In Florida, most work-related injuries are covered by the workers’ compensation system. There are some exceptions, but if an employer has four or more workers, they should have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees in case of work-related injury. Under workers’ comp, injured employees are entitled to have their medical bills paid and to receive a percentage of the wages they lose while they are out of work.
In Florida alone, close to 70,000 people are injured on the job each year. While many workers are generally familiar with workers’ comp, few are aware of the hidden traps and pitfalls that exist in the system. Additionally, few injured workers realize that they may be entitled to recover money outside the workers’ comp system if their work-related injuries are suffered due to the negligence of another person or company (not a co-worker or their own employer).
If you have sustained a work-related injury in Florida, you should seek the advice of attorneys who have experience representing people who have been injured in on-the-job accidents. Cullen & Hemphill, PLC, is a Winter Park personal injury law firm that has had great success working for injured workers. Without capable legal advice, you might be awarded less than you are entitled to, or may be leaving valuable benefits untapped.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation in Florida
The workers’ comp system manages the worker’s healthcare, with the primary goal being to have the worker back at work as soon as possible. Often, the worker’s treating doctor is selected by the workers’ comp carrier, not the worker. Workers are not entitled to any intangible damages such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, and loss of the ability to enjoy life.
When an on-the-job injury occurs, an individual must report the injury within 30 days, or as soon as possible. From the time of injury, a worker has two years in which to file a comp claim, but we recommend doing this right away, especially if your situation involves taking time from work to attend to your injuries and costly medical bills. For detailed and expert advice, it is important to consult with a Florida attorney experienced in handling work-related injury cases.
Work Injury Risk in Florida
While just about any job has some level of health risk, some are more dangerous than others.
According to statistics by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most hazardous jobs in the U.S. include:
- Construction work. Frequent use of dangerous equipment and power tools and work in elevated areas put these workers at extreme risk.
- Truck driving. Drivers frequently encounter daily road hazards, negligent drivers, and traffic accidents and must also deal with their own fatigue.
- Electrical work. Powerline repairers and installers who work with high voltage elements at extreme heights risk injury and death every day.
- Waste collection. Recyclable and refuse material collectors can be injured as they handle heavy equipment, deal with traffic hazards, and handle hazardous materials.
- Iron and steel work. Working from elevated areas and having to deal with heavy and hot materials make this a dangerous field.
- Roofing. Roofers are faced with heights, ladders, and lifters, and often work in high temperatures.
- Logging. Tree fellers and loggers constantly need to evade falling trees, brave rugged terrains, and work with sharp cutting instruments.
When a Third Party Is Liable for Your Injuries
Accidents can happen to anyone. However, if someone else is careless, negligent, or not paying attention and causes you to become injured in the course and scope of your work, that person can be held liable for your injuries—even if you are receiving, or have already received, workers’ comp benefits. If you hire the appropriate Orlando personal injury attorneys to look into your case, you may be able to receive pain and suffering damages for your work-related injuries.
The workplace injury attorneys at Cullen & Hemphill, PLC, bring the following to your workers’ comp or third-party injury claim:
- Focus. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, you can shift your focus away from handling paperwork and wondering if you are being treated appropriately to getting better and getting back to work. Meanwhile, your attorney will focus his efforts on getting you the maximum benefits—and money damage award—that you are entitled to.
- Experience. At Cullen & Hemphill, PLC, we have over 40 years of combined experience handling cases and recovering millions of dollars in money damages for people who have been involved in work-related injuries. Feel free to look in our Case Results section for more details.
- Incentive to get you full compensation. The vast majority of the Florida work-related injury cases we work on at Cullen & Hemphill, PLC, are undertaken on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe any money for attorneys’ fees or case costs unless we make a money recovery for you. If we do make a money recovery, our fee is based upon a percentage of the amount of money we recover, so we have a built-in incentive to recover as much money as we possibly can for our clients.
- Increased chances of getting what you deserve. If provided with enough time and information to study, many injured workers are capable of handling their own injury claims and dealing with their employer and the employer’s insurance company. However, studies show that people who hire experienced personal injury attorneys like Cullen & Hemphill, PLC, generally recover more money than people who handle their claims themselves.
Call us today to talk about your work-related accident. We never charge a fee to answer questions.