Workers Compensation: Can I Sue My Employer If Injured At Work?

September 10, 2018
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Being injured while on the job is never an enjoyable experience. It causes far more issues than simply having to visit a doctor and receive treatment. The worry and stress caused by the possibility of lost wages, and the complexity of trying to receive workers compensation from an employer is a real concern. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to get benefits that should be given to the victim in one of these cases. While it seems like this should be a no-brainer – someone injured due to an unsafe situation at work should be entitled to compensation, right? However, workers compensation claims are far too often complicated, and frustrating.

Fortunately, Rue & Ziffra have workers compensation attorneys with the experience necessary to help clients get through this difficult time and receive the maximum benefit that is due to them from the big insurance companies that often fight tooth-and-nail to keep from having to pay out benefits. When it comes to taking the fight back to the insurance companies, who will take advantage of every loophole and every underhanded tactic available to them, it is very important to have a personal injury attorney that is passionate about serving their community and zealous about justice being done.

There are many different situations that constitute an acceptable case for workers compensation, but more often than not, a workplace injury can fall into a gray area, which allows the insurance companies to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the claim. In these cases, it is important to know whether or not the claim is viable, if it can be won in a court of law, and what benefits can be received.

Florida’s Workers Compensation Rules

By law in Florida, most employers are required to offer workers compensation insurance to their employees, but there are rules and laws that place restrictions that can make it difficult to receive this type of insurance. There are also many regulations around deadlines to report the incident (typically you must report the injury within 30 days), around the benefits that the victim can receive (typically up to 80% of your salary), when benefits can be received (typically after eight days from the date the injury occurred unless the duration of the injury lasts past 21 days, in which case the victim can be eligible for benefits up to the date the injury occurred), and how long benefits can be received (typically 104 weeks).

Proving Injuries Under Workers Compensation

When it comes to proving that an injury causes a disability, even more issues and concerns arise. If the insurance company can prove that there is perhaps another job that you are able to perform, then benefits could be denied, even if the new job is in a different field or pays significantly less. If all of that does not sound bad enough, insurance companies even get to decide what doctor a victim must go to in order to be diagnosed. Regrettably, this can result in questionable outcomes where the doctors can make decisions that favor the employer, often rushing the individual into a condition that the doctor declares as no longer disabled, which may not be completely true.

For example: many times injuries at work are accidentally caused by employees themselves either being negligent or through unauthorized activities such as throwing tools or equipment, playing practical jokes, or even creating unsafe situations for the sake of entertainment. So long as the victim of the injury was not involved in these activities they can be eligible for benefits. If the injury is caused due to the negligence or disregard of the person who was injured, then the workers compensation claim is not viable. This is to keep benefits from being paid out to someone who, in essence, caused their own injury. Usually, in this type of claim, the victim must prove that they were not involved in causing the injury, and the input from a personal injury attorney can be vital in this proof being accepted.

Another example of an eligible situation is when equipment used by employees is not properly maintained, calibrated, or replaced/repaired when damaged. Many occupations use tools that can be dangerous when not in proper condition. In the case where the use of these tools is required by the employer, and an injury is sustained due to the condition of the tool where the dangerous condition is unknown by the user, this type of injury can be covered by worker’s compensation insurance.

Being Denied For Workers Compensation in Florida

There are many other widely varying situations in which a worker’s compensation claim can be a valid suit against an insurance company. Unfortunately, workers compensation claims are frequently denied for a myriad of reasons and sometimes deciphering what to do about a denial can be like trying to translate another language without the help of a native speaker. Here at Rue & Ziffra, we want to be your trusted translator when it comes to the interpretation of the legal documents that insurance companies will throw back at people when denying their claims.

Rue & Ziffra has been handling personal injury claims, including workers compensation claims, for over 40 years, and has helped clients win over 400 million dollars in benefits. Even with as difficult as winning a worker’s compensation claim can be in Florida, Rue & Ziffra have the knowledge and the experience that it takes to get the justice that victims deserve. It is not necessary to wait until a claim is denied before seeking help. Let us assist you in filing your claim so that we can help minimize the time between the date of your injury and the date you start receiving the compensation that you deserve.

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