Florida, like every other state in the U.S., has a program in place to help protect the worker who has been injured on the job. Generally, this program is a worker’s only avenue to obtain compensation for an on the job injury. It is designed to provide compensation to the injured worker without assigning fault to the employer. Employers pay into the state program to obtain the insurance, or, in some cases, are self-insured or pay an approved carrier.
In the early 1900’s various states came up with this scheme to allow compensation for injuries in the workplace while not requiring the employers to admit fault or defend a lawsuit for the injuries. Florida was among the last to pass a worker’s compensation bill, in 1935, for a variety of reasons. There was a much smaller workforce, and the primary businesses were agricultural in nature. As the population of Florida grew, and more diverse businesses located here, the need for some type of workers’ compensation program expanded.
The idea was that a workers’ compensation plan would make compensating an injured worker more efficient. The injured worker would be able to obtain medical care more easily, and if the injury meant they could not return to work, there would be compensation for that permanent injury.
The trade- off for workers is that you cannot sue your employer for an injury in the workplace absent some very specific circumstances. Employers appreciate these programs because they can insure for and limit their liability, and not have to be defending themselves in court every time a worker is injured. It provides a measure of certainty for employers, which in turn promotes businesses and grows the economy.
There are very specific timelines and procedures involved in making a workers compensation claim. There are rules about the doctor you choose, and the time for reporting a claim. If you do not adhere to these procedures and timelines, your claim may be denied. It is often best to get professional help in filing your claim, especially if your employer may be reluctant to have the claim paid.
The Workers Compensation law in Florida has changed over the years, in some cases to prevent fraudulent claims, and it has become more complex. It is not easy to wend your way through the procedures on your own. You don’t want to leave financial compensation or medical treatment on the table if you are entitled to it. Experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you obtain all the compensation you deserve.
You may be surprised to know that attorneys’ fees for worker’s compensation cases are set by Florida statute. It is a sliding scale, based on the amount recovered and the period of time the compensation is paid. In no event can the attorney fee be more than allowed by law.
If you have been injured on the job, you need an attorney experienced in Florida Workers’ Compensation Law to help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled. The attorneys at Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm, have the experience you need and will work hard to obtain the maximum compensation available to you. Our free consultation will answer many of your questions, about the Workers’ Compensation system and the help that is available to you.