If you have been injured while on the job, you may be eligible to receive benefits through Florida’s workers’ compensation system. Knowing whether your claim satisfies the requirements and figuring out how to go about initiating the claim can be confusing, especially if your injuries are making other aspects of your life more difficult as well. At Donaldson & Weston, our Stuart workers’ compensation lawyers have assisted numerous injured employees throughout Martin and St. Lucie Counties with determining whether they have a right to workers’ compensation benefits and assisting them with asserting that right. We know how disruptive an accident can be for your family and you, whether it is a new injury or an aggravation of a pre-existing condition.Understanding the Workers’ Compensation System in Florida
The workers’ compensation system was developed to ensure that employees who are injured during the course and scope of their employment have a recourse for seeking financial compensation to offset the impact of the injury. In exchange for this system, employees are precluded from bringing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer, except in some very limited circumstances. This is sometimes called the exclusive remedy rule. A workers’ compensation attorney in Stuart can advise you on whether the rule governs your case or whether an exception may apply.
If you believe that your accident occurred during the course and scope of employment and as a result of your work duties, you can initiate a workers’ compensation claim by notifying your employer as soon as possible about the injury. After your employer is notified, it will contact its workers’ compensation insurance carrier. According to Florida law, if an employer maintains four or more employees, including both part-time and full-time workers, the employer must maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy. The requirements are different for construction companies, which are required to maintain a policy if they employ any employees at all. After the claim is opened, you will be asked to see a doctor who is approved by the employer or the insurance carrier. The employer will ask you to contact the insurance company, and a claims adjuster will be assigned to your claim.
During the medical examination, the physician will ask you a wide variety of questions about your health history and your injury. It is important that you answer these questions truthfully and completely. The amount of compensation that you receive will be based on the doctor’s assessment of your injuries. The physician will determine whether your injury is a partial disability affecting only a portion of your body or health, or whether it is a total disability. They will also assess whether the disability is temporary or permanent. Florida has a predetermined schedule of benefit payments that the insurance company will then use to calculate your weekly benefit payments, based on the physician’s assessment. If you disagree with the benefits that you receive, you have a right to appeal an award or a denial through the administrative process and ultimately in court if needed.Retain a Diligent Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Stuart
Suffering an injury and needing to miss work can be stressful. It is even more concerning when your injuries are severe and may have a permanent, lasting impact on your career and ability to earn a living. At Donaldson & Weston, we take these factors into account, making sure that you receive the compassionate and comprehensive legal counsel that you deserve. Insurance companies are run for profit, and they do not always have your best interests in mind. Let us help you assert your right to workers’ compensation benefits and ensure that you are being treated fairly. Serving victims in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Jupiter, and other areas of St. Lucie and Martin Counties, we offer a free consultation with a Stuart workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your situation. Call us now at 772-266-5555 or contact us online to get started.