Feldman Williams, PLLC has workers compensation attorneys in Tampa with extensive experience protecting the rights of workers affected by workplace accidents or job-related health conditions. If you have suffered a work-related injury or disabling condition, you can be confident our attorneys can maximize your benefits or negotiate a higher lump sum settlement of your workers’ compensation case. We represent a diverse clientele, from construction workers and factory workers to drivers, nurses and office workers injured on the job.
Feldman Williams attorneys fully understand complex workers’ compensation laws and will not hesitate to fight your insurance company to obtain the just benefits you need and deserve. If you would like to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Tampa, please contact us today for a free initial assessment. We also have a Jacksonville workers compensation lawyer who can help you if you live in that area.
FLORIDA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS
The Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act (Chapter 440) provides injured workers with many important rights and benefits. For example, you should have an automatic entitlement to disability payments to make up for lost income. You also have the right to free medical care and additional compensation for permanent injury or disfigurement. This is true even if the injury or illness occurred outside of your normal job functions. In addition, if you are an employee who travels to Florida on business for an out of state employer, you are entitled to benefits under Chapter 440 if you were injured in Florida. Call our Florida workers compensation lawyers at Feldman Williams for a free assessment, even if your employer is out of state.
You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even in the absence of your employer’s fault or negligence. In fact, if the injury was your fault, you may still be eligible for compensation. If a loved one was killed in a workplace accident, dependent spouses and children are also entitled to workers’ comp death benefits.
WHY YOU MAY NEED A TAMPA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYER
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims do not always go as smoothly as one would hope, which is why you may need legal counsel. When you are injured, the reality is that you become an adversary of the employer and insurance carrier. The two have a mutual, joint financial interest in keeping you from receiving your full entitlement to benefits for medical treatment and disability. In fact, it is not uncommon for an employer and insurance company to join together to find means to avoid or minimize an injured worker’s benefits.
Many times, a worker’s benefits are unfairly slashed, reduced or terminated after the insurance-approved doctor says they have reached “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). Our Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers have seen this type of thing happen time and again. Sometimes, an employer goes so far as to unlawfully retaliate against a worker for pursuing benefits, or even terminates the injured employee. Our firm has filed many lawsuits seeking justice for clients who are victims of unlawful retaliation and wrongful termination.
Feldman Williams can step in to protect your interests at any stage of the process. We routinely handle initial claims for treatment of injuries and wage loss benefits, as well as denied claims and appeals of the judge’s final compensation orders. Our Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys provide complete assistance in work injury cases from start to finish — when the case ultimately yields a lump-sum benefit.
CLAIMS AND COMPENSATION
There are a wide variety of compensable claims under worker’s comp, including work-related traffic accidents (which may involve employees traveling into Florida for an out-of-state employer) and any chronic condition that develops as a complication of an on-the-job accident. Common cases involve falls, burns, repetitive traumas, chemical exposure, slips and falls, and more.
Feldman Williams, PLLC helps employees get fair compensation for injuries and illnesses sustained in the workplace. We help you pursue any and all benefits you are entitled to under the law, including:
- Compensation for permanent disability
- Lost wages or salary
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Retraining costs
- Dependents’ recovery for a worker’s death.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A WORKPLACE INJURY
Injured workers must take appropriate steps to ensure their workers’ compensation claim is as successful as possible. If you have sustained an on-the-job injury, the following actions should be taken:
- Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. Workers’ comp claims must be reported within 30 days of the initial injury.
- Request a notice of injury form (DWC-1). This form is provided by your employer, who must fill out the top section and send the form to the insurance carrier.
- Seek immediate medical treatment, even for “minor” injuries. It is important to document your injury and get a diagnosis. Unless it is an emergency situation, you must select an initial physician approved by the insurance company.
- Make a list of witnesses. Witnesses will usually be your coworkers, unless you are involved in a job-related traffic accident. Collect names and contact information, if possible.
- Find out whether the employer has a managed care arrangement (MCA). A workers’ comp MCA means you are limited to a preselected group of medical providers and care facilities.
