Have you recently been injured in a workplace accident in Jacksonville, Florida? You may have the right to seek benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. The experienced Jacksonville workers’ compensation lawyers at Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the often-challenging process.
We’re former insurance defense attorneys. Our co-founder is Board Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar. Collectively, we have 80 years of legal experience.
Getting us in your corner will level the playing field and help you maximize your financial recovery. Don’t let well-deserved compensation slip away. Contact Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at (904)-396-1100 and ask for our help. Your first consultation is free, so call our Jacksonville, FL law office or contact us to get started today.
How Our Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Claim For Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The workers’ compensation claims process is not an easy one. While you may clearly qualify for benefits, your employer and their insurance company will fight you tooth and nail as you seek the money you deserve.
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer in Jacksonville, FL to represent you can make all the difference in the world.
When you turn to us for help with your workers’ compensation claim, we will:
- Work to ensure that all filing deadlines are identified and met
- Coordinate an independent investigation into the cause of your accident
- Gather evidence and build a solid case to support your request for benefits
- Determine if you may also have the grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit
- Help you navigate conversations with your employer, their insurance company, and other parties
- Dispute denials of claims and file appeals, if necessary
At Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that a job-related injury can be devastating. Not only can it be incredibly painful, but it can keep you from working and supporting your family. That’s why we fight for injured workers and their families every day – and help them win life-changing money in the process.
How Does Florida’s Workers’ Compensation System Work?
In Florida, most employers are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
This is a no-fault policy that accomplishes two things:
- Allows injured workers to secure reasonable and necessary compensation for a work-related injury in a timely manner, and
- Prevents employers from being buried in time-consuming and costly lawsuits whenever employees get hurt.
No-fault means that workers are (generally) entitled to benefits regardless of who causes an accident.
Do I Qualify For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
There are three steps to determining whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Jacksonville.
Does Your Employer Have a Workers’ Compensation Policy?
First, you’ll have to confirm that your employer does, in fact, carry workers’ compensation insurance. Generally, an employer with at least 4 employees must opt-in. Employers in the construction industry are required to carry workers’ comp even if they have fewer than 4 employees.
Are You Considered a Covered Employee?
Next, you must be a qualified employee, as defined by Florida state law.
You should qualify for benefits if you’re a full time or part employee. Minors, prisoners on work-release programs, and non US-citizens will qualify.
Independent contractors, volunteers, and domestic workers will not be covered under a workers’ compensation policy.
Was Your Accident Work-Related?
It’s not enough to be covered by your employer’s policy. You must also suffer a physical injury (or develop an illness or disease) as a result of work-related activities.
Work-related means that you were injured (or contracted an illness) while performing tasks, responsibilities, or duties related to your specific job.
For instance, driving to work and getting into an accident wouldn’t be considered a “work-related” accident, and workers’ comp wouldn’t apply. On the other hand, if you were driving while on the clock for your employer and got into a car accident or truck accident, workers’ compensation benefits should be available.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available After a Jacksonville Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident in Jacksonville, you may be able to recover benefits for:
The reasonable and necessary medical costs associated with your on-the-job injury will be covered.
This can include:
- Doctor visits
- Medical devices
- Medical tests
You can also be compensated for the costs associated with traveling back and forth to your healthcare provider.
Note, you can’t just seek medical care from your own doctor. You must visit a physician that’s been approved by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Temporary Partial Disability
These benefits help to make up for wages you’ll lose out on if your injury affects your ability to earn what you’d been earning before you got hurt. You’ll qualify if you’re earning less than 80% of your average weekly wage. To calculate, determine 80% of your average weekly wage before you got hurt. Then, determine your current average weekly wage. TPD will cover 80% of the difference between the two.
Temporary Total Disability
These benefits help to make up for the wages you’ll lose out on if you suffer a temporary total disability. Under Florida Statute 440.15, you can recover two-thirds of your average weekly wages.
Typically temporary total disability benefits are available until you reach Maximum Medical Improvement or for 104 weeks (two years), whichever is shorter. If you still suffer from a disability after 104 weeks, a doctor will determine your permanent level of impairment.
Death benefits can be available if a worker dies as a result of a workplace accident or work-related illness. The worker’s death must occur within one year of the date of their injury. Alternatively, families may seek death benefits if the worker is on disability and dies within five years.
Death benefits can include two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage (up to $150,000) and $7,500 for funeral expenses.
What Injuries Are Covered By Workers’ Compensation in Jacksonville?
Under Florida law, you must suffer a physical injury or illness to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
At Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ll help you seek compensation for:
- Broken bones
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Eye injury
- Catastrophic injury
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or substances
- Joint injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Injuries resulting from exposure to extreme temperatures
- Wrongful death
It’s important to identify all job-related injuries and illnesses. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Jacksonville can help you get the medical care you need and guide you through the process of securing benefits for all of your injuries.
What Do I Need to Know About Getting Medical Care If I’m Filing a Claim For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
There are two important things to know:
- You have to go to an insurance company improved doctor to recover benefits, and
- You and the insurance company both have the right to an Independent Medical Exam (IME).
Going to an Insurance-Approved Physician
Unless it’s an emergency, you’ll have to see a doctor or provider that your insurance company has pre-approved. Your employer might be able to provide a list for you to choose from. In some situations, the insurance carrier might tell you where to go.
You won’t be able to recover benefits for related bills if you seek care from your own personal (unapproved) doctor.
Opting For an Independent Medical Exam
You and the insurer are both entitled to an objective third-party evaluation of your injury or condition. These can be helpful if your claim is denied or if you need to dispute what the insurance company’s pre-approved physician has determined.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim For Workers’ Comp Benefits in Florida?
Before you can file a claim, you’ll have to notify your employer that you’ve been involved (and hurt in) a workplace accident. This notice must be provided within 30 days.
Your employer will have one week to notify their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
As long as you’ve notified your boss, you’ll have up to two years to file a formal claim for benefits.
Do not miss deadlines associated with your case and let well-deserved compensation slip away.
Can I File a Lawsuit if I’m Also Getting Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
You might not be able to sue your employer, but you could have a legitimate case against another party. If you can prove that someone else (other than your employer or a co-worker) was negligent or strictly liable for your injuries, you could have a solid personal injury lawsuit on your hands.
Potentially liable parties might include property owners, government agencies, or companies that manufactured defective equipment.
Through a lawsuit, you could recover compensation – in the form of economic and non-economic damages – above and beyond what workers’ comp will pay. Most notably, you’ll be able to seek damages for pain and suffering.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Jacksonville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Insurance companies won’t help you get the most out of your workers’ compensation claim for benefits. The Jacksonville workers’ compensation lawyers at Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers will.
Contact our law offices, conveniently located in Jacksonville, Florida, to learn more about how we can help. Your first consultation is absolutely free, so call us today.
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