Workers Compensation Lawyer
Do I need a lawyer?
Florida workers compensation laws address many of the issues that arise when a Florida employee suffers a disability due to an incident on the job.
- Physical injuries that result from workplace
- Slip and fall at work
- Worker contracts a disease at work
- Develop illness because of the work conditions
Florida Workers Compensation Benefits:
Income benefits, medical treatment, reimbursement for mileage, and funeral and death benefits are all available as part of the Florida workers compensation system.
someone is injured as a result of their regular employment, employers
are required to carry Workers’ Compensation
coverage, providing a remedy to the injured employee in lieu of that
employee foregoing their right to sue their employer for damages because
their injury happened on the job.
Protect Your Rights in Workers’ Compensation Accidents
This is generalized information. For questions about your specific legal problem, contact Robert E. Gluck immediately: 954.583.8999 (Plantation) or 239.403.3728 (Naples) or click here to go to our Contact Us form.
Do not give a statement or sign
anything from an insurance company before consulting with
an attorney. The insurance adjuster will contact you immediately and act as if they are concerned. Remember, they do not work for you and will try to save their company money regarding your claim.
Contact an attorney first. He or she works for you and should protect your rights for present/future lost wages from all of your jobs, present/future medical expenses, money for pain and suffering, property damage, tax-free lump sum settlements, and representation through mediation and trial, if necessary.
may pressure you to return to work, even if you are unable to do so.
Your attorney should attempt to secure an alternative position for you with the employer; recover lost earnings; help complete FMLA documentation, Social Security disability forms, short/long-term disability forms, as well as unemployment forms, while assisting you in obtaining retraining, employment services.
Initially, you are not required to pay for any medical care,
prescriptions, supplies, and/or transportation expenses to your doctors.
Your attorney should assist you in making sure that these doctors are
being paid, and that the medicine and supplies are authorized. Also, the
lawyer will ensure that your mileage is reimbursed to you through
Workers’ Compensation. To discuss your Workers’ Compensation claim in
more detail, please call The Law Office
of Robert E. Gluck, PA:
954.583.8999 or 239.403.3728.
Robert E. Gluck has been successfully litigating and negotiating
Workers’ Comp cases on behalf of his private practice clients since
1991. Let Robert’s experience puts you at ease over your situation. He’s
on your side, and if you
get in touch with him about your Workers’ Comp situation,
he’ll get you through to a successful outcome for you and your family,
to the best of his abilities.
Speeding Approval of Necessary, Ongoing Medical Care
To All Valued Clients:
Q: What is Workers’ Compensation? A: Workers’ Compensation is a state-required program to provide medical care and a portion of your lost wages to any employee injured as a result of a work-related activity. All benefits are set by Florida law, and worker's compensation benefits are provided at no cost to you. Q: Do I have to pay any of my medical costs? A: No, but if you were injured on or after January 1, 1994, you will have to pay $10.00 per visit for treatment after your doctor releases you from care, which would be after you have reached the point of Maximum Medical Improvement, otherwise known as MMI. Q: What kind of medical treatment can I get? A: Medically necessary visits to an authorized healthcare provider; surgery; hospital care; prescription medication; dental repair; braces; crutches; mileage to and from a doctor, and any other medical supplies ordered by your authorized physician. (Please note: chiropractic visits may be limited,) Q: What should I do in the event that I have been injured at work? A: As soon as you can, you must tell your supervisor (employer) you have been injured at work. Next, go to a medical provider authorized by your employer. When you arrive at the doctor's office, you should give the doctor as many details as you can about your accident. Obviously, you should also follow your doctor's instructions. Be certain to ask your doctor when you may return to work and always let your employer know how you are doing. Under certain circumstances, you may be required to take a drug test; this depends upon the employer and the circumstances around your accident. Q: Can I choose my own doctor or change doctors? A: You can choose a doctor from the list of physicians provided by your employer's managed care agreement or from their insurance company. If you do go to a doctor outside of the ones that are authorized, you may have to pay your own medical bills. Q: If my injury makes me miss time from work, how will I be paid for that loss? A: You will not be paid for the first 7 days you lose time from work, unless your injury is serious enough that you lose more than 21 days from work. Q: What should my employer do? A: Your employer is required to provide you the medical care needed to treat your injury or condition so you can return to work. Q: How much will I be paid if I miss time from work? A: If you cannot work for more than 7 days due to your injury or condition, you will receive a portion of your normal pay according to a state-determined schedule. Q: When will I get my first check? A: The earliest you can expect your check is within three weeks of your injury. This can only happen if you report your injury to your employer immediately. Q: How much will the benefit check be for? A: In most cases, your weekly pay is 66.6 % of what your average weekly wage is, subject to a state maximum. Q: Can my employer fire me if I file for worker's compensation benefits? A: By law you cannot be fired for filing or attempting to file a worker's compensation claim. Q: Will my employer keep my job for me? A: Not necessarily. You and your employer need to work together to get you back to work as soon as you are able. Q: If I am unable to return to the type of work I did before I was injured, what can I do? A: You may be able to receive assistance to perform another job. You can call the Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at (850) 245-3470 for information. Q: What if I am OK for a while, and a year goes by without any treatment? A: Please be aware that your right to receive benefits and medical care may end if there has been no payment for lost pay or necessary medical care provided for a one year period. Q: What if I still have questions? A: If you still have questions about Workers’ Compensation, you should call Robert E. Gluck immediately at (954) 583-8999 in Plantation or (239) 403-3728 in Naples, or by sending us an email at email@example.com. Q: How long after an accident do I have to report it to my employer? A: You should report it as soon as