Workers Compensation Attorney Jacksonville
Serving Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach and clients throughout Florida
In Florida, there are strict rules for how to start and complete a workers compensation claim. It is important that you follow these rules, because deviating from them or missing important deadlines could result in a denied claim – even if you were legitimately injured at work.
It is best to speak with a skilled workers compensation attorney in Jacksonville to help you with the process. An attorney can ensure that you do no miss important deadlines, but also help you with the claims process, and even negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Notice and Reporting
Workers compensation requires that you report your work-related injury to your employer as soon as possible. It is best to do so within a few days, even though the law gives you up to 30 days. Immediately after the injury occurs, let your supervisor or company owner know what happened. Write down the details so that you don’t forget. Some things you may want to write down include:
- Date and time the injury happened
- What caused the injury or illness
- Any witnesses
- Who you reported the injury to, the date and time, etc.
- If you were possibly at fault or what actions you were doing at the time of the injury
See a Physician
After you have made a formal report about the work-related injury, next you will go through the Independent Medical Examination or IME. This exam requires you to see a physician that accepts workers compensation insurance and for this exam, the workers compensation insurance carrier can demand that you see a physician of their choosing.
They select their providers for this carefully, because they know they can rely on that physician to give them an honest report. At the IME, you can have your attorney present to make sure that the physician is not biased. Some insurance companies are known for firing physicians if they tend to favor injured employees too often, and you want to make sure a doctor does not discount your injuries just to keep his or her position.
During the IME you will:
- Answer questions regarding your physical and medical history
- Discuss how the injury happened
- Talk about any symptoms or complaints you have post-injury
- Receive a medical examination by the doctor
It is important to comply with all requests during this examination to ensure they do not terminate your workers compensation benefits.
If there are any discrepancies or issues with your claim, you may have to attend a hearing. While this is rare, a hearing is a very serious event and you should have legal representation for it. During the hearing, certain things can be decided, including:
- If you truly suffered from a work-related injury
- If you have a previous injury and whether or not it was aggravated by work
- What your average weekly wage is for compensation
- The extent of your disability – and whether or not you will be able to return to work
- How reasonable your medical treatments are and whether or not the insurer should pay for those treatments
Classification and Payments
After the medical examinations and any potential hearings have completed, the workers compensation company will classify your level of disability. They will then decide how much compensation you are entitled to – including medical benefits, wages, etc. After your classification is complete, payments will begin.
Payments for medical treatments will go straight from the insurer to the medical provider, while all lost wage benefits will go straight to you.
If for some reason your claim is denied, you have the option to order a hearing or request an appeal. The denial can be reversed if your appeal is successful, then the claim will return to processing. If the denial is affirmed, then you will not be able to receive workers compensation benefits.
Workers Compensation Claims are Complex – Hire an Attorney
While it seems straightforward, the process for filing for and receiving workers compensation benefits is extremely complex. You can save yourself the hassle or risk of denials just by having a Jacksonville workers compensation attorney by your side. The team at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton can help you with your claim. If you were injured at work, call us today to schedule a no obligation consultation by dialing 904-398-2212.