We have been handling workers compensation claims in the Pensacola area since 1955, and have earned a reputation as one of the most successful personal injury law firms in the nation, winning more than $3 billion dollars in jury verdicts and settlements.
Our law office is located in downtown Pensacola, and our thirty-five attorneys live in the community.
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Workers Compensation Claim
The time period in which you must first provide notice and file a claim differs depending upon where your injury occurred. For example, if injured in the Pensacola, Florida area, you must report your loss to your employer within thirty days of it occurring. Next, you must file a workers compensation claim within two years of the incident, and after the two year period must seek authorized medical treatment or receive reimbursement for your injury at minimum once per year.
The most important thing is that you immediately seek legal advice when you become aware of a potential workers compensation injury, even if you decide not to hire a lawyer. We will provide you a confidential and free consult, even if you decide not to hire us. This way you at least can determine your rights, and how long you have to pursue those rights.
How Do I Choose a Workers Compensation Lawyer
The first thing you must determine is whether the attorneys you are considering focus their practice on handling workers compensation claims, and whether they have a record of successfully litigating these type cases.
Our firm has been handling workers compensation and personal injury claims throughout the Pensacola area for almost sixty years. We have won more than 100 jury verdicts for more than $1 million each in various types of personal injury and commercial cases, totaling more than $2 billion; and have been named "One of America's Most Winning Law Firms" by the National Law Journal, and are listed in Best Lawyers in America; Super Lawyers, and Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame.
For a detailed discussion of our history, credentials, accomplishments, and results, please visit our About Us section.
To contact us for a free confidential consult, you can call us at (850) 435-7000 (Pensacola) or (800) 277-1193 (toll free). You also can request a free private and confidential evaluation by clicking Free & Confidential Consult, and your inquiry will be immediately reviewed by one of our attorneys who handles your specific type case.
Which Employers Must Carry Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage
In Florida, if an employer employs four or more employees on a regular basis, it must obtain a workers' compensation insurance policy. These employers have a legal obligation to provide their employees with a safe workplace, and must purchase insurance to provide compensation to workers who are injured in the course of their employment.
Who Can Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you are injured on the job in Florida, you are entitled to compensation, regardless of who is at fault. Worker's compensation laws require your employer compensate you if you are injured in the course of your employment.
Unlike other personal injury situations, you will not have to prove your employer did anything wrong in causing your injury. Instead, you simply must prove that you were an employee (not an independent contractor) at the time you were injured, and that your injury occurred during the course of your employment.
How Do I File for Workers' Compensation Benefits
Filing a workers' compensation claim in Florida is easy. The employee must report the incident to the employer within thirty (30) days of the incident, and the employer then notifies its carrier.
The Florida Division of Workers' Compensation also will make a report to your employer's insurance carrier. The carrier then has 120 days within which to decide whether to accept your claim as valid. If accepted, the doctor's fees and any disability payments are paid according to a fee schedule set by the state of Florida. If you are temporarily unable to work due to the injury, you'll receive checks to cover your wage loss, usually starting three weeks from your injury and after your claim has been approved. Your employer will notify the insurance company to discontinue the wage-replacement checks as soon as you recover and return to work.
What Does Workers' Compensation Cover
If you are injured on the job in Florida (in Pensacola or any other city in the state), your employer’s insurance carrier will be responsible to pay the following:
- Medical expenses
- A portion of your wage loss
- Vocational re-education and retraining expenses
- Compensation for permanent injuries
- If the injury results in death, dependent family members may be eligible for monetary compensation
In exchange for the above guaranteed payments you will not be able to sue your employer. You may, however, still sue any third party who may have negligently contributed to, or caused, your injury. For example, if an employee of ABC Company is injured at work while using a machine, the employee is automatically eligible for worker's compensation benefits. However, the employee generally would not be able to sue ABC Company for any additional money even if ABC was negligent in maintaining the machine. On the other hand, the employee might be able to sue the manufacturer of the machine if the machine was defective.