If you got hurt on the job or developed an illness from your work and your employer participates in our state’s workers’ compensation program, you might be eligible for benefits, which can include free medical care and cash payments. Florida’s workers’ compensation program rules are strict, but a Sarasota lawyer who handles these claims can help you navigate through the process.
Working with a lawyer from the very beginning will help you to avoid missing deadlines or making mistakes that could jeopardize your right to these valuable benefits. Many people with legitimate claims lose out because they misunderstand the rules.
A Sarasota workers’ compensation lawyer at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can help. Call us today at (941) 315-4404 for a free consultation.
Two Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Sarasota Workers’ Compensation Claim
The two most prevalent mistakes that can cost you your right to workers’ compensation benefits is not following the rules about notifications and approved doctors.
The Deadline to Notify Your Employer
Under Florida law, you only have 30 days to give your boss a written notice of your job-related injury or illness. You should use the correct form, which your employer should make available for you to use, to give your written notice. Always keep a copy of important documents like this, so you can prove that you gave notice before the deadline.
The 30 days begins when you get sick or injured or when a doctor tells you that your injury or illness is related to your job. For example, a repetitive stress injury can take months to develop. When your doctor identifies that tasks you do on the job caused your repetitive stress injury, you must give your employer written notice within 30 days.
If you do not give your employer proper and timely notice, you could lose the right to free medical care and cash payments. Do not assume that your regular health insurance will pay your medical bills if workers’ compensation denies coverage for lack of timely notice. Many standard health insurance policies exclude coverage for work-related accidents or injuries.
Go to the Correct Doctor
Your boss must give you a list of approved medical providers who participate in the Florida workers’ compensation program. If you continue to go to your regular doctor for treatment instead, you will likely have to pay those expenses out of pocket.
In some situations, you can go to your regular doctor one time, but your boss might have to approve that visit. There are additional rules about getting medical care. We can explain these requirements to you.
If you would like to discuss your claim with a Sarasota workers’ compensation lawyer, call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (941) 315-4404 today for a free consultation.
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Free Medical Treatment for Your Workers’ Compensation Injury
If your illness or injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits, a doctor or healthcare provider on your employer’s approved list can provide things at no cost like:
- Medical treatment
- Doctor visits
- Diagnostic testing
- Prescription drugs
- Physical therapy
- Prosthetic devices
The Florida worker’s compensation program requires you to inform everyone who treats you for a covered accident or illness that your condition is work-related. Also, you must give each treating professional and facility your employer’s contact information or the name of the insurance company that provides your employer’s worker’s compensation coverage.
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Cash Benefits for a Covered Injury or Illness
Our state’s workers’ compensation program offers cash benefits to replace some of the income that you miss when recuperating and to compensate you for long-term impairment. The Florida program includes these four types of cash benefits:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) can pay you part of your regular salary or wages during the time that you cannot work at all because of your work-related injury or illness. If you can work part-time while still on the mend, you do not qualify for this benefit.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) can be a source of partial income if your doctor says that you can never work again because of your work-related illness or injury. If you get better than expected at some point in the future, you can lose your eligibility for this benefit.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) can help make up some of the difference if you can go back to work, but only in a limited capacity. Let’s say that you used to work 40 hours a week. After an injury, your doctor eventually allowed you to return to work, but only for 20 hours a week until your injury completely heals. TPD benefits can give you cash to offset some of the income you lose because of the reduced hours.
- Impairment Income Benefits (IIB) are for permanent limitations or impairments from your illness or injury. Some people recuperate fully from work-related injuries or illnesses, but not everyone achieves 100 percent healing. If you experience permanent limitations or impairment, your approved doctor can assess a rating for the impairment. The workers’ compensation program can award you cash benefits for the permanent loss.
We can walk you through the regulations. Be sure to call us right away to protect your right to receive cash benefits.
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What Happens When a Worker Dies From an On-the-Job Injury or Illness
Qualified survivors can collect death benefits when a work-related illness or injury causes an employee to die. Florida’s workers’ compensation program requires that the death occurs within a year of the initial accident or illness or within five years of continuous disability from a covered incident.
Our state’s program can pay up to a total of $150,000 in benefits, such as:
- Compensation to eligible dependents
- The surviving spouse’s educational expenses
- Up to $7,500 in actual funeral costs
Our team can respectfully explain who is eligible for these different types of death benefits and discuss the options that may be available to you.
For a free legal consultation with a Chalik & Chalik lawyer serving Sarasota, call (941) 315-4404
Getting Legal Help for Your Sarasota Workers’ Compensation Claim
A Sarasota workers’ compensation lawyer at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can help with your claim for a work-related illness or injury. Call us today at (941) 315-4404 for a free consultation. We provide personal, caring, attentive legal services.
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