JACKSONVILLE WORKERS COMP LAWYERS
JACKSONVILLE WORKERS COMP LAWYERS
Were You Injured in an Accident While at Work?
There are various accidents that can occur during your time as an employee of any given company. One may experience slips, trips and falls as well as being caught in the way of moving machinery that can inflict near-fatal injuries on to an employee.
If you’re a truck driver, which is one of the most common jobs in the US, then you have a high chance of being involved in transportation or vehicle-related accident. This can happen on the road or while loading trucks.
There is also the possibility that you work at a blast site or in construction and are in the way of explosions or machinery that is being moved. That has a definite chance of crippling you for life or causing very serious injuries.
All of this is simply based in fact since there are nearly 2.9 million recorded nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in the US every year. This is according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Keeping all of this in mind, it would behoove oneself to know about the proper procedures to get compensation in the event of an injury. Not only would that befit the service that you’ve given to the company, but also give you compensation because of the injury that you’ve suffered due to that service. It’s your constitutional right to demand payment from a company that you got hurt for.
However, this is all easier said than done. Navigating the claims process and getting the proper legal paperwork done is a pain. However, these tips will help you with navigating the process.
Does your Employer Offer Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
You need to find out if your company has worker’s compensation insurance before you find yourself in an accident. If you’ve accepted a job at a firm, you need to find out whether that place has your back when you’re flat on it.
While most states are required to have worker’s compensation for all their employees, the coverage differs, and the States differ in the implementation. These are the fine details that may differ from State to State:
- The Employees Covered
- The Injuries Covered and the Proof Required
- Excluded Injuries
- The Statute of Limitations (The length of time that the employee has to file the claim)
- Employer’s defenses against the claims including the self-inflicted injuries and misconduct and the injuries that are the result of drugs and alcohol
You should also know that the worker’s compensation is always paid by employers to a state fund. They are administered by a state to state basis; hence the funds are handled by the state instead of the federal government.
Worker’s Comp claim v. Personal Injury claim
There are differences between a personal injuries claim and a worker’s compensation claim, but there are many who confuse the two. If you’re injured in a workplace, then you may think that filing a personal injury claim qualifies but it may not, and you may be barking up the wrong tree.
There are several different factors that can differentiate between the two instances. For example:
Determining the fault: Filing a personal injury lawsuit requires that someone should be responsible in some way for the injury. This means that someone is at fault for negligence. Worker’s compensation covers specific injuries even if no one was at fault.
Damages: For personal injury cases, the plaintiff is entitled to all sorts of damages, which accounts for the pain experienced, but that need to be proven. Worker’s compensation doesn’t including the pain and suffering requirement. Also, you can’t file a worker’s compensation lawsuit if the injuries are stress related or psychiatric, if they are self-inflicted injuries or if the injuries were gotten during a fight or during the committing of a crime.
Right to sue: If you’ve filed a worker’s compensation claim, you can’t sue the employer. Hence, you actively forfeit your right to file a lawsuit against your employer if you file for worker’s comp.
Injury and worker’s compensation are both very different claims and lawsuits, and thus you will need a Jacksonville Worker’s Compensation Lawyer if you’re to file everything correctly. If you’re on the fence and need advice, then that’s the source you should go to.
How does the Claims process work?
The Injury is Reported
The injury should be reported as soon as possible after it occurs. The type of injury sometimes needs to be qualified. In emergencies, it’s imperative to get the employee to the hospital emergency room. For smaller concerns, injured workers should get to a doctor and get a medical report to share with their employer. You may need to visit a medical provider depending on the state and insurer in question.
Paperwork is provided
When notified about the injury, the employer must give the employee the proper forms for worker’s comp insurance and a form to report to the state worker’s comp board. Employers should also give their employees any information on their rights and benefits as an employee and the information needed to return to work.
Employer Files the Claim
The employer usually submits the paperwork to the compensation insurance carrier. However, the employee’s doctor should also mail in a medical report. The employers should also submit documentation to the state worker’s compensation board. This applies to all injuries sustained in the workplace, even if there is no request for worker’s compensation benefits.
Insurer Approves the Claim
After the claim is filed, the insurer has a legal duty to determine if it’s valid. Once the claim is approved, the insurer contacts the employee for payment details. At this point, the employee can accept the offer which pays for medical bills, medicine, and disability payments as well as the lost wages as a result of the injury. The employee can also negotiate for a lump sum settlement or a larger sum.
If the insurer doesn’t think the claim qualifies, there will be no worker’s compensation. At this point, the employee can ask for a review of the decision or can appeal against it.
The insurer informs the employer in both situations.
Employee Resumes Work
The employee has to notify the employer and the insurance company through a written notice if they’ve recovered and when they’ve recovered so that they can return to work. If the employee continues experiencing injuries, then the company’s comp premium may increase.
Types of Compensation For Workers comp in Jacksonville
There are various types of worker’s compensation benefits depending on the injury and how the employee decides to negotiate. The main two types of compensation are weekly payments and settlements. Both types can be offered to the employee by the insurer. However, it’s up to the employee to take the offer.
Weekly payments are usually paid to employees in the case of a mild illness or injury. In this case, it’s better to take a weekly payment so that all the medical bills and medicine charges, as well as the visit to the hospital, are all covered. However, if the illness or injury is serious and aggravating to the point of excruciating pain, then taking a lump sum settlement is better. A Jacksonville worker’s compensation lawyer can help you determine the difference and advise which is better.
Types of Settlement
The three main types of settlement are:
This is the acceptance of the amount that is approved by the Worker’s Compensation Commission or the insurer. It doesn’t affect the worker’s rights with any future compensation relating to the injury in question.
This settlement occurs when there is a dispute between the injured employee and the insurer over benefits. It needs to be approved by the Worker’s Compensation Commission in the state that you’re in. It does terminate future compensation for the injury, however.
How A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
It so happens that very few people are actually fully aware of their legal rights as an employee. If you have a claim to file for a personal injury and you’re wondering whether it would be admissible as a worker’s comp claim, then you need the services of Shiner Law Group.
They can help you decide which path is best and what you need to do to get what you’re entitled to. Whatever the injury or illness, if you’ve experienced it at work, do the smart thing and pick up the phone to dial (855) 462-6878 and schedule a meeting.