Workers Comp Lawyer – Florida Top Workers Compensation Lawyers Get Top Work Accident Settlements
A Tampa workers comp lawyer can answer your questions if you experienced a Tampa Florida work injury and require the services of a work injury lawyer, be sure to choose a accident attorney that is familiar with the Florida workers compensation laws. Our Tampa law firms have experienced injury lawyers that can answer any questions about your Florida workers compensation case. When you speak to any of our injury lawyers, you will be speaking with a work injury attorney that is well educated in Florida workers compensation law. Our Injury lawyers know Florida workers compensation laws inside and out! They can negotiate with the worker compensation insurance company and get the best workplace injury compensation for your work injury.
If you hire a good Tampa workers comp attorney, rest assured, you will not only get the best settlement for your job related work injury, the accident lawyer will provide you with peace of mind by taking care of the paperwork, working the insurance company, and dealing with the employer’s lawyer so you don’t have to.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were nearly 3 million non-fatal workplace injuries reported by private employers in 2014, meaning that there were on average more than 8,000 workers injured every day. Workplace injuries are a serious issue and often leave victims with significant medical problems, healthcare costs, and, in many cases, an inability to continue to earn a living. Fortunately for Florida workers, the state has created a workers’ compensation program that provides individuals that have been hurt in workplace accidents or developed work-related illnesses with certain benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Basics
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system that provides qualified workers with benefits if they are injured in a work-related accident or develop an illness or medical condition relate to their work. The system developed as a way to reduce the incidence of litigation initiated by employees against their employers based on work-related injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits are awarded without regard to fault, meaning it does not matter whether an accident or an illness was the result of negligence. In return for this guarantee of benefits regardless of fault, employees are generally barred from bringing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer after an accident occurs. Importantly, workers’ compensation does not provide a benefit for an injured employee’s pain and suffering, meaning that the compensation received by employees through workers’ compensation tends to be significantly less than the compensation they would be able to receive through a personal injury lawsuit arising from the same incident.
In Florida, the workers’ compensation program is administered by the Division of Workers’ Compensation. State law requires employers with four or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage; employers that are in the construction industry are required to have coverage if they have one or more employees, including the business owner, unless exempt. Florida’s workers’ compensation law covers all occupational disease and accidental injuries that arise out of and in the course and scope of employment.
What Kinds of Accidents can Lead to a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Many different kinds of accidents can take place while an individual is on the job. It does not matter whether a person is employed on a construction site or in an office building, as the potential for accidents and injuries still exists. The following are some of the most common accidents that can cause an employee to file a workers’ compensation claim:
- Motor vehicle accidents — Many different types of jobs require workers to drive or ride in a motor vehicle as part of their duties. Construction workers, utility workers, repairmen, sanitation workers, and delivery drivers are only some examples of jobs that can lead to injuries in traffic-related accidents.
- Falls from heights — Many jobs may also require an individual to work at a higher level off the ground, which creates the risk of the worker falling from that height. Ladders, roofs, scaffolding, cranes, utility poles, window washing platforms, and more all present a significant risk that a worker may fall, especially if they are not properly trained or if the protective equipment is defective in some way.
- Slip and falls — Even if a fall is on even ground, it can still cause serious injury to victims. Slips, trips, and falls can happen anywhere, including the kitchen or bathroom area of an office building, in retail stores or grocery stores, or any other premises that may have hazards that could cause slip and falls.
- Construction site accidents — Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in which a person can work, mostly due to the inherently unstable nature of construction sites and the many possible hazards that may exist. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the four most common accidents involving construction workers include falls, electrocutions, being caught in between materials, and being struck by some type of object.
- Accidents due to physical labor — Sometimes, an injury occurs on the job not because a worker is involved in a tragic accident, but because they simply injure themselves due to the nature of their job duties. People who must lift heavy or awkward objects, who push or pull objects, or who are completing other physically demanding tasks at work can push their bodies to the limit and it can result in serious injuries.
- Violent assaults — In some cases, the injury sustained by a worker is not due to an accidental event, but to a violent assault in the workplace. Such assaults can be carried out by coworkers or even a stranger who was wrongfully allowed on the work premises. As reported by OSHA, assaults in the workplace result in serious injuries to an estimated 2 million people on an annual basis.
