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Maximizing Your Benefits: Panama City Workers Compensation Lawyer
Workplace Accident Attorney
Nobody clocks into work expecting to suffer a serious, life-changing injury. If you’ve incurred an injury at work in Panama City, you are undoubtedly going through a troubling, stressful time. You feel defeated as your medical bills are piling up, you realize that you're in jeopardy of losing wages, you cannot play with your children, and you are missing time with your precious loved ones.The lawyers at Wettermark Keith have seen the life-changing effects of workplace injury on decent, hardworking people time and time again. These physical, emotional, and psychological damages have a detrimental effect on you and your family.
You would assume that if you become injured at work, your employer will surely cover the costs of your injuries. However, it's extremely rare that workers compensation cases are easy to navigate. Instead, many people face denials, undervalued settlements, and even threats from their employers. It is important to remember, however, that you are not alone. Wettermark Keith knows that your rights are worth fighting for, and we encourage you to contact us to work with our workers' comp lawyers to recover the compensation you deserve.
WE CAN HELP TELL YOUR STORY.
What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that provides financial benefits to workers who become ill or injured while performing their job's duties. This program both protects employers from liability and provides financial support and medical care to ill or injured employees. Without compensation, Panama City workers would be left to deal with the consequences of their conditions, struggling to support their families and finance costly medical treatments.
Workers’ comp can cover medical care expenses, lost wages, and even death benefits for surviving family members. Employers are required by law in most states, including Florida, to find and provide this coverage for all employees working within the state; however, self-employed individuals may not be eligible for these benefits unless otherwise specified by law.
Workers' compensation is a no-fault system, meaning you aren't required to prove liability in order to receive benefits. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurers are profit-seeking and businesses prioritize their bottom line. Sometimes, one or both of these entities will attempt to reduce or deny your claim to compensation. They may claim you ignored safety guidelines, or that your injury occurred off-the-clock. They may retaliate against your claim with hostility and threats. Our workers compensation attorneys at Wettermark Keith know how best to counter these efforts and maximize your claim.
Common Accidents And Injuries At Work In Florida
At Wettermark Keith, we stand up for workers in the Florida Panhandle. We understand the most common risks they face and the injuries that arise from work-related accidents. We’re here to provide counsel, support, and advocacy after any type of work-related accident, in any industry. Some common accidents and injuries we see in our workers' compensation cases include:
- Construction site accidents
- Transportation accidents
- Falls (from heights and flat surfaces)
- Repetitive motion injuries and strains
- Cuts and lacerations
- Eye or ear injuries
- Broken bones
- Exposure to toxins
- Fires and explosions
- Struck-by falling objects
- Electric shock and electrocution
- Stuck in or between equipment
- Criminal assaults and acts of violence
Our lawyers have a combined 50 plus years of experience helping injured workers throughout Florida, Tennessee, and Alabama. In that time, we’ve handled more than 35,000 successful settlements and verdicts for thousands of clients. Our attorneys know how to negotiate and litigate work injury claims in the Florida Panhandle, regardless of the specific injuries involved.
How Does Workers' Compensation Work in Panama City, Pensacola, and Other Areas in Florida?
In Panama City, Florida, workers’ compensation is a collective system that provides financial benefits and medical care to those that are injured or who become ill due to their job duties. The program is administered by the state under the jurisdiction of its Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), which reviews claims in order to determine eligibility for coverage. Once an employee has filed a claim, the DWC will review any supporting documents such as doctor's notes and bills before making their decision on whether or not benefits are due. If approved, these benefits can include wage replacement, medical care, and death benefits for surviving family members in cases where an employee was killed on duty.
The process of filing a claim for workers' compensation in Florida requires the submission of all relevant documentation, such as witness statements or photos, along with copies of all medical bills and doctor's notes proving that your condition was work-related. Additionally, employees must adhere to strict deadlines when submitting paperwork to avoid delaying proceedings unnecessarily. Any late submissions may result in processing times being hindered or, in the worse-case scenario, rejected altogether.
Furthermore, there are certain limitations regarding who qualifies for this type of coverage-- only those who can prove they were injured or became ill while performing their job duties qualify for its benefits. This means that any injury sustained outside of work won't be covered under workers’ compensation laws.
What Are The Benefits of Workers' Compensation in Florida?
Workers’ comp in Panama City, Pensacola, and other areas of Florida offers a variety of benefits to those who are injured or ill due to their job. These benefits include medical care, wage replacement, and death benefits for surviving family members. Medical care is provided without cost and includes both physical and mental health services that are necessary for the successful recovery of an employee from a work-related injury or illness.
Wage replacement provides temporary financial support while the employee is unable to return to their job, giving them time to recover. Additionally, death benefits can be used by surviving family members of workers who were killed on the job to help cope with any additional costs associated with their loved one’s passing, such as funeral expenses and managing their assets. By providing assistance and relief through its workers’ compensation system, Florida governs the benefits that the injured worker is entitled.
