Many injured workers are confused by all of the requirements involved with filing a Florida workers’ compensation claim. Once you suddenly find yourself unable to work, you need to focus on obtaining the proper medical care, rehabilitation services, and wage benefits that you are entitled to.
Fortunately, the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation provides useful online materials to inform you about pursuing your claim. However, it’s always wise to start out by meeting with an attorney who can help you avoid making any filing mistakes that could compromise your chances of receiving benefits.
The following list notes some of the most important facts about how to file workers compensation in Florida.
Basic Facts Regarding Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws
- 30-Day Window to Report Your Injury. Under Florida law, you have 30 days to report your injury or illness to your employer. If you fail to meet this deadline, it can negatively affect your ability to receive benefits;
- Two-Year Window for Obtaining Your First Medical Care. In general, you have two years from the date of your injury or illness to file for worker’s compensation benefits;
- You Must File a Petition for Benefits to Receive Benefits if the Insurance Company Refuses to Provide Your Benefits. A knowledgeable Florida workers’ compensation lawyer can provide you with excellent advice about the various documents you must collect and file so your claim can be granted;
- Definition of MMI. MMI refers to what’s called your Maximum Medical Improvement status. 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 Benefits. If you qualify, you can receive these types of benefits that start on the eighth day of partial or total disability;
- Temporary Partial Benefits. You’re eligible to receive these benefits after your doctor (1) releases you to back to work with certain restrictions, (2) you haven’t reached your MMI (see definition above) and (3) you’re earning less than 80 percent (80%) of your “pre-injury wage;”
- Temporary Total Benefits. If you’ve incurred a work-related injury or illness and your claim is granted, you can receive these benefits while your injury/illness still prevents you from returning to work . . . if you haven’t reached MMI;
- Permanent Impairment Benefits. You can successfully file for these benefits if your illness or injury causes “any physical, psychological or functional loss and the impairment exists after the date of MMI;”
- Permanent Total Benefits. You may awarded these if your injury causes you to be “permanently and totally disabled” under specially defined conditions;
- Death Benefits. This type of compensation is often awarded after a workplace-related death. It can include funeral expenses and benefits paid to qualified beneficiaries.
If you’ve recently suffered a serious workers’ compensation injury or developed a critical illness due to your job, you need the help of a knowledgeable attorney. Contact the Law Offices of South Florida workers’ compensation attorney Joseph M. Maus. He can answer all of your questions and evaluate your claim. Please call today and schedule your free initial appointment:
(855) 999-LAWS TOLL FREE or locally at (954) 784-6310