Accidents in the workplace are very common and can happen at any time, under a variety of circumstances. If you have been injured in an accident while you were working on the job (and without regard to fault), you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Florida workers’ compensation laws.
Insurance coverage in a Florida workers’ compensation case is provided by the injured worker’s employer and insurer. The insurance company is, in effect, representing the employer, and its primary interest is not providing you, the claimant, with monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained in your work-related accident. Rather, the insurance company’s goal is to pay out as little money as possible in satisfaction of your claim in order to safeguard its own money. In keeping with this goal, the insurance company will try to poke as many holes as possible in your workers’ compensation case and will readily point out any delays or gaps in treatment, failures to follow through with a treatment protocol, and/or preexisting medical conditions and injuries.
If you or someone you love has sustained personal injuries as a result of an accidental injury or injuries sustained while on the job, our experienced New Port Richey workers’ compensation attorneys are here to assist you. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will be able to discuss the facts and circumstances of your injuries with you, bring your case before the 1 when disputes arise, and/or help you to obtain a full and final settlement of your workers’ compensation case.
Availability of Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Florida
The 2 governs workers’ compensation cases filed in the State. Under Florida law, all employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for the benefit of workers who are injured on the job.
In order for a work injury to fall under the umbrella of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Statute, all three (3) of the following requirements must be met:
- The injury must be an accidental injury (i.e. without regard to fault).
- The injury must have occurred while the worker was on the job.
- The injury must have occurred while the worker was acting within the scope of (or in the course of) his or her employment.
Even when there is a basis for a workers’ compensation case, the injured worker may also have a cause of action in tort for negligence against the employer.
Maximizing Recovery in a New Port Richey Workers’ Compensation Case
When a work-related injury falls within the definition of workers’ compensation, injured workers should take the following steps as soon as possible after the accident occurs:
- Report the accident and injuries to the employer. As soon as possible after the accident occurs, the injured worker should report the accident and injuries to his or her employer. This will allow the employer to report the accident to the insurance carrier, thereby initiating the workers’ compensation claims process.
- Seek immediate medical care at a hospital or urgent care facility. As soon as possible after sustaining injuries in the accident, the injured worker should seek emergency medical care at a hospital or other urgent care facility. By seeking treatment immediately after the accident, the injured worker sends an implicit message to the insurance company that the injuries were serious and that seeking medical treatment was a top priority. Delaying medical treatment for days or weeks after the date of the accident can negatively affect the value of the workers’ compensation case.
- Follow through with all of the emergency room physician’s treatment recommendations. Prior to discharge from an emergency room or urgent care facility, the examining physician will typically instruct the injured worker to follow up at another treatment facility or with another physician or specialist. The emergency room physician may also recommend that the injured worker follows up with his or her primary care physician. It is important for the injured worker to follow through with all of these treatment recommendations. Again, failing to do so sends an implicit message to the insurance company that the injuries were not all that serious, and the employer’s insurer will definitely take notice.
- Document all missed time from work. In every workers’ compensation case, it is important for the injured worker to keep good records about medical treatment and any missed time from work, in case there is a dispute later on. Missed time from work might encompass the worker’s recovery time immediately after the accident, as well as time missed from work to attend medical and physical therapy appointments to address the injuries sustained in the accident. Missed time from work might last for weeks, or even months, in the most serious of cases.
- Avoid any significant gaps in treatment. Avoiding gaps in treatment means making every effort to continuously treat for the injuries sustained in the accident, beginning immediately after the accident occurs and lasting until the injured worker reaches a level of maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement does not necessarily mean that all of the worker’s injuries and symptoms are fully resolved or that the worker’s condition has returned to a pre-injury level. Rather, it means that the worker’s injuries and symptoms are not expected to improve much beyond the level of where they are now. It is most important to attend all scheduled medical and physical therapy appointments, to arrive at the appointments on time, and to stay for the entire allotted time.
Contact a New Port Richey Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Soon after beginning your treatment for the injuries you sustained in your accident, one of the most important steps you can take is to contact an experienced New Port Richey workers’ compensation attorney who can represent you throughout your entire workers’ compensation case.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to negotiate with the employer’s insurance company, raise issues with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation when disputes arise, represent you cat hearings, and/or assist you with reaching a full and final settlement of your workers’ compensation case.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652