Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Here are some workers’ compensation law FAQs that our team of workers’ compensation attorneys often receive from clients:
Do you have questions? We have answers. Here are some legal FAQs that our team of attorneys often receives from clients.
Can I opt-out of the workers’ compensation system and proceed to file a lawsuit against my employer?
No. Workers’ compensation claims are generally your sole remedy. The only exception to this general rule is if there is a claim, provable in court, that the employer engaged in behavior rising to the level of an intentional act, which caused injury or death, or which was substantially certain to cause injury or death. It is only under this very rare exception that you may actually sue your employer in lieu of obtaining benefits under the workers’ compensation system.
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. If they fire you for this reason, 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 pursuant to a valid workers’ compensation claim, you could suffer adverse consequences.
Does your firm handle federal workers’ compensation claims?
No. Hardesty, Tyde & Ashton, P.A. only handles Florida workers’ compensation claims.
How do I pay for your legal services in pursuing a worker’s compensation claim?
Attorneys’ fees are paid on a contingency basis or by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or by the employer in some cases. In other cases, the contingency fees are determined by the judge as a percentage of any recovery. If not recovery is made, you will not pay any fee.
If I can’t sue my employer, why do I need an attorney for a workers’ compensation claim?
The workers’ compensation system can be quite difficult to navigate. Many injured workers who proceed without a workers’ compensation attorney feel that they are getting the “run around.” If you do not have an advocate on your side who knows the system, you are forced to rely on representations by your employer, or, worse, an insurance company to whom you are just a number. The insurance adjuster is employed to do one thing and that is to limit the benefits you receive.
Under the workers’ compensation system what am I entitled to?
First, and perhaps most importantly, you are entitled to continuous medical treatment for an injury sustained while at work. This includes, and is 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 compensation rate. However, there are distinct time periods for which you may recover monetary benefits. 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 authorized treating physician.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system provided to help you recover benefits for injuries which occur on the job. It is a statutory system, and it is the sole mechanism by which workers get paid for their job-related injuries. Under the workers’ compensation system, regardless of fault, benefits are available.
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)