Florida’s workers can apply for workers’ compensation after suffering a serious work-related injury or illness. But actually getting benefits isn’t always easy. Often, no matter how clearly they are entitled to workers’ comp, a worker’s employer (and the company’s workers’ comp insurer) will make a badly inadequate offer — or reject the claim entirely.
Employers and insurance companies usually count on injured employees, unable to work with no income coming into the house, to accept a lowball offer because they don’t think they have any other choice. But you don’t have to automatically accept a bad settlement offer or rejection that will put your family in financial peril. You can work with a workers’ compensation attorney instead.
No financial risk on your part
Hiring a workers’ comp lawyer might sound expensive. But most attorneys who practice workers’ comp law in Florida work on contingency. This means that instead of charging their client an hourly rate, they receive a percentage of the compensation they help their client receive. There is no upfront risk.
Negotiating on an even playing field
Like most legal disputes, negotiation skills are a must. If your employer’s initial offer is too low, you may be able to negotiate a better settlement. But you should not face the insurance company’s adjusters and lawyers on your own. Having an experienced attorney negotiate on your behalf is the best way of obtaining the maximum possible of the types of workers’ comp for which you qualify, such as:
- Partial wage replacement while you are unable to work
- Coverage for medical expenses like doctors’ appointments, surgeries and medication
- Vocational retraining services, if your injuries make going back to your old job impossible
- Death benefits for the families of those killed on the job
Knowing how workers’ comp works in Florida can be a big help, as can the experience and skill in negotiating a fair settlement.