Miami Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured at work or injured due to the negligence and/or recklessness of another individual or entity, it is imperative that you retain Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. for immediate representation. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. will fight to obtain benefits on your behalf.
Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. knows how difficult it is to navigate the legal system on your own. From start to finish, we will provide personal and tailored legal representation that provides you with the opportunity to obtain the best possible outcome to your claim. Before hiring Miami workers’ compensation attorney, Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. you are entitled to a free consultation to evaluate the specific details of your case and to discuss your desired outcome.
We Offer Legal Representation for any type of work and injury accidents…
- Miami Workers’ Compensation
- Miami Personal Injury
At Orlando R. Murillo, P.A., we are committed to zealously representing the interests of our clients. Our Miami workers’ compensation attorneys have more than fifteen (15) years of experience defending the rights of wrongfully injured individuals and workers, you can rest assured in our ability to obtain your rightful compensation.
What Rights Do You Have When You Are Injured On the Job?
Approximately 70,000 men and women are injured on the job each year in Florida. Workers’ compensation laws are in place to protect workers in the event that they sustain serious injuries on the job, and to help them recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. However, workers’ compensation laws can be very complex, and receiving the benefits rightfully owed to you a lot more difficult than it should be. At the law offices of Orlando R. Murillo, P.A., our Miami workplace injury attorneys are here to protect your rights in the event that you get injured on the job. We are familiar with Florida’s workers’ compensation laws, and keep up to date on the many changes that the law undergoes. With knowledge and experience on our side, we can help recover the compensation you need to get back on your feet without having to stress about the financial concerns or legalities that stem from on-the-job injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Laws Vary from State to State
One of the most important things to understand when dealing with a workers’ compensation claim is that workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state. This article deals solely with Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. However, whether you are dealing with a work injury that occurred within the state of Florida or without, this article is by no means intended to act as legal advice, and is strictly written to provide you with a brief overview of Florida workers’ compensation law so that you may better understand what to expect upon filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Basics
How much of your workers’ compensation case will be handled all depends on what you proceeded to do after receiving your injury. Our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys at the office of Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. have the following advice for Florida workers:
- What to do when you are injured on the job: If you should sustain injuries on the job, you should immediately notify your supervisor; however, if you fail to notify them immediately, know that you have up to 30 days after the accident to notify them of your injuries. In rare instances – such as if you were to be exposed to toxic substances that result in latent conditions – are you allowed to give notice within 30 days of learning of your condition.
Once you notify your employer of your injury or condition, you may be asked to sign a First Notice of Injury form, which your employer will pass on to their insurance carrier. Our Miami workers’ compensation attorneys highly recommend listing every injury and condition that you have, as if you do not, the insurance carrier will likely deny compensation for an injury or condition if you try to claim it later on—even if the injury or condition is found to be work-related.
Furthermore, we recommend documenting all of your injuries, as well as the “scene of the crime,” so to speak, via photograph. Though not required, pictures make for excellent evidence when there is little to none to speak of.
- Medical Care: When you initially report your accident, you should request medical care through the company’s workers’ compensation insurance. Typically, the insurance company will refer you to an on-staff physician, but if they do not, you should request that they do. If they fail to approve your request for medical attention, or if they ignore you entirely, you have the right to seek medical attention from a physician or specialist of your choosing; if this is the route you end up taking, your company’s insurance agency will still be responsible for covering your medical expenses. If, for whatever reason, you end up paying for a majority of the medical expenses out of pocket, the insurance company must reimburse you.
In the event of an emergency – i.e. you had to be immediately transported to the hospital, where you received emergency treatment – and you had no time to notify your employer of your injuries or to contact the employer’s insurance carrier, you up to three business days after treatment was rendered to submit your claim. The treatment will be covered so long as it was reasonable and related to the work-related injuries.
When dealing with a workers’ compensation claim, any monetary benefits that you receive are referred to as Indemnity Benefits in Workers’ Compensation. These benefits are meant to cover lost wages. In order to calculate how much your Indemnity Benefits will be, take all of your wages, bonuses, and commissions paid/earned during the 13 weeks prior to your accident. Add them all together, and then divide the whole sum by 13. By doing this, you will be left with your average weekly wage (AWW). Your AWW will provide a basis for calculating how much in monetary benefits you should receive.
Oftentimes, conflicts will arise regarding how a worker’s average weekly wage is calculated, especially if one or more of the following is true of the worker’s circumstances:
- The worker did not work for the entire 13 week period leading up to the accident;
- The worker holds a second job, wages from which must be calculated into the final AWW amount;
- The employer was paying the injured worker under-the-table (in cash so as to avoid taxation), thereby leaving no record of how much the worker was actually being paid; and
- The worker was receiving additional benefits such as group health insurance or a place to live throughout the entire 13 weeks leading up to the injury, but those benefits were discontinued upon injury; however, the value of those benefits should be included in the final AWW amount.
Because of the legal conundrums that these issues create, your best bet would be to work with a Miami workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your AWW is calculated fairly and correctly. Otherwise, you may receive far less than what you deserve in Indemnity Benefits in Workers’ Compensation.
Third Party Work-Related Accidents
Occasionally, a third party will be liable for an employee’s injuries as well. For instance, another driver may strike a company’s delivery driver while they are out making a delivery. Not only would the delivery driver have a workers’ compensation claim on their hands, but also, they may be able to file a claim against the driver that struck them. In situations such as these, the worker would be able to collect damages that they typically would not be able to under a workers’ compensation claim, such as damages for pain and suffering, or lost wages, past and future.
The legislation surrounding third party claims in combination with workers’ compensation benefits is a bit muddled, and too complex to explain in any great length here. To learn more about your legal options regarding work-related accidents caused by third parties, contact the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at the office of Orlando R. Murillo, P.A.
Limitations Surrounding Accidents Caused by Third Parties
Just as there are limitations as to who can be sued within a company, there are also limitations as to which third parties an injured worker can and cannot sue for damages. For instance, if an injured worker’s company is a contractor or subcontractor, and if they were working in conjunction with other contractors or subcontractors at the time of the injured worker’s accident, then all of the other company’s employees would be immune from a personal injury suit (unless the accident was caused by gross negligence on the part of the contractor’s employees, as described in Florida Statute 440.10).
Under this law, if an employee of the other contractor was responsible for the injured worker’s accident, the injured worker would only be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, if the other contractor were not covered by workers’ compensation, then the injured worker would be able to sue the negligent employee of the other contracting company.
Likewise, if an employee were to sustain injuries on the job and then find out that their employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, the injured worker has two options:
1) To pursue benefits under workers’ compensation law against his or her uninsured employer; or
2) To sue his or her employer directly for negligence.
If the employee chooses to pursue a lawsuit, the employer could get into huge trouble for failing to invest in the required insurance.
In some instances, an owner or officer of a company will elect to not be included in the workers’ compensation coverage purchased by their company. When individuals do this, they are opting to leave themselves vulnerable to personal injury lawsuits.
Laws Prohibiting Retaliation
Finally, Florida Statute 440.205 prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who have filed a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim against the company. The law reads as follows:
“Coercion of employees.–No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law.”
If an employer tries to retaliate against an injured worker for filing a claim, the injured worker can file a claim for wrongful termination and/or retaliation.
Retain the Help of a Miami Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at the office of Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. are here to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome to your workers’ compensation case, which is why we have provided this seven part series—for you to familiarize yourself with your legal rights following a work-related injury. Florida workers’ compensation laws can be complex, and pursing a claim can be challenging. If you hope to receive the maximum amount of benefits available given your circumstances, call (786) 530-4288 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Miami workers’ compensation lawyers today.