Experiencing a personal injury is physically and emotionally taxing. Removed from your everyday routine and forced to grapple with changes in your health and financial status, you face a considerable amount of stress. The process gets only further complicated when your accident involves work-related injuries.
In Florida, thousands of people experience an injury on the job each year and file workers’ comp claims. According to Chapter 440, F.S., employers with four or more employees must carry workers’ comp insurance to compensate injured workers.
Seeking compensation can feel intimidating without proper legal assistance. To better prepare yourself for the potential obstacles and ensure quality defense on your side if your case should become more complicated, it’s best to hire a worker’s comp lawyer to help you navigate this complex process. At Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates in South and Central Florida, our team can help you.
Report Your Injury Before You Seek Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
A workers’ comp lawyer can assist you as you communicate with your employer and your employer’s insurance company about receiving compensation for your injuries. However, you should report your injury within the appropriate time frame before seeking legal counsel.
By law, injured workers must report their work-related injury within 30 days of the date the injury occurred. Ideally, you should report the injury as soon as possible to receive compensation sooner.
Once you have reported your injury, your employer has to report the injury to their insurance carrier within seven days of your report. If your employer neglects to report the injury in the appropriate time frame, they could face a penalty of up to $500.
The Two Types of Benefits Your Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You Receive
Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Laws entitle injured workers to two primary types of benefits:
- Medical Benefits. These benefits cover any medical expenses the injured worker incurred, at no cost to the worker.
- Indemnity Benefits. Indemnity, or missed wages benefits, cover an injured worker’s financial losses should they require a leave from work or work less than their regular schedule due to a work-related injury.
Indemnity benefits fall into two categories: Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and Temporary Partial Disability (TPD).
Temporary Total Disability occurs when an authorized physician places the injured employee on a “no work” status. In contrast, Total Partial Disability involves a “light duty” work status with restrictions in place such as “no lifting over 10 pounds.”
Medical and indemnity benefits can prove challenging to access depending on the circumstance, but indemnity benefits are particularly problematic in the case of employee termination or employer claims of misconduct.
A workers’ comp lawyer can help you navigate the complicated aspects of workers’ compensation claims and fight for you as you recover from your injuries.
Avoiding Misconduct After Filing for Workers’ Comp
If an injured worker on Temporary Total Disability gets terminated from their job for reasons other than misconduct, the termination should not affect their benefits. However, injured workers who are on Temporary Partial Disability may face difficulties receiving compensation in the event of termination.
Employees who get fired post-injury due to misconduct will not receive any compensation for their work-related injuries. The specific definitions of misconduct can vary from case to case, but in general, misconduct includes behaviors such as:
- Intentionally violating an employer’s standards and expectations
- Extreme negligence that illustrates a disregard for an employer’s interests
- Negligence that demonstrates clear ill intent
- Deliberate and significant disregard of a worker’s duties or obligations to their employer
As an injured worker, you must avoid behaving in a way that could jeopardize your access to worker’s compensation benefits. Should you remain civil and respectful following your work-related injury, an employer would have difficulty citing instances of misconduct surrounding the injury.
Likewise, know that employers should not consider a single instance of failing to follow an employer’s policy or direction to be “misconduct,” so a single error or lapse should not affect your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In most cases, repeated violations of explicit policy constitute punishable misconduct.
Additionally, if your employer claims misconduct, they bear the burden of proof and must gather sufficient evidence to disqualify you from receiving workers’ comp.
It is critical to enlist the help of a workers’ comp lawyer in these cases. Should your employer challenge your claim, by retaining an attorney, you will have the professional counsel you need to defend your right to fair compensation.
Your Neighborhood Workers’ Comp Attorney, Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A. Will Go The Extra Mile for You
At Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A., our founding attorney Mr. Masnikoff has spent his career as a workers’ comp lawyer fighting tirelessly to ensure that insurance companies do not wrongfully deny indemnity benefits to injured Florida workers.
With a passionate, multilingual staff that proudly serves English, Spanish, and Creole-speaking clients from all over Florida, Mr. Masnikoff and his associates Charles Wade and Shakayle Grant in the firm’s Workers’ Compensation Division are relentless in pursuing fair compensation.
If you’ve received injuries on the job and qualify for workers’ compensation, call our dedicated team at Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates today at (561) 598-7120 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Our firm serves workers throughout the state at our offices in West Palm Beach, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Copyright© 2022. Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.