Frequently Asked Workers’ Compensation Questions

Do I need to call my workers' compensation attorney after all my doctor’s appointments?

It is important to keep your attorney updated on your medical treatment and progress. It is not, however, necessary to contact your attorney’s office after every single doctor’s appointment. If your doctor discusses something important about your injuries that you feel your attorney should know, don’t hesitate to inform your attorney’s office. Additionally, if your doctor refers you out to a special or for diagnostic testing, such as an MRI, it is important to let your attorney know.

Do I have a valid workers' compensation case?

You likely have a valid claim if your injury occurred during the course and scope of your employment. Depending on how and where your injury occurred, you could potentially have a personal injury case as well. This is especially true if your accident occurred while delivering or driving somewhere for work. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help you determine not only the validity of your workers' compensation claim, but also if there are any other potential claims for which you deserve compensation.

Is there anything I can do if I've had a bad experience with my workers' compensation doctor?

Our office frequently receives complaints from our injured clients regarding how they were treated by their workers' compensation doctor. In Florida, workers' compensation doctors are generally chosen by the insurance company. These doctors often appear to be over-worked, underpaid, or simply don’t care about a worker’s injury. One of the best things you can do to remedy this situation is to voice your opinion. Make a call or write letters to local and non-local government officials requesting a change in the current unfairness in workers' compensation laws. The big dollar insurance companies should not be the only group being heard. Injured workers and their attorneys should also be heard. Injured parties and their attorneys should be treated with the respect they deserve. Injured workers should have the right to choose their own doctors who will be attentive to their needs. Injured workers should not be required to wait 210 days to receive a hearing to determine whether benefits should be paid on their behalf. Penalties should be imposed on the insurance companies who delay an injured worker’s due compensation.

I am having difficulty having medical testing and procedures approved by my workers’ compensation adjuster, what should I do?

It is not uncommon in Florida for workers' compensation adjusters to sit on paperwork, delay, or even deny an injured worker his or her medical treatment even at times when this medical treatment has been authorized and recommended by an authorized treating physician. Do not fall for claims by your adjuster that you should “receive a second opinion or change your doctor.” If this occurs do not agree to anything until you have sought immediate legal advice from an experience workers' compensation attorney. The insurance company’s objective is to spend as little money as possible on your claim. They may be seeking to get you a new doctor, chosen by them, to ensure the new physician will not recommend the same procedure or testing as your original doctor and you will have wasted your only opportunity to receive a new doctor.

Is my workers compensation claim still open today?

An injured worker should continuously follow up at least once a year, if possible every six months, with their authorized workers' compensation physician. Even if you do not like your chosen doctor it is important to make this appointment to ensure your case will stay open. It is possible that even if your injury is not serious now, it may worsen over time and cause increased pain or cause you to miss work. If you are unsure if your claim is open or not you should try scheduling a follow up with your last authorized treating physician. If this is not possible, contact an attorney as he or she may be able to help determine if you claim is still open.

Am I suing my employer when I file a workers' compensation claim?

The technical answer to this question is no. Workers' compensation can be compared to car insurance in this instance. Workers' compensation insurance is coverage paid for by your employer in case one of their employees is injured while at work. Similarly, car insurance is purchased to protect against damages from a future automobile accident. When a workers' compensation claim is filed, you are simply filing a claim to obtain the benefits you are entitled under your employer’s policy.

How do I know if my employer has workers compensation coverage?

An employer in Florida who has four or more employees or a construction related employer is required to carry workers' compensation insurance. If the employer has four or more employees and does not carry workers compensation insurance the injured party may be able to bring a personal injury suit against the employer for the injuries the worker sustained. There are a few exceptions to what employers do or do not need workers' compensation coverage. A Florida workers' compensation attorney will be able to quickly determine if your employer has workers' compensation coverage and what legal options you have in the event you are injured.

How do I determine if hiring a workers' compensation attorney is right for me?

An experienced workers' compensation lawyer can prove to be invaluable when filing a claim. An experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of all the laws regarding filing a Florida workers' compensation claim will make sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled as an injured worker. Having a workers' compensation attorney on your side helps level the playing field when dealing with large insurance carriers who are seeking to settle claims as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

How do I chose a workers' compensation attorney?

There are several resources available to assist you in finding a Florida workers' compensation attorney. You should look up the available information on any attorney you are considering retaining to assist you in your workers' compensation claim. Look to see how long the lawyer has been handling workers' compensation cases. It is important that they are knowledgeable in all related laws and up to date with any recent changes. Every workers' compensation claim is different and your attorney and their staff need to give your case the appropriate attention and make sure it doesn’t simply fall through the cracks. Is the staff in the office friendly? You may be interacting frequently with your attorney and his staff. Make sure you choose and attorney and office that make you feel comfortable and are able to answer all your questions and concerns.

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