Workers' compensation cases always involve a lot of paperwork, claims, investigation, and evidence. If you’ve been involved in a traumatic accident, the last thing you need is to be going back and forth with your employers trying to prove your case with a never-ending stream of paperwork. Instead, your recovery should be your main priority.
At Wettermark Keith, our workers' comp attorneys are able to build your case, compare your options, and advise you throughout the entire process, making this stressful time slightly more bearable for you.
Are You Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?
In Florida, employers with four or more employees (full-time or part-time) are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. Nearly all employees, excluding independent contractors or the self-employed, must have Florida workers’ compensation. Employers who fail to have workers’ compensation insurance may face penalties from regulators.
It is important to note that individuals that are classified as independent contractors or volunteers may not be covered under the state's workers’ compensation laws, unless they have been specifically included in their employer's policy. In addition to being employed by a company operating within the state of Florida, employees must also have suffered from an injury or illness that is related directly or indirectly to their job duties in order to receive benefits through this system.
Your accident must be reported to your employer within 30 days of suffering from said injury or illness; however, it is strongly advised to report your accident as soon as possible. Your employer then has up to 7 days to report your injury to their insurance company. Otherwise, it may not be possible to obtain coverage and benefits from the program. The, The insurance company must send you an informational brochure within 3 days of receiving the report from your employer. This brochure will list out your rights and responsibilities. It will also provide more information about the workers' compensation law in Florida. You can find a copy of this brochure here.
If you employer refuses to report the incident to their insurance company, you have full rights to report the injury to them yourself. If you need assistance, do not hesitate to contact a workers' compensation attorney at Wettermark Keith for further guidance.
Is There a Time Limit For Contacting Workers' Compensation Lawyers in Florida After an Injury?
In the state of Florida, including all beach areas and cities, all workers’ compensation claims must be filed within 30 days from the incident the injury or illness was incurred.There is an exception for special circumstances, such as individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition that has developed over time due to occupational exposure. If these special circumstances apply to you or a loved one, we encourage you to speak to a workers' compensation attorney from Wettermark Keith as soon as possible.
If any employee fails to submit the necessary documentation and/or paperwork outlining details of an incident resulting in harm incurred before the expiration date, then their case may be dismissed without further review, ruining the chance for recovery. It is important for those searching for relief through this process to understand there are certain exceptions where claimants may still receive benefits even after the filing deadline has passed.
These instances include catastrophic injuries that can take an extended period of time before being recognized by medical personnel, as well as situations where an employer fraudulently denied coverage knowing that the employee had a valid claim against them.
If you're worried that you have reached the time limit for your workers' comp case, it's recommended that you consult an experienced workers' comp attorney to ensure compliance with applicable laws, maximizing the potential outcome of a successful workers’ compensation claim.
Can I Sue If My Employer Refuses My Workers’ Comp Claim?
In most cases, Panama City, FL, employers are required by law to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, which means they are shielded from many personal injury lawsuits; however, if your employer or their insurance company denies your claim, there is still hope for a recovery because you may be able to file a petition for benefits.
It’s best to exhaust all options before taking your employer to court. Before anything, we recommend that you contact your employer to find out the reason for the denial. Some paperwork may be misplaced, or there may be a simple misunderstanding. By checking, you may be able to secure workers’ compensation with no extra effort.
If this doesn't work, however, the next course of action is filing a petition for benefits. This is followed by a mediation and an administrative hearing.In order to stay within the statute of limitations, this petition must be made very quickly after the denial. Petitions can be denied, but are much more likely to succeed with the help of a workers' comp lawyer.
Even if your workers’ compensation claim is denied a second time, other options may be available, including an appeal. In order to decide what's next, you should contact a Wettermark Keith Workers' Compensation attorney in Florida to help you determine your next step. If you decide to take your employer to court, having a good lawyer on your side is absolutely essential. At Wettermark Keith, we can help you decide your best option, build a strong case, and fight on your behalf in court.
Frequently Asked Questions
The state of Florida requires employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees to protect them from work-related injuries or illnesses. In the event of such a situation, it may be necessary to consult with lawyers who specializes in workers' comp. Attorneys can ensure that you have the correct paperwork to file to create your case.
Lawyers will ensure that employees receive the benefits that they are entitled to by representing them if their claim is denied or challenged by their employer. Furthermore, an experienced attorney will be able to advise on other legal options available for injured workers, including filing personal injury claims and seeking damages from third parties for worker’s compensation.
Speak to Panama City Workers' Compensation Lawyers Today
Discuss your unique case, workplace injuries, and rights as an injured worker with an experienced attorney at no cost or obligation today. Schedule a meeting with Wettermark Keith in Panama City, Pensacola, or Tallahassee. We’ll listen to your story and give you our best legal advice about how we believe you should proceed. Contact us today for more information.
To learn more about workers' compensation lawyers, contact our Panama City office today to speak to a workers' compensation attorney.