Most of our clients who go out on workers compensation are back to work in a matter of months. For example, if you fall and break your wrist, you may need surgery. It takes time to heal, and you may need to see an occupational therapist. This takes time. However, once you’re fully recovered, you’ll go back to work.
There are other people our Coral Springs workers comp lawyers represent whose injuries are so severe, they are out of work for over a year. It gets to the point where their workers’ compensation doctor determines that they’ve met maximum medical improvement and that nothing more they can do will help. The doctor will also advise as to whether the employee has suffered a permanent disability.
In order to be considered permanently disabled, your workers compensation attorney in Florida must demonstrate the following:
- You are no longer able to perform the duties of your current job
- You are not able to physically work due to your workplace injuries
- Your doctor determines that you will be out of work for at least one year
- There is medical documentation confirming that you are not able to work
Of course, there are other criteria you must meet. However, as long as your Coral Springs workers comp lawyer can demonstrate some or all of the above, there is a good chance you will be categorized as permanently disabled.
Your Workers Compensation Doctor Will Determine if You Have a Partial or Total Permanent Disability
Initially, the only way you can demand permanent benefits is if your workers compensation doctor indicates that you are permanently disabled. It is not enough that your primary doctor believes that you are disabled. Your Coral Springs workers comp lawyer can have you see an independent doctor for a second opinion.
If this outside doctor determines that you are, in fact, disabled, your attorney will submit their report to the insurance carrier. It is then up to the insurance carrier as to whether they will approve your claim for permanent benefits.
If your doctor claims that you are not disabled, your workers compensation attorney in Florida can always challenge that finding. Yes, they can get the second opinion mentioned above. They can also have expert witnesses testify to the fact that you’re permanently disabled. They may find that you are only partially disabled.
If this is the case, then you should be entitled to partial permanent benefits. If they find that you’re totally disabled, then your Coral Springs workers comp lawyer will demand that you are either paid the benefits you deserve, or they will try to negotiate a settlement.
Ideally, your lawyer will be able to get you a lump sum settlement so you can walk away and move on to the next chapter of your life. If they are unable to do this, then your workers’ compensation attorney in Florida may need to file suit against your employer.
The Florida Workers Compensation Schedule Places Higher Values on Critical Body Parts
If you are entitled to permanent benefits, your Coral Springs workers comp lawyer will have to consult the Florida workers compensation payment schedule. This is a list that tells you how much each body part is worth should you become disabled. For example, a back injury is going to be worth a lot more than a wrist or ankle injury.
At the same time, if you suffer deafness or blindness as a result of your workplace accident, your claim will be worth more than if you suffered a back injury. It all has to do with which body part you injured and whether you are totally or partially disabled.
Your workers’ compensation attorney in Florida will have to put together an evidence package that proves your disability. This will likely include the following:
- Your medical records
- A report from your workers comp doctor
- An independent report from an outside doctor
- Affidavits or a statement from an expert witness
- Statements or affidavits from people who can attest to your inability to perform your job functions
Since every case is different, the type of evidence your Coral Springs workers comp lawyer will present will be unique in each case.
The More Critical the Body Part, the Higher Your Settlement
As stated above, the more critical the body part you injure, the more money you’ll be entitled to. The way it works is complex. We have found that attorneys who do not specialize in workers compensation are usually just as confused as our clients. What your Coral Springs workers comp lawyer will do is list the various body parts that are disabled.
They will then make a note of the percentage of disability you have suffered for each body part. They will then refer to the workers’ compensation benefit schedule to see what each body part is worth in your case. They will then add these amounts together and that will be your monthly benefit amount. They will then use this amount to negotiate a fair, lump sum settlement on your behalf.
Meet With a Workers Compensation Attorney in Florida
Many of our workers’ compensation clients are only out of work for a few weeks or months. Very few find themselves unable to work as a result of their workplace accident. For those who end up partially or totally disabled, there’s a good chance they’ll be entitled to long-term benefits. The amount of these benefits will depend on several things.
As explained here, people who are 100% disabled are typically entitled to a much larger settlement than people with a partial disability. In addition, your workers’ compensation attorney in Florida will be able to get you more money if your injuries were to a critical body part.
The reason we recommend that you consult with one of our seasoned Coral Springs workers comp lawyers is to find out what you’re entitled to. Even if you just filed your claim, you should have an experienced workers compensation attorney in Florida by your side. They will ensure that your workers’ compensation claim is handled properly from the start. They will also work hard to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with a seasoned Coral Springs workers comp lawyer free of charge. They will review your claim and help determine the best way to proceed.