What To Know About Workers’ Compensation
If you sustained an injury while on the job, you might benefit from consulting with a West Palm Beach Florida workers’ compensation lawyer from Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt. Our legal team has been devoted to protecting the rights of working people for more than 200 years of combined service to our clients.
It is the legal right of an employee to receive workers’ compensation benefits for a work related injury or illness. The laws associated with workers’ compensation can vary by state. However, the overall goal is to cover medical costs and wage loss in the event of a job injury. Due to the many variables involved in eligibility, employees often choose to hire a West Palm Beach Florida workers’ compensation lawyer from Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt to oversee their claim.
Below are answers to common questions that many employees ask during the injury claim process:
Who Pays For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Many people believe the state pays for workers‘ compensation benefits. However, it is actually your employer who is required by law to maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy. This insurance company pays for the medical care and lost wages.
Can I Be Fired For Receiving Benefits?
An employer cannot fire you for requesting a claim to be reported, or for hiring an attorney to represent you. If they do, that is a retaliatory discharge, and you can seek separate legal action. However, employers will often fabricate reasons for terminating an employment, relationship, including no-show, no call, excessive, absenteeism, or reduction in productivity. These may be Excuses to terminate you and could also be a separate claim of action.
What If I Am Unable To Return To My Job?
The Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier for your employer will pay you temporary partial disability benefits. These are checks that usually come every two weeks and pay a percentage of your lost wages. A workers’ compensation lawyer in West Palm Beach Florida can inform you of your rights as they apply to your unique situation.
What Are The Symptoms of An Industrial Injury or Illness?
There are injuries that can occur while on the job, but go overlooked by an employee for a long period of time. Symptoms of industrial injuries can include:
- Hearing Loss: due to frequent exposure to loud noises over a long time period.
- Hand Injuries: wrist pain, nerve damages or carpal tunnel due to repetitive hand movements.
- Lung Problems: industrial chemicals that are exposed to employees can cause damage to lungs and result in breathing difficulties.
- Back Pain: due to lifting heavy items or too much physical exertion.
- Eye Injuries: eye strain and irritants in the air can damage vision.
Many employees choose to hire a West Palm Beach Florida workers’ compensation lawyer from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt if they feel their employer mishandled their injury claim or they are not receiving full benefits. If you feel as though your employer has retaliated against you due to filing a workers’ compensation claim, consider consulting a West Palm Beach, FL workers’ compensation lawyer as your rights may have been violated.
Your West Palm Beach, FL Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Please call us today at (561) 616-3800 to receive a free injury case evaluation with a West Palm Beach Florida workers’ compensation lawyer from Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt.
Common Workers’ Compensation Mistakes to Avoid
Getting injured at work can be devastating. However, the steps you take immediately afterward can affect your workers’ compensation benefits. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid:
- Waiting Too Long to Report the Accident: When you suffer an accident at work, it can be overwhelming. You may need some time to regain your composure. However, you shouldn’t wait too long to report the accident to your employer. In Florida, you only have 30 days to report a workplace accident. Tell your boss when and where the accident occurred.
- Not Hiring an Experienced Lawyer: If you have suffered an injury at work, it’s in your best interest to hire a West Palm Beach Florida workers’ compensation lawyer. He or she can help you fill out your claim without any errors and improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer has handled many similar cases and will know exactly what to expect. With a confident lawyer on your side, you will have a peace of mind about your situation.
- Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Care: Some workers may not feel pain after a work accident and avoid seeing a doctor. However, you should understand that some injuries, like whiplash or concussions, don’t always present symptoms right away. If you don’t seek immediate medical attention, you can put your health at risk. Your employer may also reject your claim. They can argue that you aren’t truly hurt if you didn’t see a doctor right away.
- Not Listening to Your Doctor’s Orders: After evaluating your injury, your doctor will recommend the best treatment. It’s important to take your doctor’s orders seriously for your recovery’s sake. If your doctor suggests going to physical therapy, you should attend all the appointments. If you get caught stopping your treatment early, you might not receive your workers’ compensation benefits.
- Agreeing to a Settlement Without Question: If you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurance company may try to offer you a settlement right away. However, don’t accept it without getting it reviewed by a West Palm Beach Florida workers’ compensation lawyer first.
- Returning to Work Too Soon: If you start feeling better sooner than expected, you may be tempted to go back to work. Lying on the couch all day can get old fast. However, if you go back to work before your doctor’s approval, you risk reinjuring yourself.
A Guide To Proving A Workers’ Compensation Case
Proving a workers’ compensation case is a crucial and often challenging process that injured workers must navigate to receive the benefits they deserve after suffering a work-related injury or illness. Workers’ compensation is designed to provide financial support and medical care to employees injured on the job, but successfully proving your case requires adherence to specific procedures and documentation. Let’s explore the essential steps and considerations involved in proving a workers’ compensation case.
Promptly Report the Injury
The first and most critical step in proving a workers’ compensation case is promptly reporting the injury to your employer. Most states have strict reporting deadlines, typically within 30 days of the injury or when you became aware of it. Failing to report the injury promptly can jeopardize your claim.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
After an on-the-job injury, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. Not only does this ensure your health and safety, but it also establishes a crucial link between the injury and your workplace. The medical records generated during your initial treatment will serve as vital evidence in your workers’ compensation case.
Inform the Healthcare Provider
When seeking medical treatment, make sure to inform the healthcare provider that your injury is work-related. This ensures that they accurately document the cause of your injury in your medical records, which will be essential when proving your case.
To build a strong case, gather as much evidence as possible:
- Collect and keep copies of all medical records, including doctor’s notes, test results, and treatment plans.
- Maintain a detailed record of your symptoms, pain levels, and how your injury affects your daily life.
- Document any communication with your employer regarding the injury and the reporting process.
- Collect witness statements if there were coworkers who witnessed the incident.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In most cases, you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance carrier. This is a formal request for benefits. Ensure that you complete all necessary forms accurately and in a timely manner. Our West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer can assist with this as well.
Follow Medical Advice
It is crucial to follow all medical advice and treatment plans prescribed by your healthcare provider. Deviating from recommended treatments can be used against you when proving your case.
Consult with a Lawyer
Consider consulting with an experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer. They can provide invaluable guidance, ensure you meet all deadlines, and help you navigate the legal complexities of your case. An attorney can also represent your interests in any disputes that may arise.
Attend Medical Appointments
Make sure to attend medical appointments when scheduled as failure to attend can be viewed as medical noncompliance in the work comp carrier may deny payment of lost wages.
Prepare for Hearings and Appeals
If your claim is denied or disputes arise, you may need to attend workers’ compensation hearings or appeals. Be prepared to present your case with the help of your attorney, providing all necessary evidence and documentation.
Maintain Open Communication
Maintain open and honest communication with your attorney, your employer, and the insurance company. Transparency can help resolve disputes more effectively and increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
Navigating The Process
Proving a workers’ compensation case can be a complex and daunting task, but with careful documentation, adherence to deadlines, and the guidance of an experienced attorney, injured workers can increase their chances of success. Workers’ compensation exists to provide essential support and care to those injured on the job, and by following the necessary steps and gathering evidence, you can ensure that you receive the benefits and medical treatment you need to recover and return to work. Contact the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt today to speak with our experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer.
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