The Law Office of A. Scott Gow, P.A., is here to help. Mr. Gow has been handling workers' compensation cases in South Florida for over 20 years. If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to medical care and lost wages at the expense of your employer's workers' compensation insurance company.
We do not sue your employer; we file Petitions for Benefits against your employer's workers' compensation insurance company. It is against the law for your employer to fire you because you were injured on the job or because you decided to file a workers' compensation claim. It is also against the law for your employer to fire you for hiring a lawyer to help you with your workers' compensation claim.
The workers' compensation insurance company will not let you pick your own doctor, but if you hire us we may be able to get you to a doctor of your choice and get the insurance company to agree to authorize and pay for your you to see your own doctor. If you are falling behind on your bills because of your work-related accident, we may be able to get you an immediate advance payment of compensation so you can get caught up on our bills.
If you have questions about workers' compensation law and whether you qualify for workers' compensation benefits, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation and discuss your options. If we take your case and determine that you are not being provided with all the benefits you are entitled to then we will immediately file a Petition for Benefits with the workers' compensation court and ask the workers' compensation judge to order the insurance company to provide your benefits and we will seek penalties and interest against the insurance company if possible.
In most cases, after our clients have received their workers' compensation benefits and gotten the medical care they need for their injuries we are usually able to negotiate a lump sum settlement from the workers' compensation insurance company without even having to go to court.
You should consult with an experienced and professional workers compensation attorney such as Mr. Gow immediately after you are injured on the job. There are specific time constraints and deadlines after your accident that could affect your right to workers' compensation benefits and the insurance company will not always agree to provide you with your workers' compensation benefits on a timely basis unless you hire a lawyer. In your particular case, your workers' compensation benefits could include the following:
As soon as your employer's workers' compensation insurance company has knowledge of your work-related injury and has determined that your injury or illness is covered under Florida law, the insurance company SHOULD:
- Provide and pay for you to receive medical care immediately
- Provide transportation to all your medical appointments or reimburse you for your mileage to your medical appointments
- Provide an interpreter for you at your medical appointments if necessary
- Pay for all the prescriptions you receive from your workers' compensation physicians
- Doctor visits
- Limited chiropractic treatment
- Travel expenses to and from authorized medical treatment or a pharmacy
- Physical therapy
- Diagnostic tests such as MRIs or X-rays
- Prescription drugs
- And more…
Once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), you are required to pay a $10 co-payment per visit for medical treatment. MMI occurs when the physician treating you determines that your injury or illness has healed to the extent that further improvement is not likely.
WAGE LOSS/INDEMNITY BENEFITS
If you are unable to work or your earnings are lower because of a work-related injury of illness, you may be able to receive some wage loss benefits. You may be eligible for these benefits if you have been disabled for more than seven calendar days and are not able to perform your normal job duties as advised by your authorized doctor.
If you qualify, wage loss benefits will begin on the eighth day of partial or total disability. You will not receive wage loss benefits for the first seven days of disability, unless you are disabled for more than 21 days due to your work-related injury or illness.
In most cases, the wage loss benefits will equal two-thirds of your pre-injury regular weekly wage, but the benefit will not be higher than Florida's average weekly wage. You can generally expect to receive your first benefit check within 21 days after the carrier becomes aware of your injury or illness and bi-weekly thereafter.
TEMPORARY TOTAL BENEFITS
These benefits are provided as a result of an injury or illness that temporarily prevents you from returning to work, and you have no reached MMI.
TEMPORARY PARTIAL BENEFITS
These benefits are provided when the doctor releases you to return to work on a light duty basis with restrictions and you have not reached MMI and earn less than 80 percent of your pre-injury wage. You may also be entitled to additional lost wages if you miss time from a second job even if it's with a different company.
PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT BENEFITS
These benefits are provided when the injury of illness causes any physical, psychological or functional loss and the impairment exists after the date of MMI. Your workers' compensation doctor should assign you a permanent impairment rating, expressed as a percentage of disability to the body as a whole.
PERMANENT TOTAL BENEFITS
These benefits are provided when your work restrictions prevent you from returning to work in any capacity and the injury causes you to be permanently and totally disabled according to the conditions stated in the law.
Compensation for deaths resulting from workplace accidents includes payment of funeral expenses and dependency benefits (subject to limits defined by law). A dependent spouse may also be eligible for job training benefits.
If you have questions about workers' compensation law and whether or not you qualify, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation and discuss your options.