Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in West Palm Beach
Earning a living is vital to you and your family’s comfort, wellbeing, and happiness. A workplace accident can shatter the routine and rhythm of this important pursuit, leaving you sidelined from your job and drowning under a flood of rapidly rising medical debt. This is where our West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorneys can help.
In Florida, most employers must purchase and maintain workers’ comp insurance policies. Regardless of whether or not the accident was your fault, if you were injured at work, this coverage may kick in to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other associated damages.
However, it’s not uncommon for employers and their insurance companies to challenge these claims. They may argue that you weren’t on the clock when the accident happened or might dispute whether your injuries are tied to the incident in question.
At Donaldson & Weston, our attorneys can help level the playing field, stepping in to assist you in your fight for a fair settlement. We’ve helped thousands of clients in workers’ compensation, personal injury, and wrongful death cases. Contact us today at 561-299-3999 to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.
Our Workers’ Comp Attorneys in West Palm Beach Can Help You Pursue a Fair Payout
There are no set formulas or methods for calculating settlement values. Instead, insurance companies and attorneys base their estimations on a variety of factors, such as:
- The Severity of Your Injuries: A slip and fall accident could lead to a concussion, brain trauma, or even a spinal injury. A car crash while making deliveries might leave the victim permanently disfigured or with a disability. Workplace injuries can range from a few cuts and bruises to life-altering or even fatal conditions. While workers’ compensation doesn’t cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, it is designed to reimburse victims for medical costs associated with their injuries. As such, more serious injuries will typically warrant greater compensation than relatively minor conditions.
- Lost Wages: In the event that you were unable to return to work due to your injuries, you may receive compensation for your lost wages. If your injuries or condition will prevent you from returning to work in the future or otherwise impact your income-earning capacity down the line, the value of future lost wages may also be factored into the settlement estimations. As such, your salary before the accident occurred will have a major impact on the value of such damages.
- Future Medical Bills: From medical procedures to pain management to physical therapy, if you have suffered a serious injury, it’s likely you will require long-term care. These medical expenses can add up quickly, putting strain on your finances. As such, it’s important to get accurate medical cost projections so you aren’t ambushed by unanticipated expenses down the road. Your attorney may consult with a medical expert to help determine the severity of your injuries, the necessary treatments, and whether you will require other medical interventions in the future. These projected medical costs might be factored into your potential settlement.
Types of Workplace Accidents
According to recent estimates, a worker is injured every 7 seconds in the United States. Not only are many of these injuries serious, but they can also lead to life-long complications and insurmountable medical debt. Even if you’re vigilant about staying safe on the job, a dangerous workspace, careless colleague, or overlooked hazard could still upend your life.
Below are a few examples of the most common workplace accidents:
- Slip and falls
- Muscle strains
- Falling objects
- Repetitive strain injury
- Crashes and collisions
- Cuts and lacerations
- Inhaling toxic fumes
- Exposure to loud noises
Common Reasons Why Workers’ Compensation Is Denied
Your employer or their insurer may be looking for any possible reason to reduce or deny your workers’ comp claim. After all, paying out significant amounts can have a major impact on their bottom line. However, their reasons must still be in line with law.
Here are a few common reasons why workers’ compensation claims are denied:
- You Filed a Claim After You Left Your Job: If you were fired, laid off, or quit your position at a company before filing, there’s a high likelihood the insurance company will deny your claim. However, if you are able to demonstrate—with strong evidence—why you delayed this crucial step, you may still have a chance of recovering fair compensation. For instance, if you were injured during your notice period or you reported your injury while you were still employed, you might still have grounds for a claim. Alternatively, if there’s evidence to suggest that you were fired in retaliation for reporting your workplace injury (which is illegal in Florida), you may also have a strong case for a financial award. Evidence to prove the latter could include emails showing harassment, paystubs demonstrating that your pay was cut after filing your claim, and documents proving that you had filed your claim before you were terminated.
- Disputes Regarding Whether Your Injury Is Work-Related: Your employer may assert that you were not on the clock when you were injured, that your condition does not stem from a workplace accident, or that you were engaging in misconduct at the time. To combat these disputes, you will need strong evidence to bolster your claim. Evidence might include surveillance camera footage, eyewitness accounts, medical records, expert witness deposition, and other information that can help corroborate your version of events. If your healthcare provider has already attributed your injuries to a workplace accident, but your employer or their insurance company disagrees, you may be required to attend an independent medical examination to verify your doctor’s findings.
- Your Condition Does Not Meet State Guidelines: Almost all employers in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage will kick in to reimburse injured workers for accident-related damages such as medical expenses and lost wages. However, not all conditions or injuries are covered by this type of coverage. For instance, according to state law, “mental or nervous injury” caused only by excitement or stress does meet the criteria for a work-related accident covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. To receive compensation for a psychological condition, you will need to show that it is accompanied by a physical injury that requires medical treatment.
- You Missed the Deadline to File a Claim: To receive compensation for a workplace injury, you must notify your employer of the accident within 30 days of sustaining the injury. However, if you have a condition that developed over time, you will have 30 days of discovering its relationship to report it to your employer. Be warned: Missing this deadline could lead to disputes and may even result in the denial of your claim. When reporting the injury to your employer, you should include details about when the accident happened, how you were hurt, and the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Speak with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Filing for workers’ compensation may seem like a straightforward process, but disputes and other complications could put your financial award out of reach. Our workers’ comp lawyers in West Palm Beach are dedicated not only to pursuing the best possible outcomes for our clients but also making sure proceedings are as stress free as possible. Schedule a free consultation today by calling us at 561-299-3999.