Victor Malca Law P.A. – Workers Compensation Attorney Serving Fort Lauderdale
Do you need a workers compensation lawyer or attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Here’s how we can help you. Accidents in the workplace are unavoidable and more common than you can imagine. From paper cuts to a broken spine, the extent of work-related injuries can vary significantly. No matter how tight the safety measures are, some things are just beyond your control.
According to the United States Department of Labor, there were a total of 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries reported across the country in 2017 alone. Meanwhile, fatal work injuries claimed 5,147 lives that same year with 299 of them recorded in Florida.
To protect both the employee and the employer from unexpected costs arising from incidents like this, the Florida Workers Compensation System was instituted. It requires certain businesses to maintain a workers’ compensation policy with private insurance companies licensed by the state.
How Does Workers Compensation Work?
In the United States, both employers and employees are protected from unexpected expenses arising from work related injuries through the workers compensation system.
Though each state have different laws regarding the matter, it is generally structured as an insurance system. Employers pay premiums to an insurer for their employees. In return, the latter pays for the employee’s medical benefits, wage replacements and other incidental expenses.
Not all employees are covered under this law though. Most states exclude farm workers, domestic workers and those who are employed in small businesses.
The amount an injured worker can claim usually depends on state rules and the circumstances of their injuries.
When Can You Claim Workers Compensation?
When employees suffer injuries or acquire illnesses in the course of performing their duties, they can claim workers’ compensation benefits out of that policy. These benefits include reimbursements for hospital and other medical bills, lost wages and disability payments. If the employee dies within a year of the accident or five years of continued disability, survivors can claim for funeral expenses, education benefits and compensation benefits to dependents.
This is where our team of workers’ compensation lawyers in Ft. Lauderdale enter the picture. We can help you recover compensation for injuries and illnesses acquired in the workplace including any other benefits as provided by law. The thousands of workers compensation claims we’ve won in the past decades attests to our dedication in fighting for employee rights and privileges in Florida.
Aside from guiding you throughout the entire process, our services also include among others:
- Negotiating settlement amounts on your behalf
- Acting as your representative during mediations, arbitrations and court hearings should negotiations fail
- Completing the required paperworks
- Gathering evidences in support of the claim
- Liaising with your employer to verify policy coverage
TYPES OF INJURIES – ACCORDING TO FLORIDA LAW
CLICK ON THE TYPE OF INJURY YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE FORT LAUDERDALE LAWS.
Workers Compensation Laws in Florida
In Florida, certain businesses are required by the state to provide workers compensation insurance to their employees. Unlike other states, the system here is based on a private market. Meaning, the employer will either have to take out the policy from a private insurance firm or set-up a commercial self-insurance fund.
The state’s policy also provide for employees to be compensated regardless of fault. In effect, employers are protected from certain injury lawsuits. The amount of compensation is set by law.
Businesses engaged in construction with at least one employee is obliged by law to provide workers compensation insurance. So as those not in the construction industry but has four or more employees regardless of status. This also applies to agricultural employers with 6 or more regular employees and/or 12 or more part-time employees working for not less than 30 days.
The Florida Division of Workers Compensation enforces employer compliance on worker compensation laws. They can issue a stop-work order should a company fails to do so.
What Benefits Can You Get?
Depending on your case, your workers compensation insurance should be able to provide you with either of these benefits:
- Temporary Total Disability. This is when the medical report says you cannot do any work at all. You only get paid for the first seven days when you can’t work for more than 21 days. Benefits are paid at the 8th day after you stopped working. The amount you’ll receive should equal to about 66.33% of your regular wages at the time of the accident.
- Temporary Partial Disability. When you can still go back to work but cannot earn the same wages from before the accident. You are entitled to 80% of the difference between 80% your previous salary and the current wage you’re earning.
- Impairment Benefits. If your doctor determines that you are permanently impaired by the accident, you will be given a permanent impairment rating. This will determine the amount you will receive.
- Medical Benefits. Under Florida state law, your employer should provide for your medical treatment. However, the doctor treating you should be authorized by your insurance company.
- Reemployment Services Assistance. If you can’t go back to work due to permanent restrictions resulting from your injuries, you may ask for reemployment assistance at the Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office/Reemployment Services.
How to Apply
All work-related injuries should be reported to your employer within 30 days after it happened or after you had knowledge of it. Your employer, in turn, has only seven days to report such injury to the insurance company.
After this, you should be able to receive a call from an insurance claim adjuster within 24 hours. They will explain your rights and obligations. A copy of this in writing will also be sent to you within 3-5 business days along with a copy of your accident report and other forms you’ll need to fill up. You may avail of our free consultation should you have questions at this point.
Under the law, insurance companies should promptly approve or deny your workers compensation claim. Once it’s approved, you can already start receiving payments. Unfortunately, the possibility of getting denied is a lot higher than getting approved.
If your claim is denied, you may file an appeal within two years. Though you may do it on your own, it is strongly advised that you get the help of a reputable workers compensation lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. The insurance company will have their own lawyers and not having your own can put you at a great disadvantage.
Victor Malca Law – A Trusted Name in Ft. Lauderdale Florida
Victor Malca Law has over 25 years of litigation experience, we are the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.
Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are also recognized by our peers. Book a free consultation today.