Workers' Compensation Attorneys
No one expects to be injured while at work, but accidents happen. No matter the workplace, job-related injuries can be exceptionally challenging to endure. Aside from all the legal paperwork and tension between injured workers and management, employees may fall victim to inequitable settlements from their insurance companies. Without adequate compensation, injured workers could struggle to pay their bills, recover, and get back to work promptly.
At Hesser & Kipke, we are dedicated to helping injured workers get their lives back on track following a workplace accident. Our workers’ comp attorney, Ken Hesser, is a Florida Bar certified expert in the field of workers’ compensation law. He can be an injured workers’ best ally when filing for compensation, disputing a denied claim, or taking the case to trial. Please note that the law may restrict the time clients have to take legal action, so don’t wait. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact our law firm right away to schedule a case consultation.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program covering employees who have suffered an injury due to a work-related accident. In Florida, workers’ compensation coverage is required for all construction businesses and all companies with more than four employees. While coverage may vary depending on the policy, most workers’ compensation plans cover medical bills, recovery costs, and partial missed wages for injured workers. Other workers’ compensation benefits include funeral costs and benefits to an employee’s family. Depending on the injury, insurees may negotiate for additional benefits with the help of a workers’ comp lawyer.
The Workers’ Compensation Process
Employees can claim their workers’ compensation insurance policy within two years of the date of injury or illness. Once accepted by the insurance company, insurees receive funds to cover medical-related expenses and a disability payment plan. Depending on the severity of the injury, workers could also try to negotiate for a larger settlement or additional benefits. To do so, injured workers and their lawyers must calculate the total amount of anticipated expenses related to the injury or illness and engage in a series of negotiations with the insurance company. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the case can escalate to a court hearing or a lawsuit.
How We Can Help
Our workers’ comp lawyer can guide injured workers through the legal process required to obtain a settlement, and deal with the workers' comp insurer, gather medical evidence to support the worker’s claim, negotiate a reasonable settlement, represent workers in court, and assist in any of the following matters.
Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim
The laws governing insurance requirements, state-mandated coverage, and dispute claims continuously change every year, complicating the workers’ compensation process for both employers and employees. An attorney can help injured workers complete all the necessary legal paperwork required to obtain a favorable workers’ compensation settlement following the latest regulations and guidelines.
Injured workers can appeal an unfavorable court ruling within two years of the date of injury or illness. In Florida, claimants must file a petition to the Florida Judges of Compensation Claims (JCC) and wait for a notification, usually sent within 40 days. Once notified, workers, employers, and their lawyers engage in a series of mediated negotiations to reach a settlement agreement. Our workers’ comp attorney can represent clients throughout this process and help them obtain fair compensation.
In some instances, injured workers may use evidence that their employer engaged in an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) code violation to file a lawsuit against their employer. Even when a worker is prohibited from pursuing a claim against an employer, an OSHA violation might be used as evidence for a third-party cause of action. An attorney can help workers determine if they can sue an employer on the grounds of an OSHA violation.
Under state and federal laws, employers are banned from any acts of retaliation against an employee seeking workers’ compensation, including terminating their employment. When an employer fires an injured worker in the hopes of stifling a workers’ compensation claim, employees can file a retaliation claim (even if their workers’ compensation claim is denied). A workers’ comp lawyer can guide clients through the retaliation claim process and represent them in court if necessary.
If a worker is unable to return to their past job because of medical restrictions, they can request vocational rehabilitation services to prepare them for a new career. Vocational rehabilitation through workers’ compensation may include benefits such as tuition reimbursement and job training. A workers’ comp attorney can help clients fight for additional benefits, including vocational rehabilitation. Get in touch with our firm to learn more.