Common Workplace Injuries that Lead to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Any of the above workplace accidents can lead to serious injuries to workers. Some of the most common injuries that are the basis for a workers’ compensation claim include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) — Anytime a worker suffers direct trauma to their head or suffers a jolt of the head, they can sustain a TBI. This type of injury can also result from blasting or explosions involved in demolition. Whether a TBI is a mild concussion or causes severe and permanent brain damage, anyone with a traumatic brain injury should seek medical treatment.
- Spinal cord injury (SCI) — Any damage to the spinal cord can be dangerous and victims should be stabilized as soon as possible after an accident. Some victims of SCI are either temporarily or permanently paralyzed, some people require extensive surgeries to repair damage, and other may never be able to walk or live independently again.
- Neck and back injuries — Injuries to the soft tissue of the neck and back are especially common in jobs that require heavy or repetitive lifting. These injuries can be very painful, can significantly limit mobility, and can keep a person from returning to work for some time.
- Rotator cuff and shoulder injuries — Shoulder and rotator cuff tears can be extremely painful and will limit the range of motion that a victim has in the arm and shoulder significantly, which often impedes their ability to work. Surgery to repair this type of injury also often has an extensive recovery period.
- Broken bones and soft tissue injuries — While injuries such as fractures, sprains, and strains may not seem very serious, they can still cause pain and require medical treatment. If these injuries happen at work, the victim can be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical costs and any lost income.
- Eye injuries — Eye injuries can result from shards of material that may fly into the eyes, burn injuries near the eyes, exposure to bright light, and other conditions at work. Victims can suffer reduced vision or may even lose vision in one or both eyes completely.
- Toxic exposure — When a worker is exposed to toxic chemicals, it can result in burns, serious skin irritations, blindness, brain injuries from oxygen deprivation, and other serious effects that often require immediate medical attention.
Examples of Work-Related Illness and Conditions
Workers’ compensation also provides benefits to workers that develop illnesses as a result of their working conditions. In addition, physical conditions may develop that are not the result of a single incident or accident, but that develop over time due to job duties. Some of the more common kinds of work-related illness or medical conditions that result in benefits are detailed below.
- Mesothelioma — Mesothelioma is a serious type of cancer that is almost always linked to exposure to asbestos, which often occurs during job duties in certain industries. The disease tends to affect the lungs, but also can affect the abdominal cavity and the cardiac cavity, as well as other parts of the body. Mesothelioma patients often face a grim prognosis, especially because the disease is generally not discovered until it is in the later stages.
- Repetitive stress injuries — carpal tunnel syndrome can develop after a worker repeats the same motions over and over again. Such motions can include typing, working with manufacturing equipment, and more. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an issue that occurs when a nerve that runs from the forearm into the palm becomes compressed at the wrist. Because this nerve is responsible for conducting sensory and motor signals to various parts of the hand, carpal tunnel syndrome can result in pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand, arm, or wrist. Many victims of carpal tunnel require physical therapy and even surgery to repair the issue.
- Tennis elbow – Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons that join the muscles of the forearm to the outside of the elbow become inflamed. Generally this occurs when the muscles and tendons become damaged form overuses, and this condition can cause significant pain and tenderness in the area on the outside of the elbow.
- Hearing loss – Hearing loss is common work-related medical condition that is often linked to a person’s working environment. Some examples of the kinds of work that could potentially leave a worker with hearing loss include construction, performance as a musician, aviation, logging, ambulance driving, carpentry, or landscaping.
Workers Comp Lawyer – Hire a Top Notch Florida Workmans Comp
Florida workers comp cases are filed on a daily basis, and Florida workmans comp laws are very complex. Workers compensation settlements often do not favor the employee. The more a workers compensation attorney is familiar with Florida workers compensation law, the easier it will be to cut through the red tape and get you the workers compensation benefits you deserve. This is why you should choose an experienced Tampa workers comp lawyer, not one with unrelated experience, that is unless you do not want the best settlement on workmans compensation in Florida that you can get. Our Tampa workers compensation law firm can do just that. First they will file the workers comp claims and then — GET THE BEST WORKMANS COMP SETTLEMENTS POSSIBLE!
A Tampa injury lawyer can handle dozens of workers compensation cases in a short period of time. This is why workplace injury lawyers need to know Florida workers comp laws precisely, in order to have laser-like focus on the objective and not get side-tracked with a glitch or loop hole in the law. All of our law firms in Tampa have an on the job injury lawyer that possesses this knowledge to effectively handle each Tampa workers compensation injury case.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If a person is injured on the job, they may be eligible for many different types of workers’ compensation benefits, depending on the type and severity of their injury. Some of the types of benefits that are available include the following:
- Medical expenses for all treatments related to the workplace injury;
- Reimbursement for wages lost from missed work during recovery;
- Temporary partial disability benefits;
- Permanent partial or total disability benefits;
- Benefits for vocational rehabilitation when applicable;
- Death benefits to surviving family members if there was a workplace fatality.