possible but no later than 30 days, or your claim may be denied. Q: When should my employer report the injury to the insurance company? A: Your employer should report the injury as soon as possible but no later than 7 days after they become aware of your accident. The insurance carrier must send you an informational brochure within 3 days after receiving notice from your employer. This brochure will explain your rights and responsibilities, as well as provide additional information about the Workers’ Compensation laws. Q: What do I do if my employer will not report my injury to the insurance company? A: You have the right to report the injury to the insurance company yourself. You can call the Employee Assistance Office at 1.800.342.1741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Q: What kind of medical treatment am I entitled to receive? A: The medical provider who is authorized by your employer or their insurance company will provide the necessary medical care, make the necessary treatment decisions and prescribe the necessary medication as he or she deems appropriate, and as necessary and related to your injury. Q: Do I have to pay any of my own medical bills? A: No, as long as you are seeing doctors who are authorized. All authorized medical payments should be made by the employer's insurance company. Q: How much will I be paid? A: In most cases, your benefit check, which is paid bi-weekly, will be 66 and 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage. If you were injured before October 1, 2003, this amount is calculated by using wages earned during the 91-day period immediately preceding the date of your injury, not to exceed the state limit. If you worked less than 90 percent of the 91-day period, the wages of a similar employee in the same employment, who has worked the whole of the 91-day period of your full-time weekly wage, may be used. If you were injured on after October 1, 2003, your average weekly wage is calculated using wages earned 13 weeks prior to your injury, not counting the week in which you were injured. In addition, if you worked less than 75 percent of the 13-week period, a similar employee in the same employment who has worked 75 percent of the 13-week period will be used, or your full-time weekly wage will be used. Q: Do I have to pay income tax on this money? A: No. However, if you do go back to work on light duty or on limited duty and you are still under the care of the authorized doctor, you will pay taxes on any wages earned while working. Q: If I am only temporarily disabled, how long can I get these checks? A: You can receive temporary total or partial disability payments, or a combination of the two during the continuance of your disability for no more than a maximum of 104 weeks. Q: Can I receive Social Security benefits and Workers’ Compensation benefits at the same time? A: Yes. However, an offset or reduction in your Workers’ Compensation check may be applied because the law states that the two combined may not exceed 80% of your average, weekly wage, earned prior to your injury. Q: Can I receive Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation benefits at the same time? A: No. Not if you are receiving temporary total or permanent total disability benefits, as you must be medically able and available for work to qualify for employment. Q: What can I do if I am not receiving my benefit check? A: Call the insurance company and ask for the adjustor or claims representative. If you still have questions and don't understand why the checks have stopped, it is time to get a lawyer. Q: If I am unable to return to work until my doctor releases me, does my employer have to hold my job for me? A: No. There is no provision in Florida law that requires any employer to hold a job open for an injured employee. This is why you should work with your employer and your authorized doctor to get back to work, so that you do not jeopardize your job. Q: Can my employer fire me if I am unable to work because of an injury and am receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits? A: No. It is against the law to fire you because you have filed or attempted to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. If you or someone you know has been terminated after filing a Workers’ Compensation claim, you should immediately contact my law office. Q: If I am unable to return to the type of work I did before I was injured, what can I do? A: At no cost to you, the law provides re-employment services to help you return to work. These services include vocational counseling, transferrable skills analysis, job-seeking skills, job placement, on-the-job training, and formal retraining. Q: My employer and the insurance company have denied my claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Do I need legal representation to get my benefits? What should I do? A: It is your decision whether or not to hire an attorney. However, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to determine what your rights are and to further assist you with your petition for benefits or any other documentation that needs to be completed. Sometimes, a lawyer is able to obtain substantially more in benefits that you would be able to obtain on your own, and a lawyer will also be able to get additional medical providers authorized in different areas, depending upon your needs. Q: What is the time limit for filing a petition for benefits? A: In general, there is 2 years to file a petition from the date of injury. Q: Is there a period of time after which my claim is no longer open? A: If you were injured on or after January 1, 1994, the claim is closed one year from the date you last sought medical treatment or received any payment of compensation. This period is referred to as the statute of limitations. Q: Can I get a settlement from my claim? A: Settlements may be made under certain circumstances and are voluntary, not automatic or mandatory. You should obtain an attorney and consult with that attorney regarding whether obtaining a "washout" or a settlement for future benefits is in your best interests, or whether you might be better off keeping your claim open and continuously treating at least once per year into the future. Q: If I settle my claim for medical benefits with the insurance company and my condition gets worse later, who pays for my future medical care, surgeries etc.? A: You are responsible for your future medical needs after your claim for medical benefits is settled. That is why it might be best to leave some claims open, depending upon the circumstances. Otherwise, it might be appropriate to settle right away for a washout amount. Q: What can I do when it is difficult to get a prescription filled or I am having problems with the pharmacy where I get my worker's compensation medication? A: In Florida, an injured worker has the right to select a pharmacy or pharmacist. Florida law prohibits interference with your right to choose a pharmacy or pharmacist. However, a pharmacy is not required to participate in the Workers’ Compensation program.