Florida employers with more than four employees are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton can keep workers from accessing benefits after an injury. Working with a lawyer can help you to quickly resolve these disputes, allowing you to collect the compensation you’re entitled to.
The Boca Raton workers’ compensation lawyers and legal team at Work Injury Rights have decades of experience and have successfully recovered millions on behalf of our clients. Call us at 954-833-5226 to schedule a free case evaluation today. We will fight for you and any of your workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton.
What Are Some of the Causes of Workers’ Compensation Disputes?
Although workers’ compensation is designed to help employers that are injured on the job, insurance companies will often dispute or deny a claim, even when the claim is valid. Common causes of workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton include:
According to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act, employers are not required to provide coverage to workers that are classified as independent contractors. However, independent contractors may be able to receive benefits if they are misclassified and meet the legal definition of an employee. Also, if an employee does not file a claim until after they have been fired or laid off, it may cause a workers’ compensation dispute in Boca Raton.
Outside Scope of Employment
In order for an injury to be covered by workers’ comp, it must occur when an employee is working or carrying out tasks at the direction of their employer. Not only are on-the-job injuries covered, but other job-related injuries, such as accidents that occur when a worker is traveling for business, are covered as well.
Insurance companies may argue that your injury falls outside the scope of employment to avoid paying benefits. This is when having an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to fight any workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton.
Lack of Causation
When an accident takes place in front of witnesses, and the injured party is treated right away, it’s easy to establish the cause of an injury. When employees don’t have that kind of evidence, however, insurance companies may dispute the cause of the injury. It’s important to report injuries immediately and seek to seek swift medical attention.
In Florida, an injury must be reported within 30 days. While it’s likely that your claim will be denied if you fail to meet that deadline, you may still have options. You should set up a consultation with a lawyer that can assess your claim and talk to you about what you can do next.
When you report your injury to your employer, you’ll want to provide them with as much information as possible. Make sure that they’re aware of witnesses and that they have copies of your medical records. Your employer should give you a copy of the First Report of Injury or Illnesses. Look over the report and talk to your employer if important information is missing.
What to Do if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied in Florida?
If you’ve received a Notice of Denial from your employer, you have the right to appeal that decision. However, before you do this, you should contact an attorney. You and your lawyer should negotiate with your employer and see if it’s possible to resolve the workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton.
If you are unable to come to an agreement, you should contact the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims to file a Petition for Benefits. Your initial appeal must be filed within two years of your injury. Once your petition has been filed, a judge will be assigned to your case.
What are Some of the Types of Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Boca Raton?
While there are a number of reasons that a workers’ compensation claim might be disputed, most disputes fall into two categories. Medical disputes occur when there is a disagreement about an employee’s medical care.
For example, an employer may want an employee to change doctors, or may not be willing to pay for a certain type of treatment. In these cases, the employer accepts that the claim is valid. The medical benefits the employee is entitled to are the source of the dispute.
Claim disputes, however, occur when the employee’s insurance company takes an issue with the claim itself. These types of disputes are more likely to lead to a denial of benefits. In both cases, it’s important to work with an attorney that can represent your interests as you work to resolve the workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton.
What is the Workers’ Compensation Dispute and Appeals Process in Florida?
Once you have filed an appeal, you will be given a case number and assigned a judge. However, before your case is heard by a judge, you will need to go through mediation. During mediation, a neutral third party will try to resolve the dispute between you and your employer’s insurance company. Mediation will take place within 130 days of the date your petition was filed.
If the mediation process is unsuccessful, a hearing will take place within 90 days. During this hearing, both you and the insurance company will be able to present evidence in front of the judge overseeing your case. There are formal rules of evidence that must be filed, which is why it’s essential that you have qualified legal representation when fighting workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton.
The judge will have the opportunity to review the evidence after the hearing before a final decision is made. A written decision will be mailed to both parties within 30 days. If you do not agree with the judge’s decision, you have 30 days to file an appeal with the First District Court of Appeals. Keep in mind that there’s a backlog of appeals cases, and it could be a year before your case is heard.
Dealing with Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Boca Raton? Call Our Experienced Lawyers Today to Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
Workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton can take a very long time to resolve, especially if you have to go through the appeals process. Thankfully, it’s much easier to resolve disputes when you have an experienced attorney fighting for your interests. Work Injury Rights will guide you through this process and will work to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, even if you’re not sure that you have a valid claim. We offer free case reviews, and we’d be happy to evaluate your claim and the workers’ compensation disputes in Boca Raton. Call us today at 954-833-5226 so that you can get your benefits as soon as possible.