A recent news story was reported in local papers on November 19, 2009 about a man who fell about 25 feet into the cargo hold of a ship, The Danica Sunbeam. The man had to be hoisted out of the cargo hold using a basket and crane/lift so that he could be transported to the hospital.
The latest reports indicate that the man is in miraculously stable condition and has suffered several injuries, including a broken arm. This is a classic example of a workers compensation case and how these cases happens everyday, even in situations, such as this, where safety is such a tremendous part of the employee’s responsibility. But what is interesting about Workers Compensation law in Florida is that Florida operates under a “no fault” system as it applies to work accidents. Therefore, whether the accident could have been avoided either by actions of the injured employee or the employer, the injured worker will be covered for his medical treatment and any wages that he loses as a result of any disability.
There are some exceptions to the general rule that was outlined, however an attorney who is well-versed in Workers Compensation cases such as The Injury Law Clinic, P.A. can help you understand those exceptions and nuances in the law to best protect your rights. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at work in Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach counties, please call us for a free consultation, toll-free at (877) 215-3529.
When to Hire an Attorney in a Personal Injury Claim
When you suffer an injury in an accident, there are many things to consider and many details that need your attention. It is an extremely stressful process. Of course, the most immediate and important concern is to obtain medical treatment for your injury. Sometimes, an injury can be treated quickly. However, the most serious injuries need more substantial treatment and can be very painful in terms of recovery. The medical bills pile up quickly and wages are lost. Additionally, you have to deal with damages to your vehicle, rental cars or other property damage.
Much people are not sufficiently insured in when it comes to most if not all of the expenses listed above, however, you may have coverage and need help getting the benefits you paid for. For example, a person may have health insurance to cover the medical treatment, private disability insurance to cover the loss of wages and automobile insurance that may cover both medical treatment AND lost wages.
Benefits to Hiring an Attorney for your Personal Injury
There are many benefits to retaining an attorney as quickly as possible after an accident occurs. Both you insurance company as well as the insurance company of the other party involved in the incident, will start to ask questions about what happened, take statements, and request that you fill out forms and sign documents. Following an accident, the police will often ask questions as well. An attorney can handle this process for you. This will relieve some of the stress of the process, so that you may focus on your recovery, but also this will assure that you do not say something to the insurance company or the police that could damage your case. Some insurance companies also try to press people to accept settlements early in the process of a claim. If you do not have a lawyer, the insurance companies frequently offer significantly less money that they would offer if you had an attorney because when you have an attorney, the insurance companies will pay additional monies to avoid the possibility of litigation which may be very costly. If you were seriously injured in an accident or if there is any dispute about who was at fault in the accident, it is important to retain a lawyer as soon as it is possible to protect your rights.
At The Injury Law Clinic, P.A. you will receive the highest level of representation in your personal injury case. If you have suffered in an accident as a result of the negligence of another, call toll-free TODAY – (877)215-3LAW (3529).
The state of Florida has strict regulations under Worker’s Compensation that require most employers to pay into Worker’s Compensation. To look up your employer, visit the Proof of Coverage Database to make sure that you are covered. We also recommend that you download the Worker’s Compensation System Guide in order to fully understand what both you, your employer, and your employer’s insurance company are obligated to do under the law.
In the Guide, you will see that your employer must pay for your medical treatment. They are responsible for arranging things with the insurance company and making sure that they are covered for you; that is not your job. What you and your family will want to understand is your policy on co-payments and anything else that may be your obligation. Keep careful track of any expenses that you have that pertain to medical care so that those expenses can be included in your claim, whether you are covered or not with the insurance company. That money may be recoverable.
The time of and directly after the accident is crucial, both legally and medically. Have your family keep extensive records of every detail of medical care, symptoms, and anything else that may relate to your claim. You should only undergo a waiting period of seven days after the accident. A claims adjuster from your employer’s insurance company should also be calling you within 24 hours after the accident and you should receive an informational packet in the mail. During this period, you will be asked to sign a number of forms that your employer will insist are necessary. Some are, and some are designed to limit the liabilities of your employer. It is vital that you retain counsel directly after the accident and pass any papers on to their offices for examination, excepting the ones that they agree must be signed immediately. Remember that you can only exercise your rights as an injured worker if you have as many facts as possible available to you and your counsel.
While there is a lot of information on the website for the Florida Department of Financial Services, only a lawyer will be able to tell you the full story as it relates to your situation. Many of the regulations are designed to protect employers and insurance companies against fraud and make it difficult for a truly injured worker to navigate the choppy seas of Worker’s Compensation. You do have extensive rights under Worker’s Compensation in Florida, and we are here to ensure that the obligations of your employer to you are met in full.