If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you’re likely considering filing a Florida workers’ compensation claim. You might have been in a slip and fall accident, or you were injured in some other way. This can be a pretty complex topic to try and understand – especially if you haven’t been through this kind of situation before.
The attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be here if you have any questions. If you need our help, we’ll be ready to make sure your rights are protected at every turn. We’ve achieved positive results for our clients for several years, and we’ll be well prepared to do the same thing for you.
The following is some information on what is covered through workers’ compensation claims in Florida, and what options you may have if your claim is denied.
Initial Medical Treatment
Once you’ve been hurt, worker’s comp insurance should pay for all medical bills associated with your claim. You may, for instance, have been injured badly enough that you had to go to the emergency room. You might have required surgery, and you might need prescription medication to help relieve your pain. All of this should be covered.
If you’ve suffered a particularly serious injury, you might need care on an ongoing basis. You may have a severe back injury, for example, that could require extensive physical therapy. Your workers’ comp should pay for this as well.
Anyone who is injured in a severe workplace accident, or develops an illness related to their work, is probably going to lose wages after a certain period of time. Workers’ compensation claims in Florida will replace a percentage of your missing income. In most cases, compensation will be available for up to two years (104 weeks). You could also qualify for Social Security payments as well. A Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh attorney can tell you more about what you might be able to obtain for your specific injury.
You may have suffered an injury that led to a partial or permanent disability. Florida workers’ compensation claims will pay for your medical expenses – both now and on an ongoing basis – and could also pay a portion of your lost wages.
Funeral and/or Burial Costs
Some professions are incredibly dangerous, such as construction work. When an accident occurs in this type of hazardous environment, it can, unfortunately, have a tragic outcome. Workers’ comp not only covers the costs of a funeral, but may also provide other death benefits as well.
When Should Workers’ Compensation be Used?
It will be extremely important that you report the accident as soon as possible if you’ve been hurt. Don’t try to “tough it out,” or to wait for the pain to go away. Even if you think you might be better in a few days, you really have no way of knowing that for sure without getting medical help. Seeing a doctor and reporting the accident as soon as possible will be important for not only your physical health, but also your claim as well.
You might be responsible for paying for your own medical treatment if you wait too long to get help, or to file your claim. Certain types of injuries – especially those that affect the head, back and neck – can sometimes seem fine at first. They don’t start to cause problems for hours, or even days, afterward.
The faster you report the accident and get medical help, the better the chances your claim will process as smoothly as possible.
How Do Florida Workers’ Compensation Claims Work?
Here’s a brief look at some of the steps involving a workers’ comp claim.
- The first step will be to immediately report the injury or illness, as mentioned above. If you wait more than 30 days, there’s a very high probability the claim will be denied.
- After reporting the accident, talk to a doctor as soon as possible. Make sure you inform the doctor that the injury was work related so the medical professionals know to submit bills to your employer.
- There’s also a very good chance that a workers’ comp insurance attorney – one representing the insurer – will be in touch. Your employer must contact their insurance provider within seven days after you report your injury. The insurer will then have three days after that to give you information regarding your rights, as well as your responsibilities.
What if my Workers Comp Claim is Denied?
You might assume that your workers’ compensation claim will automatically be approved, but that isn’t always the case. Even if that claim is 100% valid, the insurance company could very well deny it. If that’s the case, then you might be able to take legal action in the form of a lawsuit. There are actually many cases where an injured employee will obtain much more compensation than they would have received had the insurer approved the original claim.
Why would an insurance company deny a claim? One of the most common tactics they’ll use will be to claim that you’re not hurt due to a workplace accident. You might have hurt yourself playing with your kids, or while playing golf. Or, they might say you simply had a pre-existing condition.
An experienced Florida workers’ compensation claims attorney at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be familiar with all the tactics unethical insurance companies use when denying workers’ comp claims. We also know how to defeat them.
KMW is Can Help You Get Compensation for Your Workplace Injuries
You don’t have to just sit there and take it if the insurer gives you trouble regarding your Florida workers’ compensation claim. The skilled legal representatives with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be ready to help if this happens. We know all the complexities of the system. And we also know the bogus arguments insurers often make when denying claims.