- Write down everything your employer says to you. Taking down notes after your conversation(s) will help refresh your memory of events that could be important to your case.
- Do not give any recorded statements to the insurance carrier. The insurance representative is trained to elicit comments that could prove detrimental to your case.
- Contact our firm to schedule your free initial assessment. In many cases, it is in your best interest to secure the help of a Florida workers’ comp attorney from the outset.
- Follow the doctor’s orders, including staying off the job. Give your injury due time to heal in order to avoid complications or a chronic condition.
- Do not treat injuries on your own or with private health insurance unless the employer and carrier refuse to provide benefits. It is important to follow strict procedure if you wish to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
- Document your mileage to and from medical appointments. You are entitled to be reimbursed by the insurance carrier for travel expenses related to your injury.
- If you are placed on work restriction by the treating physician, ask whether your employer has any light-duty positions. Your employer should make every effort to accommodate your need for less strenuous work.
WHEN TO FILE A CLAIM
If your employer denies you workers’ compensation benefits and refuses to negotiate the matter, it may be time to file a grievance with the insurance carrier. If this step brings no relief, you can file a petition with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC).
You are entitled to legal representation, and it is often best to obtain it, as well as to understand important statute of limitations rules for your case. Time is of the essence when you need to preserve your rights and secure crucial evidence before it is lost or destroyed. With an experienced law firm on your side, you can feel more comfortable with the process and ensure your rights are fully protected.
WAIVING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
It is important to understand that accepting workers’ compensation benefits will limit your rights to other legal remedies against a negligent employer. A personal injury claim can include compensation for general damages and pain and suffering, whereas a workers’ comp claim cannot. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa are skilled at analyzing whether it is best for you to waive your workers’ comp claim and seek recovery for negligence in civil court.
We can also help you determine whether you should also pursue a negligent third-party case. The Feldman Williams legal team explores third-party lawsuits against machinery manufacturers, jobsite subcontractors, property owners or other parties whose negligence may have contributed to a serious job-related injury or death.
APPEALING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DECISIONS
Florida workers’ compensation laws and the process of obtaining benefits can be complicated and frustrating. In many cases, workers’ compensation claims are initially denied. If your claim is denied, you have a limited time to appeal the decision. Our attorneys can help you successfully maneuver through the complex bureaucratic process of appealing to the Florida workers’ compensation board.
SKILLED ATTORNEYS PROTECT FLORIDA WORKERS
Only experienced workers’ compensation attorneys put you in a position to obtain the best possible recovery or financial settlement for your injuries. Unlike other firms who push their clients to take a quick and easy (low ball) settlement, Feldman Williams is always willing to take your case to court. We don’t back down from any employer or insurance carrier. Our attorneys have fought national, big-name insurance companies for years, working to obtain the full workers’ compensation benefits our clients are entitled to receive.
WHEN EXPERIENCE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Managing attorney Mitchell Feldman has argued dozens of cases before judges of compensation claims throughout the State of Florida, including trials in Ft. Myers, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Ocala, Gainesville, Lakeland, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Orlando, Panama City, Tallahassee and Jacksonville, and has amassed an excellent, winning trial record.
Attorney Feldman has handled thousands of workers’ compensation cases dating back to 1996 and knows the complex legal framework that governs these claims. His many years of experience defending insurance companies before the OJCC in multiple geographic regions gives him and the firm valuable insight into the workers’ compensation system — as well as an understanding of the tactics insurance companies use to minimize benefits. We know the judges, the physicians and the attorneys routinely involved in Florida workers’ comp cases, and we know how their involvement can affect the outcome of a case (either negatively or positively).
GET THE HELP YOU NEED FROM OUR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY IN TAMPA
Feldman Williams, PLLC, helps employees throughout Florida and Georgia to file workers’ comp claims and appeal workers’ comp denials. To discuss specific information regarding your injury with a dedicated attorney, contact us to schedule a free initial assessment.
With Feldman Williams, you’ll find convenient workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa and in our additional locations in Jacksonville, and Atlanta. For your convenience, we can arrange a meeting at your home, hospital or any public place, or the consultation can be completely handled over the telephone.