Have You Been Injured On the Job? Discover How to Get Your Medical Bills Paid, How to Calculate Your Wage Loss Benefits, What to Do if Your Workers' Comp Claim is Denied, and Other Tips from Orlando's Expert Workers' Compensation Attorneys

Have you or someone you love been hurt at work? If so, there are probably a thousand questions running through your mind.

  • How will you pay your bills if you are out of work?
  • Who will pay your medical bills? 
  • Can you return to work?
  • Can you perform the same job you did before? If not, will you be fired?

These are just a few of the questions that an injured employee may be wondering. And these thoughts are normal to have! Workers' compensation can be an incredibly confusing, complicated process.

Do You Need an Attorney for Your Florida Workers' Comp Case? 

Another question many injured workers have is whether or not they need legal representation for their workers' comp claim. Is it really worth the effort to seek an attorney? Workers' comp can be a tedious and complicated process, and having an experienced attorney to help can sometimes mean the difference between a denied or accepted claim.

What’s My First Step and What Are My Workers' Comp Benefits?

If you have experienced any kind of accident at work, report it to your employer within 30 days of the accident and have them file a First Report of Injury form immediately.

No matter how big or small the injury was, notifying your employer and filling out that form is the best first step towards protecting yourself. If nothing comes of the accident--great! But if a small injury does not heal properly or begins to worsen in some way, having the proof that it happened and that you told your employer will be an enormous factor in your workers' comp claim.

Worker’s compensation cases have little to do with whose fault the accident was. If you were injured on the job, you are entitled to payment of medical bills and lost wages.
The benefits you are entitled as an injured worker include:
  • The payment of medical bills from the accident.
  • Wage loss checks if the injury puts you out of work.
  • Reimbursement for the expense of driving to doctor appointments.
  • Transportation to and from doctor's appointments, if you do not have your own transportation.
  • Prescription medications
  • Possible rehabilitation and training for a new job.
  • House modification 
  • Home health care

Note that workers’ comp does not have a monetary limit, however a claims adjustor can micromanage your care and wage loss, possibly decreasing the benefits you recieve. 

Medical benefits begin immediately after your workers' compensation claim is filed and your claim does not have to be accepted for the bills to be paid. If you are still in the process of filing a claim, tell your doctor, and your insurer will be billed.

Unfortunately, workers' comp is notoriously slow in paying wage loss, and it is perfectly legal for them to respond slowly. 

3 Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Workers' Comp Claim

1) Signing a medical release
It is usually never a good idea to sign a medical release unless you fully understand what you are signing. Doing so can harm your case. Be very careful as some insurance companies may try to trick you into signing a release.

2) Giving recorded statements
You are not required to give an insurance company a recorded statement. Remember, the other side's insurance company is going to try to save them as much money as possible. They may try to trick you to give a statement that could be used against you later.

3) Not being up front about prior accidents or injuries
It is incredibly important to be honest about your injuries in a workers' comp claim. For instance, if you have a shoulder injury, and have injured your shoulder in the past--mention it! If your current injury is somehow related to the injury-in-question and you fail to mention your past injury, they may accuse you of fraud.

How Much Will Workers' Comp Pay Me in Wage Loss?

The workers’ comp insurance company will pay you 66 and ⅔ of your average weekly wage if you were injured on the job and unable to work.

The amount the workers’ comp carrier has to pay you is dependent upon the wages you received in the 13 weeks before you were injured. It does not matter if you had taken a few weeks off or if you had not worked a full 40 hours for whatever reason.

How to Calculate Wage Loss Benefits

You will need to provide your paycheck to determine your weekly wage. As a general rule, take care that your hours and wages are properly documented. Detrimental issues can arise if you have improper time records or failed to declare all income (such as tips). 

In order to calculate your lost wage benefits, the employee or their attorney must…

  • Add up the total amount of wages for the 13 weeks (or 91 days) preceding the injury.
  • Divide this number by 13, and the result is your "AWW" - your average weekly wage.
  • Take 66.66% of your AWW and that will be the amount of your wage loss checks. 

​Your paychecks should be the only evidence you need to prove your wages.

Q: What if I Make My Income Through Tips?
A: Tips, commissions, and other untaxed income can be added to the equation if the employer is aware that it is part of the employee’s income. It is very important for waiters and other service industry workers to claim tips on tax returns in order to receive the deserved benefits.

Q: Am I Compensated for Income Made at a Second Job?
A: If you were injured on the job and have a second job, then your workers’ comp benefits could be calculated based upon both jobs. In order for this to take place, the second job must have also had worker’s comp insurance and the employee needed to have paid taxes on income made there as well.

What Happens if My Workers' Comp Claim is Denied?

If your employer refuses to pay benefits, or is slow to pay benefits for a qualified injury, you can file a "Petition for Benefits" (or PFB). A PFB is a formal request for benefits.

Learn more about how to fill out a PFB and where to file it in my video here:

What is My Workers' Comp Case Worth? 

There is no single factor used to determine the value of case, however, there are a few common criteria used by experienced attorneys to determine value.

These include:

  • Your age.
  • Your level of education.
  • Your personal injuries.
  • The likelihood that you will recover from your injuries.
  • The estimated cost of future medical care and treatment (if your injuries continue).
  • How much you earned at your job.
  • Your overall work history.

5 Tips for Injured Workers

In order to properly preserve your workers' comp claim, you should do the following:

1) Report your accident to your supervisor immediately. Demand that an accident report be filled out.

2) Get medical treatment. If possible, get specialized treatment (specialized doctors have years of experience for one area of the body).

3) Contact an experienced Florida workers' comp law firm.

4) Gather contact information of potential witnesses, including names, addresses and telephone numbers.

5) Keep a copy of all the medical reports and bills you receive.

Do You Still Have Questions?

Call 407.648.4940 or Click here to contact Coye Law Firm today for a free consultation. 

Discover POWERFUL SECRETS and COMMON LIES of Florida Workers' Compensation 

Struggling with the workers' comp process? Request a FREE copy of my workers' compensation book, Sharing the Secrets, Learning the Lies: A Guide to Florida Workers' Compensation and you will be squared away in no time.

Want to read the first 20 pages? You can click here for an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at the first few pages of my book. 

From my book you will learn...

  • The one thing you MUST do within 30 days of a work injury (page 16)
  • How to fill out a First Report of Injury form (page 20)
  • The first step you need to take to receive wage loss benefits (page 54)
  • What medical decisions your employer can make for you (page 26)
  • How to protect your benefits after being placed on light duty (page 38)
  • How to deal with rude workers' compensation doctors (page 39)
  • Disastrous workers' comp traps to avoid (page 83)
  • Others methods to pay for your medical costs (page 45)
  • What "maximum medical improvement" means for a claimant (page 63)
  • ...and much more.​

Request Sharing the Secrets, Learning the Lies: A Guide to Florida Workers' Compensation today and receive your free copy in 3- 5 days.

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