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Workers Compensation Faqs

How long after an accident do I have to report it to my employer?

You should report it as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) days or your claim may be denied.

When should my employer report the injury to their insurance company?

Your employer should report the injury as soon as possible, but no later than seven (7) days after their knowledge. The insurance company must send you an informational brochure within three (3) days after receiving notice from your employer. The brochure will explain your rights and responsibilities, as well as provide additional information about the workers’ compensation law. A copy of the brochure can be viewed on this website under “Publications”.

My employer will not report my injury to the insurance company. What can I do?

You have the right to report the injury to their insurance company. However, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation claims.

What kind of medical treatment can I get?

That depends on your injury. The medical provider, authorized by your employer or the insurance company, will provide the necessary medical care, treatment and prescriptions related to your injury. If you are not satisfied with the physician, you may seek a one-time change.

Do I have to pay any of my medical bills?

No, all authorized medical bills should be submitted by the medical provider to your employer’s insurance company for payment. Should you receive bills from a medical provider that is aware of your claim being workers’ compensation, you may have an action against them under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act for up to $1,000.00 in statutory damages.

When will I be paid if I lose time from work?

Under Florida law, you are not paid for the first seven days of disability unless you remain disabled for more than 21 days.

How much will I be paid?

The amount of your payment depends on your average weekly wage and your work status. If you are temporarily totally disabled (“TTD”), your benefit check, which is paid bi-weekly, will be 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage. If you were injured on or after October 1, 2003, your average weekly wage is calculated using wages earned 13 weeks prior to your injury, not counting the week in which you were injured. If you worked less than 75% of the 13 week period, a similar employee in the same employment who has worked 75% of the 13-week period or your full time weekly wage shall be used.

Do I have to pay income tax on this money?

No. However, if you go back to work on light or limited duty and are still under the care of the authorized doctor, you will pay taxes on any wages earned while working.

When will I get my first check?

You should receive the first check within 21 days after reporting your injury to your employer. If you are not paid within 7 days of when the payment is due, you may be entitled to penalties and interest.

If I'm only temporarily disabled, how long can I get these checks?

You can receive Temporary Total, Temporary Partial Disability payments or a combination of the two benefits during the continuance of your disability for no more than a maximum of 104 weeks.

Can I receive social security benefits and workers' compensation benefits at the same time?

Yes. However an offset, or reduction in your workers’ compensation check may be applied because the law limits the amount you can receive in total from these sources.

Can I receive unemployment compensation and workers' compensation benefits at the same time?

If you have been released to work and are on temporary partial disability, you can collect unemployment benefits, but it will be an offset against your workers’ compensation benefits.

If you are receiving temporary total or permanent total disability benefits then you cannot collect as you must be medically able and available for work to qualify for unemployment.

What can I do if I am not receiving my benefit check?

Contact an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation claims so a Petition for Benefits can be filed.

If I am unable to return to work until my doctor releases me, does my employer have to hold my job for me?

While there is no provision in the law that requires your employer to hold the job open for you, there may be potential causes of action including retaliatory discharge or disability discrimination.

Can my employer fire me if I am unable to work because of an injury and am receiving workers' compensation benefits?

Yes, it is possible, but again you may have a cause of action against the employer if they do terminate you for filing or attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim.

If I am unable to return to the type of work I did before I was injured, what can I do?

Unfortunately, the Legislature has taken the classification previously known as “permanent partial disability” out of the current law. Therefore, the only options are to seek reemployment services to help you return to work or file for permanent total disability benefits.

My employer and the insurance company have denied my claim for workers' compensation benefits. Do I need legal representation to get my benefits? What should I do?

While it is possible to handle your own workers’ compensation claim, it is certainly not recommended. Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side is the wisest choice.

What is the time limit for filing a Petition for Benefits?

In general, there is a two (2) year statute of limitations for filing a Petition for Benefits. However, the statute of limitations is tolled for one year from the time you receive any medical treatment or indemnity benefit. If your claim has been denied based upon a statute of limitations defense, you should contact the Law Offices of Walter F. Benenati immediately as we have been successful in having statute of limitations defenses defeated. However, the longer you wait, the stronger the defense will become. For accident dates after January 1, 1994 the statute of limitations is tolled for one (1) year from the date of your last medical treatment or payment of compensation.

Can I settle my claim?

Yes, settlements can be negotiated by the parties. Settlements are voluntary; not automatic or mandatory.

If I settle my claim for medical benefits with the employer/carrier and my condition gets worse later, who pays for my future medical care, surgeries, etc?

If you have settled your claim, you will be responsible for your future medical needs. That is one reason it is important to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Then you can make sure your future medical needs have been considered in reaching any settlement.

What can I do when it is difficult to get a prescription filled or I am having problems with the pharmacy where I get my workers’ compensation medication?

In Florida, an injured worker has the right to select a pharmacy or pharmacist. Florida law prohibits interference with your right to choose a pharmacy or pharmacist. However, a pharmacy is not required to participate in the workers’ compensation program. If at any time, you become dissatisfied with your pharmacy or pharmacist’s services, you can seek another pharmacy to fill your prescriptions.

Free Initial Consultation

Whether you have suffered a serious injury because of another’s negligence, or you are suffocating under mountains of debt, a consultation with the Benenati Law Firm may prove to be extremely advantageous. We encourage you to call our offices today at 407-777-7777, or fill out our online form to request your free, no-obligation, and completely confidential case consultation. If you are unable to travel to our location during our office hours, we offer after-hours and home visits for your convenience, too.

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