Suffering an injury on the job, such as in a car crash or a construction accident, is stressful and painful. In addition to recovering from injuries that have multifaceted effects on their lives, many employees face financial difficulties and family pressure if they are unable to earn a living during the recovery process. Under the Florida workers’ compensation system, employees who suffer injuries during the course and scope of their employment are entitled to receive a weekly benefit payment to help them cope with their lost wages. To recover these benefits, however, you must file a claim through the Florida workers’ compensation system. Although you are not required to have an attorney, the process is complicated and confusing, especially if you are also dealing with debilitating injuries. At Donaldson & Weston, our Stuart workers’ compensation lawyers have provided experienced legal counsel to victims throughout St. Lucie and Martin Counties. We are standing by to help you protect your legal right to workers’ compensation benefits.Understanding Florida’s Weekly Benefit Payment Calculations for Lost Wages
In addition to receiving compensation for medical expenses associated with an illness or accident, injured employees are eligible to receive a weekly benefit payment to offset the loss of their wages. To assert your right to this payment, you must first notify your employer that you have suffered a work-related injury. Your employer will then notify its workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
After a claims adjuster is assigned to your file, you will be asked to undergo a medical examination by an authorized medical provider. This exam is critical to your claim, and it is important that you answer the doctor’s questions truthfully. During the exam, the physician will evaluate whether your injury is temporary or permanent and whether it is total or partial. These assessments will be used to determine the amount of benefits that you are entitled to receive and the duration of the benefit payments. In some cases, partial disability payments are awarded on a limited basis with the expectation that the injured employee will recover in the near future. More serious injuries involving permanent and total disabilities result in more substantial awards and other measures designed to assist the employee with securing a new financial future.
After your medical examination, the claims adjuster will determine the amount of weekly benefits that you are entitled to secure according to Florida workers’ compensation benefit laws. In most cases, you are entitled to receive a payment totaling two-thirds of your average weekly wage. The payment begins on the eighth day that you are injured. You may only receive compensation for the first seven days of your disability if you are deemed unable to work for 21 days or more. In situations in which your injury is deemed severe, which happens frequently in dangerous occupations like construction, the percentage of weekly benefits may total 80 percent of your average lost wages. For temporary injuries, you are entitled to receive up to 104 weeks of payments. If your doctor determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement, your benefit payments will cease, and you will be required to return to work. If your injury has not resolved, you may be eligible for additional payments based on a permanent impairment rating. In situations in which you have suffered a permanent and total disability, you may be eligible for other benefit payments and support programs, such as Social Security Disability benefits.Retain a Zealous Job Injury Lawyer in the Stuart Area
At Donaldson & Weston, we understand exactly how stressful a work-related injury may be for a victim and their family. Our compassionate team of legal professionals can ensure that you understand your legal rights and options. Insurance companies do not always have accident victims’ best interests in mind, and they may try to deny you the payments and coverage that you deserve after an on-the-job injury. Having represented accident victims in cities such as Stuart, Jupiter, Port St. Lucie, and West Palm Beach, as well as throughout St. Lucie and Martin Counties, our attorneys offer a free consultation to help you learn about your legal rights and how we may be able to assist you. Call us now at 772-266-5555 or contact us online to get started.