What You Should Know When Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Florida law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to help workers who have been injured on the job. While the claims process should be easy and straightforward, it can be just the opposite, leaving workers frustrated and facing financial difficulties. Thankfully, working with an experienced attorney like Lee Viacava can make the workers’ compensation process easier, and it could increase your chances of an approved claim.
On this page, we discuss some important information you should know about workers’ compensation in Florida, including what to expect and potential risks to avoid. After reading, feel free to contact the Lee Viacava Law Firm for case-specific advice and guidance.
Knowing And Following Rules And Requirements Is Critical
Insurance companies increase their own profits by denying or limiting claims. As such, they will look for any reason to deny you benefits, including failure to precisely follow rules and requirements. Here are some important things to know:
- You need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days in order to qualify for benefits. Ideally, you would report immediately.
- After you report, your employer is required to notify the insurer within seven days, after which the insurer needs to contact you with an informational brochure. If your employer fails to report the injury, you can directly contact the insurer.
- You can only be treated by a physician who has been approved by the insurance company (with the exception of emergency medical treatment). If you don’t go with an approved physician, your expenses may not be covered.
- If you fail to follow treatment recommendations, coverage of your medical bills may be discontinued.
Meeting these requirements can be annoying, but you don’t want to give insurers an easy reason to deny your claim.
You Can (And Should) Appeal A Denied Claim
Legitimate workers’ compensation claims are routinely denied, often for dubious reasons. You have the right to appeal a denied claim, and working with an attorney makes this process much easier.
The main reason it is so important to appeal a denied claim is that you likely don’t have other options for compensation. In Florida, workers’ compensation is considered the “exclusive remedy” for workplace injuries. Employers who have workers’ compensation insurance coverage are generally immune from injury lawsuits filed by their employees.
You Cannot Legally Be Fired For Seeking Benefits
Many workers hesitate to file a workers’ compensation claim because they fear they’ll be fired or face other retaliation. It is illegal for employers to terminate an employee’s job or to otherwise retaliate because the worker filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Unfortunately, this still sometimes happens, with employers citing a different (and often flimsy) reason for the termination. While hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is not a guaranteed safeguard against claim-related retaliation, employers are less likely to try something illegal if they know you have an attorney representing you.
Reach Out Today For Skilled Legal Guidance
The Lee Viacava Law Firm has been representing injured workers in southwest Florida since 2007. To schedule your initial consultation with attorney Lee Viacava, call us in Fort Myers at 239-990-2667, or send us an email.