Tallahassee Workplace Accident Attorney
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida
No one should have to worry about being injured or becoming ill on the job. Unfortunately, workplace accidents and environments lead to millions of injuries and illnesses every year in the United States. The good news is that most Florida employees are covered by the state’s no-fault workers’ compensation system, meaning they can collect financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages associated with work-related injuries and conditions.
At Shapiro Law Firm, P.A., we are proud to stand up for the rights of injured workers throughout Leon County. Our Tallahassee workplace accident attorney brings more than 25 years of legal experience to his practice; Attorney Paul Shapiro and his team can help you understand your rights after a job-related injury and assist you in filing a workers’ compensation or third-party work injury claim.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Florida?
In Florida, anyone who is classified as an “employee” (as opposed to an “independent contractor”) and works for an employer that has at least four employees is covered by workers’ compensation. This includes seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees. Additionally, construction companies are required by law to provide coverage to all employees, including contractors.
There are some exceptions to workers’ compensation coverage in Florida. Sole proprietors and business partners are excluded from workers’ compensation, but they may elect to purchase coverage for themselves. Additionally, construction companies are allowed to exempt up to three corporate officers if those officers can prove that they have at least 10% ownership of the business. Contractors are legally obligated to ensure any subcontractors they hire provide applicable coverage for their workers, and agricultural businesses with less than six employees and/or less than 12 seasonal employees that work less than 30 days do not need to provide workers’ compensation coverage.
Additional exceptions include government employees (including employees of both state and federal agencies), certain self-employed individuals, and others.
What Benefits Are Available?
Workers’ compensation offers several benefits to those injured on the job. These benefits are available regardless of fault, meaning you do not need to prove that your employer or another party, such as a coworker, acted negligently in order to recover benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits in Florida include:
- Medical care coverage
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Impairment income benefits
- Permanent total disability
- Death benefits
While workers’ compensation will pay for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with your job-related injury or illness, it only pays partial wage replacement for temporary and/or permanent disability. Additionally, temporary total and partial disability benefits are subject to time limits.
When a worker dies on the job or due to a work-related injury or illness, eligible surviving family members may recover death benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation system. These benefits generally pay for funeral expenses (up to specific limits), as well as compensation to dependents and educational benefits for surviving spouses.
To learn more about what workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to receive, contact our Tallahassee workers’ compensation lawyer at Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. today for a free consultation.
What to Do After a Work-Related Injury or Illness
Regardless of the severity of your injury or the seriousness of your diagnosis, there are several important things you should do after a work-related injury or illness:
- Seek Medical Attention: First and foremost, seek immediate medical attention if you have not yet done so. If necessary, call 911 or go to the emergency room after a workplace accident.
- Report the Accident: Make sure you report the accident to your employer right away. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must report the injury/illness within 30 days.
- Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions: This includes all treatment recommendations and taking time off work if informed to do so by your doctor.
- File Your Claim: In Florida, you have two years from the date of the injury/illness or date on which the injury/illness was discovered to file a workers’ compensation claim.
After you have filed the official workers’ compensation claim, you will be notified that your claim has been accepted or denied. If your claim is accepted, you will begin receiving benefits. If your claim is denied, you can request an appeal and seek to have the decision reversed.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, we strongly recommend that you obtain representation from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Navigating the appeals process is challenging for those who do not have experience in this area. By putting an attorney on your side, you significantly improve your chances of a successful outcome. Reach out to Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. today to learn how our Tallahassee workplace accident attorney can assist you in appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim in Florida.
When to File a Third-Party Workplace Accident Claim
In most cases, you cannot sue your employer if you are covered by workers’ compensation. However, there are some situations in which it may be appropriate and even necessary to file a third-party work injury claim.
A third-party work injury claim is essentially a standard personal injury lawsuit. These can be brought against third parties who are liable for workplace accidents and work-related injuries or illness. Common examples include cases involving workplace injuries caused by defective machinery, equipment, or tools, as well as commercial vehicle accidents caused by negligent third-party drivers.
If you believe someone other than your employer may be liable for your work-related injury or illness, contact our team at Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. We can help you determine if you have grounds for a third-party work accident lawsuit and, if so, can immediately begin investigating and building your case.
How Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. Can Help
Since 1997, our firm has been successfully representing injured workers in complex workplace accident claims. We have helped countless clients obtain their rightful workers’ compensation benefits and have assisted injured employees in bringing third-party lawsuits against negligent parties. Our goal is to not only help our individual clients get back on their feet but also to improve the safety of our community as a whole.
When you need help with a workplace accident claim in Tallahassee or anywhere in Leon County, trust the team at Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. We offer free consultations and do not collect any attorney fees unless/until we win your case.