If you have been hurt at work, the financial pressure mounts quickly. Florida Workers’ Compensation law requires most businesses to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees, but many victims of workplace injuries are frustrated in their attempts to obtain the benefits they’re entitled to.
At Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis, our dedicated South Florida lawyers fight on behalf of injured workers so that they can obtain medical treatment, lost wages, and collect reimbursement for medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. Our experienced advocates handle initial filings and appeals to maximize your likelihood of a successful resolution.
When you are hurt at work, you are required to report the accident and incident to your employer or immediate supervisor within 30 days. Your employer should file a First Report of Injury with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If your employer fails to report your claim, you should contact the insurance company directly or contact an attorney to assist you in reporting your claim.
Once your claim is filed, the employer/carrier should begin providing you with the medical benefits and indemnity benefits you are entitled to, and you should have easy access to all types of benefits, but unfortunately, disputes are common and many require professional and experienced legal representation to resolve. Matters that we regularly address in West Palm Beach and Stuart include:
Our personal injury lawyers also fully investigate your case to see if there are grounds for a negligence lawsuit. We offer injured workers a free initial consultation and only charge attorneys’ fees on a contingency basis. This means that we are paid only if our firm secures benefits for you through a decision or a settlement with your employer or their insurance carrier.
The workers’ compensation appeals process can be daunting. If you get a Notice of Denial, we can attempt to negotiate with the employer and/or the insurance company. If negotiations stall, you must file a Petition for Benefits with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims. The judge often orders mediation, where a neutral mediator attempts to reach a compromise between the two parties. If mediation fails, the claims in your Petition for Benefits (“PFB”) is heard before the JCC within 210 days of the PFB’s filing.
This is similar to a civil trial, where each side calls witnesses and submits evidence. The judge renders a decision within 30 days. If the OJCC denies your claims, the next and final stop is an appeal before the First District Court of Appeals. This is an appeal on the record, so neither side is permitted to present new evidence. Navigating the appeals process requires experience and skill. You should only trust your case to workers’ comp attorneys with a solid record of success.
The Florida Workers’ Compensation law provides eligibility for up to $150,000 in death benefits and $7,500 for funeral expenses if a worker dies from his or her work-related condition within five years of the accident. Family members who can receive death benefits include the spouse, child, parent, sibling or grandchild. However, these family members must demonstrate that they depended on the decedent for substantial financial support on a regular basis, and that the support was reasonably expected to continue into the future. We can also counsel you regarding the possibility of a wrongful death action.
Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis represents injured employees in Florida workers’ compensation claims. Please call 561-471-2800 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at one of our offices, located in West Palm Beach and Stuart.