Workers’ Comp Works for You?
For those who are not aware, the workers’ compensation system in the State of Florida is largely unfair to injured workers……
Don’t believe me? Ask anyone you know who has been injured at work in Florida what types of headaches they had to endure while attempting to navigate their claim.
For example, many people do not know that workers’ compensation insurance companies can administratively deny your benefits. What this means is that, at any time, they can make an executive determination that you, the injured worker, are not entitled to benefits. At that point, the only recourse you have is to file a pleading called a “Petition for Benefits” in order to get your claim before a Judge who will make the ultimate determination as to what benefits you may be entitled to. Unfortunately, this can be a very long and frustrating process for a worker who is injured, stuck at home, and unable to work.
Within 130 days of filing that Petition, a mediation relating to the issues in the case must be held. If the parties fail to resolve the issues at that time, the injured worker must wait up to another 90 days for a Final Hearing to be held. Once the Final Hearing is concluded, the Judge will issue a Final Compensation Order detailing what benefits the injured worker is entitled to. Oftentimes, it can take up to 30 days for the Judge to issue their Order. You would think that would end the process, but, unfortunately, it does not; the injured worker must then wait up to an additional 30 days from the date of the Judge’s Order for the appeals time frame to run.
If you have been following along, then you now know that this process can, at times, take up to 8 months! All the while, the injured worker is either out of work completely, or unable to work in the same capacity as he (or she) was prior to their work accident. The law is patently unfair in this regard, considering that many people have families to care for and financial obligations to meet on a recurring basis.
Needless to say, if our lawyers become involved in your case at an early stage, we can help you avoid many of the pitfalls that come along with this flawed system. If benefits are being wrongfully denied, we prepare and file the necessary pleadings without delay, with the goal of getting you back to health and back to work as soon as possible. In the event you are unable to return to work, we fight to get you permanent benefits and we can even help you apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
If you find yourself in need of help trying to navigate the uncertain and harsh waters that we know as the workers’ compensation system in our great State of Florida, do not wait CALL US!!! Things can get bad but we can always make them better.