Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fort Pierce
Making the Most of Workers’ Comp Arrangements to Help Hurt Workers Recovery Financially
Fort Pierce is home to many businesses, both big and small. Some of the area’s economic claims to fame include the “Made in the USA” boat manufacturer Pursuit Boats and the regional production facility for Tropicana fruit juice.
While employees of Fort Pierce businesses can prosper thanks to their income, they can also get hurt on the job. When a workplace injury occurs, these employees should explore their options for filing for workers’ compensation. Using the right strategy and documentation, they can obtain the money they need to pay off their medical bills and recover while forced to miss work because of an injury.
Unfortunately, some may have their workers’ compensation claim denied or reduced to the point that they cannot reasonably pay for their injury-related expenses. In these events, it can benefit them to explore their case with the aid of a Fort Pierce workers’ comp attorney.
For over three decades, the attorneys at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have assisted hardworking Floridians and Fort Pierce locals with filing for workers’ comp or appealing decisions. Our efforts help increase the chances that injured workers will receive the full amount of compensation they require in order to heal medically and financially.
You can explore your options for filing for a workers’ compensation claim or appealing a decision when you speak with a workers’ comp lawyer in Fort Pierce. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today by calling 866-460-1990 or by using our convenient form to contact us online.
How Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws Affect Injured Fort Pierce Employees and Contractors
Florida offers extensive workers’ comp protections for both injured workers and their employers.
Florida statutes have an entire chapter dedicated to workers’ compensation concerns. Described in it are rules that demand that employers carry workers’ compensation for all employees in most situations. The following industries must offer workers compensation based on the respective number of minimum employees listed:
- Construction—1 or more employees, including business owners who have not filed for an exemption
- Agriculture—6 or more regular employees and/or 12 seasonal workers who work over 30 days in a season but less than 45 days out of a calendar year
- Other Non-Construction Industries—4 or more employees, including non-exempt business owners
All covered employees are eligible to file a workers’ comp claim if they get injured “in the course and the scope of employment.” This language is intended to make it clear that any task defined as a workplace duty that leads to an injury can result in a workers’ compensation claim. If, for instance, an office employee is asked to go retrieve office supplies and gets injured in a car accident, his or her injuries may be eligible for coverage by his or her employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
Employees also need not be injured in a single incident for their injury to count as occurring within “the course and the scope of employment.” Obviously, a construction worker who steps on a nail would potentially qualify for a workers’ comp claim, but so could a worker who strained her or his back lifting heavy objects and didn’t feel the full brunt of pain until that night. Similarly, someone who developed pneumonia as a result of inhaling dangerous fumes at the workplace could use his or her illness as the basis of an injury claim.
Employees who seek compensation through workers’ comp procedures waive their right to sue their employer for their injuries. This arrangement allows workers to be protected from the costs of injuries that result from their job, and employers can be protected from potentially hefty lawsuits by providing insurance coverage instead.
Reasons a Fort Pierce Workers’ Compensation Claim Might Get Denied
Employers and insurance companies are able to deny or reduce the value of workers’ compensation claims for any number of reasons, including:
- Employees who get injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Employees who attempt to defraud workers’ compensation policies knowingly or intentionally
- Employees who intentionally hurt themselves
- Injuries related to a prior injury or medical condition that is determined to be 50% or more of the cause for the workplace injury
- “Mental or nervous injuries”
- Injuries covered by the Jones Act, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act, and/or the Defense Base Act
Additionally, a claim can be reduced if an employer or its insurer alleges that the employee refused to use furnished protective equipment, which can reduce the claim value by 25%.
These are just the statutory bases for reducing or denying a workers’ comp claim. Insurance companies are also at their own discretion to deny certain claims in the same fashion that they would any other liability claim.
A common method for reducing or denying a claim is to dispute whether the injury occurred within the scope of employment. Insurers may also attempt to reduce claims by disputing the costs of treating the injury.
Workers are also expected to file in a timely manner, usually within 30 days of the injury, and to document the injury thoroughly so that there can be no doubt that it occurred at work as a result of a workplace duty.
An injured worker should also seek medical attention immediately and notify his or her supervisor or employer. Otherwise, the insurance company may allege that delaying care made the injury worse, allowing it to deny partial coverage that could be blamed on waiting too long.
When Your Claim Is Denied, You Still Have Rights
Many workers’ comp claims will be denied or severely reduced. Fortunately, workers always have the chance to appeal. If they work with a Fort Pierce workers’ compensation attorney, they will be aware of the specific showings insurers and courts look for in order to warrant overturning an initial decision.
Hurt workers who are denied a second time by their insurer after an appeal can file a Petition for Benefits with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims within 2 years of their injury or illness. They can optionally carry their complaint through the legal system if they are still unable to receive their claim, using mediation or court trials to seek a favorable verdict.
Let a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Fort Pierce Take Your Case
Having your workers’ compensation claim denied or reduced can feel like the end of the road, but remember that you have options. You can explore those options with the assistance of a Fort Pierce workers’ compensation lawyer. Your attorney will help you strategize your case and document your expenses so that you can seek the maximum available compensation available for your given injury and situation.
Every moment counts, so try to speak with a workers’ comp lawyer in Fort Pierce as soon as you can. Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd would be proud to stand at your side and help you seek the compensation you deserve, as we have done with our clients for over 30 years.
If you have been injured at work, schedule a free, no obligation case review today to speak with an attorney. To schedule your free appointment, call 866-460-1990 or contact us online now.
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We are a debt relief agency and attorneys. We help people file for Bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free information about our qualifications and experience.