The workers’ compensation system exists to provide medical and financial relief to employees who get hurt on the job or suffer occupational illnesses. Generally speaking, workers’ comp is a mostly no-fault system that allows any eligible worker to file a claim for compensation from their employer’s insurance provider.
When the system works as it should, workers’ compensation benefits can ensure that employees who get hurt at work have the resources they need to recover.
In some cases, though, your employer or their insurance carrier may try to claim that you are not eligible for benefits or attempt to deny reasonable coverage requests. If you were injured at work or acquired an occupational illness and face this kind of refusal, you know what a frustrating and worrying situation it can be. You may be left wondering how you’ll access the treatments you need and afford your bills while you’re unable to work.
The most important thing you can do under these circumstances is to seek immediate legal advice.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can explain the laws and regulations that apply to your unique case and take the appropriate legal steps to seek the benefits you deserve. Since 1976, the attorneys of Rue & Ziffra have helped thousands of Florida injury victims recover hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. Our firm is staffed with knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys who deliver effective results. Contact our team today for a free initial review of your workers’ comp claim by calling us or by reaching out online.
Most Florida employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, so the majority of employees are eligible for workers’ comp benefits. To be considered eligible for workers’ comp benefits in Florida, workers must meet the following requirements:
These eligibility conditions sound straightforward, but many legal exceptions and gray areas exist. Some workers are part of select categories that either don’t qualify for workers’ comp or are covered under different but similar programs. These workers may include:
If your position entitled you to coverage under workers’ comp laws, there are still several eligibility requirements you must meet to receive benefits. With few exceptions, Florida workers who file workers’ compensation benefit claims must:
After an injury has been properly reported, most insurance carriers should issue benefits checks to eligible workers within three weeks. When a claim is denied, the carrier is required to alert the injured worker of its denial within 120 days of an initial provision of benefits. If this should happen to your claim, you can file a lawsuit against your employer’s insurance provider with the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer.
In many cases, employees who are denied workers’ comp coverage have their claims rejected because they are misclassified as independent contractors. To meet the legal definition of an independent contractor in Florida, workers must meet at least four of the following conditions:
If four of the above criteria are not met, Florida workers can still be legally classified as independent contractors if they meet any of the following conditions:
Some of the most common arguments an employer or insurance carrier may cite to deny you coverage include:
No matter the reason, a Notice of Denial doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the road. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you take several legal steps to address a denied claim. Usually, an attorney’s first step will be an attempt to obtain benefits from your employer’s insurance provider without the filing of a lawsuit.
If a benefit is not provided timely, a lawyer can assist you in filing a Petition for Benefits with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC). Here, a judge will oversee formal mediation attempts or schedule a civil hearing. If you are denied the compensation you require after an OJCC hearing, your attorney can appeal the unfavorable decision before the First District Court of Appeals.
Florida workers’ comp benefits cover some, but not all, of the losses incurred by employees who become sick or hurt on the job. The types of benefits injured workers can claim in Florida are:
If you were injured on the job, it’s crucial to pursue the full compensation amount you’re legally entitled to under Florida workers’ comp laws. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Rue & Ziffra want to help.
Our firm works as a team to pursue the best possible results for workers’ compensation clients throughout north and central Florida. We offer free initial case reviews, and our clients never pay us unless we win compensation for them.
To learn more about the ways we can help your Florida workers’ comp claim, call us or fill out our online contact form now.