Florida Work Injury Question

March 4, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida work accident compensation lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Work Claim Help

Question: I was hurt at work. I have slight damage on my  back on the disc. It may progress with time and I may have more pain. I will be able to return to work, but I will have slight pain always. If it gets worse, then I can do surgery. If I take a lawyer to make sure I get the medical bills covered in the future, will  workman’s compensation from Farmers  Insurance Company notify my employer  that I have a lawyer  and am suing them? Maybe when the employer finds out that I’m suing the insurance, he may fire me before I do anything. What can you advise me to do? I’m young and I have and like to work for many years but, just in case, if my  problem becomes bigger in 4 -5 years, what do I do? Do I need a lawyer now  or later after 4-5 years? Should I just wait until or if I get sick from the same problem, then say that it is from this previous injury and reopen the case? My workman’s compensation claim is handled by my company insurance for workman compensation. Thank you.

Answer: The answer to your question depends on where you live.  I am an attorney in Florida, so I can only answer your question based upon Florida’s workers compensation laws which are set out in Chapter 440 of the Florida Statutes.  The short answer to your question is that there are ways to work with an attorney on a (Florida) work injury claim so that the employer never knows you have an attorney.  Additionally, it is against the law in Florida work injury cases for an employer to fire you simply because you pursue your rights under workers compensation.  Your question raises an excellent point – that you are young and have many years yet to work.  Workers compensation is designed to pay for all (100%) of your medical bills resulting from your accident.  Many of the cases I handle involve a company that is not paying the medical bills.  You do not want to wait too long before trying to enforce your rights under workers compensation.  There are strict time limits in which you must bring your claim, including any claim for payment of medical bills, otherwise you lose your rights.  With many years of work ahead of you, workers compensation is too valuable a benefit to give up.  In a Florida work injury claim, workers compensation also provides wage benefits if your workers compensation doctor says you cannot work, and it will cover medical bills you have in the future.  As you state in your question, back injuries can get worse over time.  If your injury is worse 4-5 years down the road, the workers compensation insurance company will have to pay for the medical care as long as you have not let the Statute of Limitations expire.  You should speak to an work accident compensation lawyer to find out what your rights are.   Most experienced workers compensation attorneys work on files on a contingent basis which means there is no charge for attorneys fees or costs unless the attorney obtains a lump sum settlement for you.  You may be entitled to work accident compensation in addition to payment for your medical bills.  Your post also mentions "suing" your employer.  A workers compensation claim is not a lawsuit in Florida work injury cases.  It is an administrative process which an employee is required to follow if they are injured on the job.  In other words, you don’t have a choice in how you get your medical care and bills paid for; you are required to pursue your rights under workers compensation.  I would be happy to discuss your claim further with you if you are in Florida and have a Florida work injury claim.  I have handled workers compensation claims throughout the State of Florida for the last 16 years.  I would meet in person, or over the phone, with you for a free consultation on your claim. If you are not in Florida, then speak with an experienced work accident compensation lawyer in your area to find out what your rights are. Good Luck.  

For more information about a Florida work injury claim, contact Florida work accident compensation lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.


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