Trusted Representation In Florida Since 1987

Q&A – Workers’ Compensation (James Adams)

How does workers’ compensation work?

This claim arises when a person sustains a compensable injury while acting within the course and scope of employment, and the employer maintains workers compensation coverage.

When should I hire a workers’ compensation attorney?

Immediately upon determining if there has been an injury at work.

What benefits am I entitled to with workers’ compensation?

You are entitled to a portion of your wage loss, medical care, prescription drugs, and mileage reimbursement. However, many claims are often settled for a lump sum amount of money. Lump sum settlements are not required by statute. Settlement is strictly voluntary. The employer cannot make you settle, you cannot make an employer settle. A Workers Compensation cannot and will not conduct a trial on damages.

How much does a workers’ compensation attorney charge?

Attorney fees are limited by statute to a 20/15/10 formula which is 20% for the first $5,000, 15% for the next $5,000 and 10% for every dollar thereafter. There is, however, an exception to the 20/15/10 rule under which the attorney may collect up to 25% of the lump sum settlement.

What steps should I take after a workplace injury?

Immediately notify your supervisor that you have sustained an injury and advise the supervisor that you would like to initiate a claim for benefits under the worker’s compensation statute, request of your employer preparation of a first report of injury, ask for name and number of worker compensation carrier, ask for name of an authorized facility at which to receive initial treatment, keep records of your employer’s replies. First and foremost, demand of your employer that a worker compensation claim be opened and reported to the Workers Compensation carrier. Even though the employer is already obligated to do these things, not all employers take the first step.

How long does it take to receive workers’ compensation benefits?

Medical care will take place upon determination that an employee sustained a compensable injury. Once there has been a determination that the employee has sustained a compensable injury, the obligation shifts to the employer/carrier to pay for the medical care, prescription drugs ordered by the authorized treating physician, and mileage reimbursement. Wage loss benefits are not due unless and until the injured worker has been taken out of work by an authorized treating physician for at least a period of 7 consecutive days. After an employee has missed a week, the carrier then has 14 days to issue the first temporary total disability (TTD) check. Therefore, if the injured employee immediately received care from day 1 and was taken out of work on day 1, the employer/carrier is required to issue one week of temporary total disability benefits no later than 21 days after the date of injury. TTD benefits are equal to 66 2/3% of the gross average weekly wage of the injured employee.

Can I choose my own doctor for a workers’ compensation claim?


What if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Therefore it is important to call an attorney before the carrier has gotten the chance to deny your claim. In other words, call an attorney right away.

Do I need a lawyer for a workers’ compensation settlement?

An injured worker may attempt to resolve any or all parts of a WC claim without an attorney, but the employer/carrier will have an attorney representing its interests so retaining an attorney, while not required, is a good idea.

What rights do I have under workers’ compensation laws?
Right to medical care for compensable injuries, a portion of wage loss when placed on TTD or TPD by an authorized treating physician, mileage reimbursement, prescription medication when it is prescribed by an authorized treating physician.