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How Long Can You Collect Workers Comp Benefits in Florida?

Some people assume that being out on workers compensation is like being on vacation. They envision hours spent at home watching television and getting paid for it. In reality, workers compensation is nothing like this. At least it shouldn’t be. When one of our clients get hurt on the job, they experience a lot of pain. They also spend most of their time going to doctor’s appointments or physical therapy. Going back to work is a good thing in their opinion. Our Miami workers’ comp lawyers work hard to make sure our clients get the benefits they deserve. We also make sure that our clients aren’t forced to go back to work before they’re ready. These are the kind of things you shouldn’t have to worry about when you’re trying to recover from your injuries.

What we do is offer our new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with a seasoned Florida injury lawyer who can review your file. They’ll look to see why your workers’ comp claim was denied. Of, if your claim is still pending, we’ll reach out to your employer or their insurance carrier and find out what the status of your claim is. Sometimes, just letting your employer know you have retained a Miami workers comp lawyer can increase the chances of your claim being approved. It will also put the insurance company on notice that you will not tolerate being taken advantage of. You won’t go back to work before you’re physically healed, and you’ll put up a fight if your claim is denied.

Since your initial consultation is free, there’s no reason not to take advantage of it.

Your Florida Injury Lawyer Must Prove That You Qualify for Workers Compensation Benefits

Before you can do anything, your Miami workers comp lawyer must prove that you qualify for workers comp benefits. Believe it or not, most workers comp claims are approved. More than 90% of them were approved on the first submission. Another 70% of appealed claims are approved as well. However, when the insurance company approves a claim, they only approve two years’ worth of benefits. Depending on your injuries, you may need more time than that.

Regardless of the type of injury you suffered, your Florida injury lawyer must demonstrate that you meet the following criteria:

  • Your injuries occurred on company property and on company time
  • If you work remotely or on the road, you must show that you were hurt while acting within the normal scope of your employment.
  • You have to report your injury within the thirty-day period allowed by law. If your company’s workplace accident policy says something different, make sure you abide by that policy as well.
  • You must take (and pass) a drug test. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your workplace accident, your claim will be denied. You’ll also face the risk of being fired if this is the case.
  • You must be treated by a company-appointed workers comp doctor. There are a handful of doctors certified by the State of Florida to treat workplace accident victims. If you go to another doctor other than the one assigned, your treatment won’t be covered. In addition, your claim could be terminated.
  • You must comply with and participate in your treatment. The point of workers’ compensation is for you to recover so you can return to work. If you won’t cooperate with your doctors, then there’s no point of you being on workers compensation.

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Florida Law Only Allows You to Collect Workers Comp Benefits for 2 Years

If your workers’ comp claim is approved, you will be allowed to collect benefits for a period of two years. The two years start on the date of your workplace accident. Your benefits won’t technically start until you have been out of work for 14 days. You will be paid retroactive benefits for the time you missed. These benefits will continue for up to 104 weeks, or two years.

Your benefits can end in any number of ways. The most common way for them to end is that your doctor determines that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which you will no longer benefit from medical treatment. Most people go back to work and resume a normal life at this point. One other way your benefits could terminate is if you don’t meet the criteria for workers’ compensation. For example, if your employer finds out that you’re working another job on the side while you’re collecting benefits, your benefits will be terminated. Finally, you may exhaust the 104 weeks of benefits and need more time. If this is the case, your Miami workers comp lawyer will have to sue for permanent disability benefits.

Our Miami Workers Comp Lawyer Can Make Sure You Get the Benefits You Deserve

One thing our clients worry about is whether 104 weeks is enough time for them to recover. In most cases, our clients are back to work in a matter of weeks or months. However, there are times when a worker’s injuries are so serious, they aren’t ready to go back to work within the 104 weeks allowed under Florida law. This is when your Miami workers comp lawyers can help. They’ll pursue your employer for permanent disability benefits. It all depends on the nature and severity of your injuries. For example, a back or neck injury may take longer than two years to fully heal. This isn’t the case for a wrist or ankle injury. Your Miami workers comp lawyer can’t push for permanent disability compensation if you’re fully healed.

Our firm offers all new clients a free, initial consultation. You can come in and sit down with a seasoned associate who knows the workers comp laws in Florida. Our Florida injury lawyers also know how to deal with the insurance companies. If your claim needs to be appealed, we’ll file an appeal. If it has been firmly denied, your Miami workers comp lawyer will file suit on your behalf. It all depends on the facts of your case. It also depends on how your employer and insurance company responds.

We suggest you call today so we can schedule your free, initial consultation.