West Palm Beach Lawyers Fight for All Types of Workers’ Comp Benefits
Skilled representation to remove obstacles for injured employees
At Vassallo, Bilotta, Friedman & Davis, our workers’ compensation lawyers are determined to assist with the full range of your benefits. If you are hurt in an on-the-job accident, you are entitled to medical treatment, wage replacement and other benefits, but accessing those benefits isn’t always easy. Insurance companies, after all, are more concerned with their bottom line than with your recovery. So, if your claim is denied, you don’t agree with your treatment plan, or you get a low disability rating, we can help. Drawing on more than 100 years of combined experience, our legal team handles appeals, hearings and settlement negotiations and much more, as we work diligently to deliver the best possible results.
Your Florida workers’ compensation health benefits
Workers are entitled to receive all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for work-related injuries and illnesses. Examples of coverage include doctors’ visits, hospitalization, physical therapy, medical testing, prescription drugs, and prostheses. You are also entitled to reimbursement for travel for the sake of treatment. However, the insurance company must approve the treating physician at the time of your injury and must approve any follow-up treatment.
Conflicts often arise when a worker disagrees with the treating physician, wants a second opinion, or wants to change doctors. Insurance companies can be rigid about the type of treatment they will approve for certain injuries. Other areas of disagreement include clearance to return to work or light duty, whether the patient has reached the point of maximum medical improvement, and the worker’s impairment rating. We provide proactive representation to get you the treatment you deserve.
Wage replacement and monetary compensation from Florida workers’ comp
An important part of the workers’ compensation safety net is the range of financial benefits available when an injury or illness prevents a worker from earning a living. Financial benefits include:
- Temporary total disability — If you are unable to work due to a work-related condition, you are eligible to receive wage replacement benefits up to 66 2/3 percent of your regular wage, subject to a statewide maximum, which in 2017 was $886. You do not receive TTD for the first seven days of work you miss unless your condition keeps you off the job for at least 21 days. Certain severe injuries entitle a worker to receive up to 80 percent of regular pay for up to six months. TTD can last for a maximum of 260 weeks, after which the worker either returns to work or receives permanent total disability (see below).
- Temporary partial disability — If you are not able to perform your regular job but can perform job-related tasks, your employer may assign you light duty at a lower rate of pay. If this rate falls below 80 percent of your regular wage, you may be able to receive TPD to close the pay gap by using the 80/80 rule. The calculation is determined by using 80 percent of the Average Weekly Wage, or AWW, and paying 80 percent of the result. If the injured worker does not have any earnings, this amounts to a payment of 64 percent of pre-injury earnings.
- Impairment — When your treating physician certifies you have reached maximum medical improvement, or MMI, which is the greatest level of recovery you’re expected to experience, the next question is whether you will have permanent work restrictions. If the answer is yes, the doctor gives you an impairment rating, and you are eligible for cash benefits based on that rating.
- Permanent total disability — Severely injured workers who reach MMI but are still unable to do any work are eligible for PTD benefits. These payments are meant to provide partial wage replacement for the remaining span of the worker’s career.
- Death benefits — If a worker dies from a job-related accident within one year of the event or five years of continuous disability, workers’ comp pays death benefits to the family. These benefits include funeral expenses up to $7,500, compensation to dependents, and education benefits to a surviving spouse.
Our law firm is committed to facilitating treatment for your work-related injury or illness and maximizing the workers’ compensation benefits you receive.
Schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your Florida workers’ compensation benefits
Vassallo, Bilotta, Friedman & Davis assists injured employees with every aspect of their Florida workers’ compensation claim. Please call 561-422-4630 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at one of our offices, located in West Palm Beach and Stuart.