Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fights to Obtain Benefits
Seasoned Florida attorney assists with occupational injury claims
Workers’ compensation is designed to obtain fast reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages arising from a debilitating job-related injury or disease. It is a no-fault insurance system, requiring only that the injury arose from the employee’s job and that the harm be proved by medical evidence. But workers’ comp is the employee’s exclusive remedy, which means he or she cannot sue the employer for pain and suffering or other noneconomic damages. There are also pitfalls that can work to frustrate getting the maximum benefits deserved, especially in cases of permanent disability. At the Law Offices of Bill Dickey, P.A., we help worker get fair compensation for injuries and illnesses sustained on the job.
Dedicated attorney handles workers’ comp claims in all Florida industries
Accidents and deleterious conditions can occur in a variety of industries in Florida, from construction and manufacturing to travel and tourism. Serious injuries include chemical burns, toxin exposure and equipment injuries can occur in factories, warehouses and other tool-based operations, while office buildings, banks and retail establishments can be host to slip-and-fall accidents and security incidents. An accident or injury-causing condition can arise in even the safest of workplaces: for example, repetitive stress conditions or respiratory ailments.
Florida employers of four or more people are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Construction industry and government employers are generally required to maintain workers compensation insurance no matter how many employees they have.
Seaman and other maritime workers are covered by separate compensation systems for their injuries. We are skilled at seeking relief for ship workers under the Jones Act.
We fight diligently to obtain just benefits for our clients injured on the job, no matter their occupation or industry.
Experienced attorney helps you navigate workers’ compensation in Florida
The most important step in securing workers’ compensation benefits is to notify your employer. Workers are generally required to report their injury and file their claim within 30 days of the accident taking place, or within 30 days of learning from their doctor that their injury or illness is work-related. Once notice is given, you have additional time to seek medical attention and to file your formal claim.
Benefits recoverable under workers’ compensation include:
- Medical reimbursement — Workers’ comp pays for all medical care found to reasonable and necessary to treat a work-related injury or illness, as long as your treatment is prescribed by the treating doctor and authorized by the insurance company.
- Temporary total disability benefits — These payments compensate you for part of your wages — usually two thirds but up to 80 percent for egregious injuries like paralysis. The benefits continue until they expire or your doctor says that you can go back to work or that you’ve attained maximum medical improvement (MMI).
- Permanent impairment benefits — This is compensation for a lasting medical condition or lost bodily function as a result of the work injury. The degree of impairment is rated on a percentage scale. The weekly benefits can be up to 75 percent of the temporary disability rate.
- Permanent total disability benefits — These payments apply if your doctor finds your disability prevents you from doing any work, such as brain injury or loss of a limb. They are calculated at the same rate as temporary total disability and continue until at least until age 75.
- Vocational rehabilitation — Florida’s workers’ comp system provides for assistance with the costs of vocational counseling, training and education to help you get work in a different field.
- Death benefits — The spouse, children or other dependents of a worker who dies from of a job-related injury can receive payments up to $150,000 in total plus funeral and burial expenses.
If a worker’s comp claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. We can assist in all aspects of the claim and appellate process.
Efficient Tampa Bay area attorney handles third-party injury claims
While injured employees are barred from bringing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer s, this does not apply to third-party claims. When a worker is injured on the job due to the negligence of a party other than the employer, that party could be on the hook for compensating the worker.
For instance, if a commercial driver is struck by a third party vehicle, that negligent driver — and their insurer — could be responsible for the worker’s damages, even though the worker suffered the injury during the course of their duties. Likewise, if an employee is hurt by malfunctioning machinery on the job, the product manufacturer who made the defective equipment could ultimately be liable.
However, under Florida law, workers are prevented from obtaining so-called windfalls for injuries suffered on the job. If a worker is awarded a large amount of personal injury compensation on a third-party claim, they may be required to pay back their employer for workers’ comp payments received.
Consult an experienced Tampa Bay workers’ compensation law firm
At the Law Offices of Bill Dickey, P.A., we fight to make sure the workers’ compensation system works your favor and that you are not taken advantage of by employers or their insurers. To arrange your free initial consultation at our Tampa or Clearwater office, call us at 813-835-3800 or contact us online.