If someone gets hurt while on the job, their only real recourse is to file a workers’ comp claim in Lakeland. It’s very hard to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. Unless you can show that they were negligent in some way, it’s very hard to recover against your boss.
Every state provides their workers with the same option. You can file a claim for workers’ compensation and hope it’s approved. If it is approved, you’ll receive medical care and replacement wages. You won’t return to work until you’re fully healed and cleared by your doctor. The problem is, not all workers’ comp claims in Florida are approved.
If your claim is denied, you do need to call an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Lakeland, Florida. You won’t be meeting them to file a personal injury lawsuit. You’ll actually be retaining them to help appeal your claim. And, if your claim is still not paid, then you may have to file a workers’ comp lawsuit. Either way, you shouldn’t handle this on your own. Let a skilled attorney help you get the benefits you deserve.
How Do You Qualify for Workers’ Comp Benefits in Florida?
In order to qualify for any workers’ compensation benefits, you have to meet certain criteria. As long as you meet these requirements, you should start receiving your benefits within a week or two. The requirements under workers’ comp include:
- Your accident must take place while you’re on the job. If you’re an hourly employee, you need to be clocked in at the time of the injury. If you’re a salaried employee, you will have to demonstrate that the accident happened during the normal course of your employment.
- You complied with your employer’s policies regarding workplace injuries. For example, almost all employers require you to be treated by a company approved doctor. If you refuse to do this or don’t comply with their treatment, your claim can be denied and your benefits can be terminated.
- You must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your employer will more than likely require that you take a drug test before you’re treated. If you refuse to do this, your claim will more than likely be denied. Your company has a right to know if you were high or drunk when you got hurt. And, if you were, they shouldn’t be held responsible.
- You had a pre-existing medical condition. If your employer can prove that you were hurt long before your accident, they may deny your claim. For example, if you have a bad back, it’ll be rather suspicious if you claim you hurt your back at work. This could be a way for you to get paid time off from work. Your company won’t let you take advantage of them like that.
As long as you meet these basic criteria, there’s a good chance your claim will be denied. But, as explained above, there are lots of reasons why your claim could be denied.
Why Would Your Employer Deny Your Claim in Florida?
Your employer will have a chance to recommend to their insurance company whether your claim should be approved. Or, the insurance adjustor will let your Human Resource manager know whether they think the claim is payable or not.
We did highlight most of these in the earlier section. However, it’s worth mentioning again. Some of the reasons why your claim might be denied in Lakeland, Florida include the following:
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
- You didn’t report the incident to your manager or HR department
- You have a pre-existing condition
- You were off the clock at the time of the accident
- You were doing something outside the scope of your normal employment
- You were hurt on personal time but stage it to look like you were hurt at work
- the injury does not in any way impede you from doing your job
- You refuse to take the drug test
- You refuse to comply with the company’s doctor recommended treatment plan
If any of these things take place, expect your claim to be denied. And, depending on the circumstances, an experienced Lakeland, Florida workers’ comp attorney may or may not be able to help you.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Help With Your Workers’ Comp Claim in Lakeland
If you or your loved one suffer a work-related injury in Florida, call our office right away. It’s important that your claim be handled properly right from the start. The best way to make sure this happens is to retain a skilled Lakeland, Florida workers’ comp law office.