness.
- The right to return to your job after being released by your medical team.
- The right to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you’re unable to return to your job, temporarily or permanently.
- The right to file an appeal of a denied workers’ compensation claim.
- The right to legal representation.
If your employer is violating your legal rights to workers comp benefits, contact an experienced Orlando workers comp attorney immediately for help.