In any workplace, injuries can happen. Individuals in certain workplaces, like construction sites and positions that require workers to drive as part of their daily routine, are at a greater risk of being injured on the job than those in sedentary and indoor positions. However, no job is without its risk of injury. Even in seemingly safe work environments, like offices, an worker can become injured in an accident. Fortunately, employees who suffer from preventable injuries on the job have the option to seek monetary compensation through a workers' compensation claim.
If you have been injured at work, seek medical care for your injury as soon as possible. This is the critical first step following any type of accident – even if you think you are not injured, have a doctor examine you to determine if you will need any type of treatment. Sometimes, injuries are not apparent for months or years after an accident occurs. By then, it could be too late to seek monetary compensation for your expenses. Get adequate medical attention as soon as possible after your accident, then contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a workers' compensation claim.
What is Workers' Compensation?
What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance policy that most employers in the United States are required to carry. The Florida Workers' Compensation Program1 exists to provide injured employees with financial coverage for the expenses that stem from their workplace injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages because of the time spent outside of work, and the need for temporary or permanent disability aids.
Although most employers are required to purchase a workers' compensation policy, not all are. In Florida, employers that meet the following requirements must have a workers' compensation policy2 in place:
· Construction industry employers who employ one or more full or part-time employees. This includes those based outside of Florida. Only corporate officers and LLC members who own at least 10 percent of their companies may opt to exempt themselves from coverage;
· Non-construction industry employers who employ four or more part or full-time workers. In these industries, sole proprietors and partners are not required to be considered employees, but may opt to be. Corporate officers and individuals involved in LLCs who own more than 10 percent of their companies may choose to exempt themselves from coverage;
· Agricultural employers who employer six or more regular workers and/or 12 or more seasonal workers for more than 30 days;
· Employers located outside of Florida whose statutes include extraterritorial reciprocity clauses, as long as the work performed is temporary.
What Can I Recover through a Workers' Compensation Claim?
Through a workers' compensation claim, you may seek compensation for the following losses:
· Lost wages;
· Disability aids;
· Medical bills;
· Job training or rehabilitation to return to work.
If you are Injured at Work
Report your injury to your supervisor right away. If you do not take this step, you could invalidate your workers' compensation claim. You must report your accident to your employer within 30 days.
You must then seek a medical evaluation from one of the physicians listed on your company's workers' compensation policy. This is known as an independent medical exam (IME). During this exam, the doctor determines if your injury was caused by work-related activity and it extent. This is where it is important to work with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. In many cases, IMEs are not objective and instead are designed to allow the workers' compensation provider to pay a victim as little as possible. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance provider and the physician performing the IME to get you an adequate settlement amount for your needs.
St. Petersburg Workers' Compensation Attorneys
If you have been injured in an accident at work, you deserve to receive monetary compensation for your losses. After you have notified your supervisor of your accident, the next step is to begin working on your claim with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. Contact the Dolman Law Group to schedule your initial legal consultation with us today. We can provide you with the legal guidance and representation your claim needs to be successful.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712