Workers’ compensation FAQs:
Do you have questions? We have answers. Here are some legal FAQs that our team of attorneys often receives from clients.
What is workers' compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system provided to help you recover benefits for injuries that occur on the job. It is a legal system, and it is the sole mechanism by which workers get paid for their job-related injuries. Benefits are available under the workers’ compensation system regardless of fault.
Can I opt-out of workers' compensation and file a lawsuit against my employer?
No, workers’ compensation claims are generally your sole remedy. The only exception to this is when there is a claim, provable in court, that the employer intentionally caused injury or death. It is only under this very rare exception that you may sue your employer instead of obtaining benefits under the workers’ compensation system.
Does your firm handle federal workers' compensation claims?
No, Hardesty, Tyde & Ashton, P.A. only handles Florida workers’ compensation claims.
What am I entitled to under workers' compensation?
First, and perhaps most important, you are entitled to continuous medical treatment for an injury sustained while at work, including but not limited to, surgery, pain management, prescription medications, and therapy. You are also entitled to receive two-thirds of your gross wages up to the statutory maximum. However, there are distinct periods for which you may recover lost wages. After reaching maximum medical improvement, the amount which you can recover is reduced substantially and is called your impairment income benefit. The amount of money you receive in impairment income benefits is based upon a permanent impairment rating as determined and assigned by your doctor or authorized treating physician.
Can my employer fire me if I file a workers' compensation claim?
No, an employer faces civil liability if they fire you solely for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, if they fire you, you can file suit against them for wrongful termination. It is important to note, however, that if you voluntarily leave your place of employment while receiving medical treatments under a valid workers’ compensation claim, you could suffer adverse consequences.
How do I pay for your legal services?
Attorneys’ fees are paid by the employer, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, or are determined by the judge as a percentage of the recovery. If no recovery is made, you will not pay a fee.
What constitutes a personal injury?
The most common personal injury is an auto accident, but the broad definition encompasses any situation where a person suffers harm due to the negligence of another person or entity. Early identification of a personal injury is important to the legal process. Many serious injuries occur each year involving:
– Auto accidents
– Premises liability accidents such as injuries caused by a slip and fall
– Medical malpractice/nursing home injuries
– Wrongful death
– Work-related accidents
– Animal attacks
– Faulty or malfunctioning products (product liability)