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
If you are a Florida employee, you must report your injury to your employer within thirty days of it occurring.
Next, you must file a workers compensation claim within two years of the injury. After the two-year period you must seek authorized medical treatment, or receive reimbursement for your injury, at least once per year. Otherwise, you will lose your right to seek future compensation.
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 more than sixty years. We have received well over 150 jury verdicts throughout the country in the amount of $1 million or more, and achieved verdicts and settlements in excess of $3 billion. For more information, please visit our About Us section.
To contact us for a free confidential consultation, you can call us at (850) 435-7000 or (800) 277-1193. 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 workers compensation lawyers.
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 File a Workers Compensation Claim
If you are injured on the job in Florida, you are entitled to compensation, regardless of who is at fault.
Unlike other personal injury cases, 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. You report the incident to your employer within thirty days of it occurring, and your employer then notifies its insurance company.
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 will receive money 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, 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 you were injured at work while using a machine, you are automatically eligible for workers compensation benefits. However, you generally would not be able to sue your employer for any additional money even if your employer was negligent in maintaining the machine. On the other hand, you might be able to sue the manufacturer of the machine if the machine was defective.