Does Exposure to Mold Qualify for a Worker’s Comp Claim?
If you are injured on the job or if your workplace conditions are unhealthy and cause you to get sick, your employer has a [...]
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Most people know about the existence of workers’ compensation, but they do not really understand how it works in practice. They believe their company will just keep paying them if they are hurt. Or, at the very least, that they will start getting checks from their employer’s insurer in a timely fashion. And if they need medical care, the company will pay for that, too.
At a very basic level, this is true, and that can make getting workers’ compensation seem easy and simple. However, in practice, it tends to be a lot more complicated and confusing. Here are just some of the steps and issues that you have to consider:
Remember, this is just a small sample of the issues that may be involved in your workers’ compensation claim. It does not seem quite so simple anymore, does it? There is a way to make it a lot less complicated though: work with a skilled and experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney.
Nick Panebianco of the Panebianco Workers’ Compensation Firm has been helping people recover compensation for workplace injuries for over 25 years, and he has been a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer since 1994. Over that time, he has successfully handled countless work injury cases, enabling people to fight back against cost-cutting employers and insurers who would try to block them from receiving the fair and just compensation that they deserve.
Our firm provides end-to-end service for Floridians seeking compensation for workplace injuries. What does that mean? Quite simply, guiding you through the entire process. If you contact our law firm first thing after incurring your injury, we will:
The first thing we need to understand in order to help is what exactly happened. Where were you? What were you doing? How were you injured? Did others witness your injury?
At this time, we can talk to you about which types of injuries and situations qualify under workers’ compensation laws, as well as details such as your employment situation. For example, employers in Florida are only required to provide workers’ compensation insurance if they have four or more employees, and independent contractors do not count.
As long as you are eligible, we will move on to the next step.
In order to open a workers’ compensation claim, you need to tell your employer that you were injured at work in an official capacity. This is something that has to be done within 30 days of either the incident that caused your injury or within 30 days of discovering that a condition you suffer from is related to work. If you do not do this within the time frame, you could lose out on some or all of your benefits.
Once you do this, your employer has seven days to report your claim to their insurance company. If your employer refuses for some reason, we can help you contact the insurer directly. The insurer then has three days to send you an informational brochure detailing your rights and responsibilities.
When the insurer contacts you, they will likely want to do things such as look at your medical records, order their own medical examination, have you get a functional capacity evaluation, and learn your education, wages, and work experience.
We can advise you both on how to communicate your injury to your employers in your claim and how to deal with the insurance company. This is particularly important, because if you agree to a settlement amount with the insurer and your condition later worsens, you will have to pay for any future medical expenses on your own.
Hopefully, the insurer will approve your claim in a prompt, fair manner, and you can begin getting the medical care you need. What if this does not happen?
If your claim is denied, you will need to appeal by filing a Petition of Benefits with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). This is often the point where many people start looking for workers’ compensation attorneys.
Your Petition must be filed within two years of the incident that caused your injury (or your discovery that a condition was related to work). This petition has a number of specific requirements that we can help you with. If you neglect any of these requirements, your petition will be immediately dismissed by the judge, so they are incredibly important.
After you turn in your petition, the insurer then has two weeks to either pay you the benefits you are owed or offer reasons for why they are denying them. If they continue to deny your claim, it’s time for the next step.
This is the point where your claim really becomes a legal case, with their lawyers trying to argue that they shouldn’t have to pay for your injury while we gather evidence supporting your claim.
Depending on the nature of your case and how you want to handle it, this may mean negotiating with the insurer’s lawyers to come to a settlement, or it may mean ultimately going to trial to fight for what you believe you deserve.
A workers’ compensation claim can take time – but you cannot and should not wait to get help. You need treatment for your injury, and we can help. Depending on what kind of care you need, we can recommend physical therapy or other needed medical care and make sure that you get transportation to all of your appointments.
The best part about working with us on your medical care is that we only work with knowledgeable, trusted medical professionals who know how to carefully document your care to best help your claim – something that is just not true of all doctors.
Here’s the bottom line: if you get hurt at work, the last thing you need to worry about is fighting with the insurance company over compensation. You need to concentrate on your health. On getting better. On making sure you receive the medical help you need.
Let us handle the other stuff. We have been doing it for decades, and we know what to do to give you the best chance at receiving fair and just compensation for what you have had to endure. All you have to do to get the ball rolling is get in touch. That means filling out our quick and easy online case evaluation form, or calling us 24/7 at (954)524-6886 or (844) 316-7679.