These benefits can be imperative for a worker to receive the full medical attention and care they need for their injuries, as well as to continue to support their household if they must take time off from work. Additionally, death benefits can help a household survive financially after having to adjust to losing a source of income due to a workplace death.
Unfortunately, many employers and their workers’ compensation insurers wish to limit liability just like any other business. For this reason, they may try to challenge the extent of a claim by questioning the severity of the injury, that an injury actually occurred on the job, the extent of medical treatment needed for the injury, or the inability of an injured individual to perform their job duties. An experienced attorney can help to fight back against wrongfully denied or decreased workers’ compensation benefits to ensure that all workers get the full benefits they need to physically recover while still being able to pay their bills.
Is Workers’ Compensation Different from Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The short answer to this question is “yes,” a workers’ compensation claim filed by a workers comp lawyer is different and separate from a civil claim for personal injury claim. A workers’ compensation claim is made through a victim’s employer and is handled by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. A personal injury claim is filed in civil court and is a legal action against the defendant to the lawsuit.
One of the most important difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is that a personal injury claim requires a showing of fault on the part of the other party in order for the injured victim to obtain compensation. On the other hand, a workers’ compensation claim does not involve fault, as an employer does not have to do anything wrong to cause an injury in order to be held liable. Instead, workers’ compensation benefits should cover injuries that arise from purely accidental occurrences that are often no one’s fault.
There are also different benefits available in a workers’ compensation claim than in a personal injury claim. In a personal injury case, an injured victims is looking for a payout that covers not only lost income and medical expenses, but also often pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. Also, if a personal injury victim incurs unexpected future medical expenses for the same injury, they will not be able to go back and seek additional damages. Workers’ compensation does not cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. However, if an injured worker does not accept a settlement, they may be able to make additional claims arising from the same injury if they experience future complications with that injury and require additional medical care.
In exchange for the possibility of workers’ compensation benefits, injured workers actually give up the right to sue their employers following an injury. The situations in which an individual can file a personal injury claim against a coworker or employer following an on the job injury are extremely rare.
The Role of a Workers Comp Lawyer
Many people believe that a workers comp lawyer is not necessary to handle a workers’ compensation claim. While many claims are handled sufficiently without the assistance of any type of legal counsel, too many workers hit bumps in the road with their claims that can affect both their physical and financial well-being. The role of a workers’ compensation lawyer is to represent the interests of the injured worker and to make sure they receive the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled under the law. A workers comp lawyer can do the following throughout the workers’ compensation claims process:
- Guide an injured worker through every step of the claims process and provide answers to any questions;
- A workers comp lawyer can protect the claimant’s rights to benefits if the employer is trying to challenge a claim;
- Ensure that the claimant is receiving the full amount of benefits they deserve based on their wages and injuries;
- Provide representation in hearings, mediations, depositions, or trials resulting from the workers’ compensation claims process;
- A workers comp lawyer can help to arrange medical providers and ensure all necessary paperwork is completed for a claim;
- Help to evaluate whether a worker should accept a workers’ compensation settlement offer or continue to receive ongoing benefits; and
- Negotiate for a higher settlement offer with the workers’ compensation insurer, if needed.
Regarding work accident compensation and disability benefits in Florida, perhaps one of the most important roles of a workers comp lawyer is helping injured employees decide whether or not to accept workers comp settlements. According to Tampa Florida workers comp law, if a worker is in a workers compensation lawsuit and accepts a settlement, they will lose the right to make any future workers comp claim regarding that injury. Therefore, choosing whether or not to take a work injury settlement can be a very important decision that can have many future implications. That is just another reason to choose from a list knowledgeable work accident lawyers. Florida work compensation lawyers are among the top in the country.
In short, while having a workers’ compensation lawyer is not required by law, it can never hurt to have valuable legal counsel throughout this often complicated claims process. A workers comp lawyer will simply work to make sure that an employer and its insurance company are not wrongfully denying a claim, reducing benefits, or taking other action to take advantage of an individual who was injured on the job. For a free consultation contact one of our Tampa law firms today and speak to a qualified Tampa Bay workers comp lawyer.