Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation
It is common for a person who has suffered from an injury at work to wonder about their options for workers’ compensation. However, too many people agree to the workers’ compensation they’re offered without researching the process. A workers compensation lawyer in Fort Pierce, FL from Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt can review your case. Afterward, you will have a clearer picture of how we may be able to assist you in obtaining the maximum possible amount of benefits.
Sustaining an injury, especially one that is severe, can be overwhelming. Your employer may ask you to report your injury and fill out the necessary paperwork for workers’ compensation. However, if you consult an attorney before the deadline, you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. Below are answers to several frequently asked questions we receive about workers’ compensation benefits.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
Our firm understands that the impact of an injury at work can be significant. For the most part, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means you are still eligible to receive benefits even if the accident was your fault. Workers’ compensation usually covers things such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Job training
- Long-term medical care
Can I file a lawsuit against my employer if I am collecting workers’ compensation?
The experienced Florida legal team at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt can suggest what may be your best course of action. When you agree to workers’ compensation, you (generally, although not always) forgo your right to pursue a lawsuit against your employer. There are a few exceptions to this that include:
- Your employer intentionally putting you in harm’s way.
- The company you work for does not hold workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain and suffering. If you choose to file a lawsuit against your employer you could be entitled to receive more in terms of compensation, but this is not true in all cases. Request a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Fort Pierce, FL to learn more.
When might my workers’ compensation claim be denied?
There are a few situations where you may not be eligible to collect workers’ compensation including:
- You are a contracted or freelance worker.
- You are a volunteer.
- Your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your injury was not work related.
Note that our firm may be able to help you even if you are declared ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits. You may have options for seeking compensation, depending on the circumstances of your injury accident.
How is my compensation determined for workers’ compensation?
There are a number of factors that are considered in determining the amount of compensation an employee should receive for their injury. Whether a person is temporarily or permanently disabled will greatly determine the level of compensation to which they are entitled. Those with permanent disabilities will often receive about 60% of their regular wages. If you are permanently injured and unable to use a particular area of your body, you could receive a payout for this loss. In addition to medical expenses, workers’ compensation may also provide you with job retraining if you are unable to return to your previous position.
There are a number of possible benefits for an employee when it comes to workers’ compensation. However, depending on the circumstances of the injury including the severity, how long you will need to be out of work, and whether you will be able to return to your job, you will want to make an informed decision. Our firm can review your case at no charge. Call us today.
Work Accidents Caused by Third Parties
If a third party is partially to blame for your work injury, you may be entitled to additional compensation. A Fort Pierce workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file a third party lawsuit in addition to your workers compensation claim. Here are some of the most common work accidents caused by third parties.
If you drive a vehicle as part of your job or run errands for your boss and get into an accident caused by another driver, you may be able to file a third party lawsuit against that person. For example, if you’re a delivery driver and were hit by a driver using a cellphone, that driver’s insurance company may have to pay for your damages.
Property Owner Negligence
If you are on a property not owned by your employer and get injured, you may be able to pursue a third party lawsuit against the property owner. Property owners are legally responsible for making their premises safe for other people. For instance, let’s say you’re a home care professional and go visit your client several days a week at their apartment. As you’re walking up the stairs, you slip and fall because the stairs are worn out. In this situation, a Fort Pierce workers’ compensation lawyer could help you file a third party lawsuit against the apartment management company.
If you sustained an injury from a defective product at work, you could have grounds to sue the product manufacturer. For instance, if you used a defective ladder at work and fell, you could file a lawsuit against the company that made the ladder.
If you’re hurt on the job by a co-worker or customer, can file a third-party lawsuit against the person. For example, if you got into an argument with one of your co-workers and this person punches your face, you may have grounds for pursuing a claim against him or her in addition to your workers compensation claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
When a third party is involved in your accident at work, it can complicate your workers compensation claim. That is why it is especially important to work with a skilled Fort Pierce workers’ compensation lawyer. In addition to helping you file a workers’ compensation claim, he or she can help you pursue a timely claim against the third party that contributed to your injury. Your lawyer can assist you in gathering evidence against the third party, identifying key witnesses, and negotiating with the third party’s insurance company.
When Auto Accidents Occur on the Job
Many Americans are surprised to learn that one of the leading causes of work-related injuries and work-related fatalities is auto accidents. They are also often surprised to learn that because of the high rate of motor vehicle accidents that impacts the U.S. trucking industry, being a large truck operator is one of the most dangerous jobs that Americans and non-Americans who reside in the U.S. undertake on a daily basis. It’s important for those who are injured (and for the loved ones of those lost) during job-related auto accidents that workers’ compensation generally covers injuries related to these collisions. In scenarios wherein injured parties are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, personal injury lawsuits may be filed against those responsible for the collisions in question. It is even possible, under certain circumstances, to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and file a third-party lawsuit to address injuries caused by a single work-related accident.
When Auto Accident Injuries May Not Be Covered by Workers’ Comp
Even if you’re ordinarily eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, the circumstances surrounding your accident may bar you from seeking this particular kind of recovery. If you weren’t “on the clock” but were engaged in travel that was clearly a job-related duty, you may successfully file for benefits. For example, if your boss sent you on an errand to obtain office supplies and your personal car was struck while you were on that errand, you should be able to obtain workers’ comp benefits. However, even if you were driving a company vehicle, if your travel wasn’t a job duty, you likely won’t be able to apply for benefits. Instead, we’ll look into filing a personal injury claim on your behalf. To apply for benefits successfully, you must have been engaged in a work duty at the time of your collision.
Legal Assistance Is Available
It’s important not to make too many assumptions about the possible strengths and weaknesses of your case and/or claim until you’ve spoken with the experienced Florida legal team at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig, & Neuwelt. No two cases are exactly alike and, as accident victims can sometimes understandably forget in the chaos of an accident’s aftermath, things are not always as they first appear. When you schedule a consultation with our Fort Piece workers’ compensation lawyer team, we’ll ask you some questions and address your immediate concerns. We’ll then evaluate your case to more fully empower you to make informed decisions about your legal situation. Whether you end up needing help filing a workers’ compensation claim, negotiating with insurance claims adjusters, and/or filing a personal injury lawsuit, our team is here to help. If you haven’t yet scheduled a case evaluation with our team, please do so today. We look forward to speaking with you.
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