Do you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim or appeal in Florida? Contact Vaughan Law Group today.
When a worker is injured on the job in Florida, they are required to notify their employer within 30 days. Although workers are allotted this time, they should act as quickly as possible to ensure their rights are protected and that they can begin receiving benefits afforded to them under workers’ compensation laws.
The truth is that many workers are unfamiliar with the requirements surrounding workers’ compensation laws and filing claims for benefits. For this reason, it is crucial that those harmed on the job contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Florida at their earliest convenience to ensure their legal rights are protected and that they have the best chances of obtaining benefits they are entitled to.
How to File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida
In Florida, workers’ compensation claims are available to help injured workers obtain financial compensation after being injured on the job or suffering from a work-related illness. These claims help those harmed collect replacement income benefits, permanent disability benefits, and reimbursement for medical expenses and a variety of other costs they face. If you were injured on the job in Florida, it is imperative that you take various steps to ensure your claim is filed accurately so you can get the benefits you deserve.
It is critical to note that employers in Florida must maintain an active workers’ compensation insurance policy if they have four or more employees. To file for benefits, injured workers must perform the following:
- Workers must notify their employer, supervisor, or manager of their injury or illness within 30 days of the date the injury occurred or the date in which you noticed the first symptom of an illness. Although you have 30 days, it is in your best interest to file as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Delaying the filing for benefits can jeopardize your ability to collect compensation.
- An injured employee must seek medical attention without delay. Your doctor will recommend a qualified medical professional who can diagnose and treat your illness.
- After seeking medical attention you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim. This claim will need to be filed with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation as soon as possible or within two years of the onset of the illness or date of the injury. Working with a reputable attorney will place you in the best position to get the benefits you need and deserve.
How to File an Appeal for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you were denied workers’ compensation benefits, rest assured knowing this is not the end of the road. You still have legal options available for you to obtain the benefits you rightfully deserve. Unfortunately, insurance companies often wrongfully deny benefits for injured workers by making various claims against them. Whether claims against you are that you did not file in time, you do not have enough evidence, your injury doesn’t qualify, or for another reason, you have the ability to appeal your denial.
In Florida, injured workers have up to two years to file a petition surrounding benefits from their injuries. In cases where you were wrongfully denied a specific benefit, such as coverage for medical treatment, you have up to one year from the date of your last payment to file a claim to recover benefits you were denied.
To file an appeal, you must mail or fax a Petition for Benefits to the Clerk at the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims. This form will ask you specific details surrounding your claim, such as details of your accident, what type of injuries you sustained, any lost wages incurred, and various other details.
Once your petition is received, the OJCC will notify your employer and its insurance company. The insurance company has 14-days to respond to the OJCC or they must pay your claim.
If your claim was denied, it is best to contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Florida as soon as possible.
Workers’ Compensation Appeal Process in Florida
After filing an appeal, your petition will be assigned a case number and transmitted to an OJCC district office in your area. You will then be required to attend a mediation hearing, which is an informal conference with a neutral third party mediation. Mediators will try to help you and the insurance company resolve the dispute and help you obtain benefits. This conference is generally scheduled within 130-days of filing your petition.
If mediation is not successful, a pretrial hearing will be scheduled. This hearing allows you to go in front of a judge to exchange evidence between you and the insurance company. If you are working with an attorney, you will have the ability to file a statement instead of attending the hearing. After the pretrial hearing, you will attend a hearing within 90 days that will determine if you are to receive benefits. You will be able to present evidence at the hearing in support of the claim. After the hearing, the judge will issue an order within 30-days of the decision. Working with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney in Florida will ensure you are in the best position imaginable to obtain the benefits you need and deserve.
Vaughan Law Group Can Help You
If you need to file for workers’ compensation benefits or file an appeal after being wrongfully denied benefits, it is crucial that you reach out to a responsive and reliable workers’ compensation attorney in Florida as soon as possible.
We at Vaughan Law Group have decades of experience helping injured workers secure compensation and benefits for their workers’ compensation claims. Our team is dedicated to helping those harmed on the job get the benefits they need so they can receive the medical treatment necessary in order to properly recover. Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys will investigate your claim, file all necessary documents, and work to help you secure benefits as quickly as possible. Contact our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys at (407) 648-4535 to get help with your claim.