Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fort Pierce
A Workers’ Comp Denial Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Get the Benefits You Deserve
Okeechobee may be a small city, but the economy is a strong one. There are all sorts of jobs available to residents, from office jobs to construction and everything in between. Whether you’re in the workplace or on the jobsite, you’re always at risk for injury. And if you do get injured, there’s a good chance you qualify for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ comp insurance is required for just about every employer in Florida. It’s intended to provide income while you’re too sick or injured to work. However, accepting this coverage means you generally can’t sue your employer for your injury. It’s a trade-off that usually works in the favor of both employer and employee.
Unfortunately, there are times where your workers’ comp claim may be denied, or you may not get all of the money you’re entitled to. Your employer or the insurance company may say that you’re not actually injured, or you aren’t as injured as you claim to be.
In cases like this, working with a workers’ comp lawyer in Okeechobee can be invaluable. For over 30 years, we at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have been helping workers in our community get the full compensation they deserve after a workplace injury. We know the tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying claims, and we have our own strategies to help increase your chances of getting paid.
For a free, no-obligation review of your case with a with a workers’ comp lawyer in Okeechobee, call our experienced legal team at 866-460-1990 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Workers’ Compensation Eligibility in Okeechobee
Before you can file for workers’ comp, you first must determine if you’re eligible. The first step is to determine if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. In Florida, just about every business is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer doesn’t carry this form of insurance, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against him or her, especially if he or she is supposed to have insurance.
However, if workers’ compensation insurance is in place, you next must determine if your injury qualifies. Injuries or illnesses that occur in the workplace as a result of your performing your duties and that leave you unable to work are generally covered by workers’ compensation.
These injuries and illnesses may be caused by repetitive motion, lifting heavy objects, using certain chemicals or a variety of other reasons. They may also be caused away from the workplace or jobsite. For instance, if you are sent on an errand and you’re still on the clock, and you get in a car wreck caused by someone else, you may be covered by workers’ comp.
Florida law does exclude some injuries from workers’ compensation coverage. These include, but are not limited to:
- Mental or nervous injury caused by stress, excitement or fear
- Pain and suffering that wouldn’t otherwise be covered under state law
- Injuries covered by the Jones Act
- Injuries that occur because you’re attempting to hurt yourself or someone else
- Injuries that occur to a person when he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Reporting an Injury or Illness at Work
If you are injured or suffer an illness at work, and it fits into the above qualifications, your first step is to report the condition to your employer. Then, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You will need to visit an “authorized” medical provider of your employer’s choosing. After your visit, you must submit an independent medical examination/insurance medical exam, which will be provided by the doctor.
Next, submit a written notice of the injury to your employer as soon as possible. This should include a brief explanation of the incident, any witnesses, and the time, date and location of the incident. It may be a good idea to provide a printed version of this document to your employer, as well as an emailed copy so it’s easy to find (and so your employer can’t claim he or she never received it). This report should be made within 30 days of the injury or realization of the illness.
Your employer should file your claim with his or her insurance company within 7 days after you give your written notice. If he or she doesn’t, you can work with the insurance company on your own. The insurance company will conduct an investigation, including checking your job requirements, your medical records, and more.
What Happens if My Claim Is Denied?
If your workers’ comp claim is denied, don’t worry. Many claims are denied every year. Insurance companies deny claims both to deter fraud and to pad their profit margins. After all, if you accept your denial, they don’t have to pay your claim. However, you can always choose to appeal the denial.
The most efficient way to do so is to file a petition for benefits with the help of a workers’ comp lawyer in Okeechobee. Under Florida law, you have two years from the time of your injury to file a petition of benefits. A petition may also be filed if you believe you did not receive the full compensation you’re owed, or if the insurance company is being slow in paying out benefits.
If your claim is still denied, you can take the case to court. Your workers’ compensation lawyer can provide more information about this process and what you should expect if you take the case to court.
Get the Full Benefits You Deserve with the Help of a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Okeechobee
Workers’ compensation is ideally designed to be a streamlined process. You get the benefits you deserve for your injuries, and in return you don’t take up the court’s time with a lawsuit. Unfortunately, this system simply doesn’t work like it should in many cases.
If your claim is denied or if you don’t get the full benefits you deserve, you have legal options. A workers’ comp lawyer in Okeechobee can help you figure out if you do actually qualify for benefits and how you can fight the insurance company to get them.
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we’ve been helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve for over 30 years. Call us today at 866-460-1990 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Ft. Pierce, FL 34950
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
Okeechobee, FL 34972
Vero Beach, FL 32960
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