West Palm Beach Work Injury Lawyer
Getting injured at work is often more than a minor inconvenience. If your injury requires extensive medical treatment or hospitalization, you are faced not only with a potentially lengthy recovery time but also time missed from your job. That can place a great deal of stress on you and your family.
Fortunately, Florida’s workers’ compensation laws protect most people who suffer an on-the-job injury. But even workers’ compensation comes with certain legal strings attached. A qualified West Palm Beach work injury lawyer can help you in untangling those strings. Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather is a team of dedicated Florida personal injury lawyers who represent workers throughout Palm Beach County who are looking to get back on their feet following a jobsite accident.
Workers’ Compensation Will Not Cover All of Your Losses
Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system designed to provide medical and wage replacement benefits to people injured in the course of their employment. Just about every Florida employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover work-related accidents. And because the system is no-fault, the injured worker does not have to prove their employer’s negligence caused or contributed to their accident.
To ensure you receive workers’ compensation benefits, it is imperative that you report a work injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. Florida law generally requires employees to report an injury no later than 30 days after the accident. You then normally have up to 2 years to file a petition to receive workers’ compensation benefits if your employer (or its insurance company) denies your claim in full or part.
Workers’ compensation will cover all of your medical expenses arising from your work injury. But it will not replace 100 percent of your lost wages. By law, workers’ compensation usually covers about two-thirds of your average weekly wages prior to the accident up to a state-mandated maximum benefit level. These “temporary permanent disability” benefits are available for up to 2 years. There are additional rules governing permanent disability benefits if you are unable to return to work at all, you require retraining for a different job, or you suffer the permanent loss of a body part or function.
By accepting workers’ compensation, you also cannot sue your employer for any negligence arising from a work-related injury or accident. This immunity does not, however, apply to third parties. So if someone other than your employer injured you in the course of your employment, you may be able to file a separate personal injury lawsuit and recover additional damages.
Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Today
Many workers are unsure of their rights following a jobsite accident. That is why it is crucial to speak with an experienced West Palm Beach work injury lawyer as soon as possible following an accident. Any delay in seeking workers’ compensation or asserting other legal rights can place you at a significant disadvantage. So if you need immediate attention, contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather today to schedule a case evaluation with a member of our team.