West Palm Beach Work Injury Lawyers
Do you work in an office, construction site, or factory in West Palm Beach, FL? Unfortunately, regardless of your job role or industry, you're at risk of sustaining a work-related accident.
These accidents can result in varying injuries, and you'll need financial and moral support to heal appropriately. Fortunately, you can always seek help from a West Palm Beach work injury lawyer.
At Frank Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we have skilled workers' compensation attorneys in West Palm Beach to help you seek justice (by appointment only). Our lawyers have extensive experience in work comp claims and a track record of success.
More than just fighting for justice, we're empathetic towards your cause and dedicated to your case. We have top-notch analytical skills, perseverance, strong ethics, and convenient fee structures.
Call us at (561) 800-8000 for more information on how we'll provide the support you need during this difficult time.Understanding Workers’ Compensation Coverage in West Palm Beach
Florida's workers' compensation aims to provide financial assistance to injured employees during recovery. The workers' compensation structure differs from other personal injury cases because it runs on a "no-fault" system. This means you could still be entitled to compensation, even if you partially caused the accident.
Also, it's important to note that workers' compensation is a trade-off between you and your employer. While it will allow you to seek adequate benefits for your injuries, you give up your right to an injury lawsuit. You may only file a lawsuit when your employer unjustly denies compensation or if a third party caused your accident.
However, your injuries must be work-related to qualify for workers' compensation. This means that you must have sustained your injuries when carrying out official functions and in no other way.Common Types of Work Injuries
The work-related injuries in West Palm Beach may be due to an accident or an occupational illness. Generally, they fall under these common categories:Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are among the most common on-the-job injury sources in West Palm Beach. It's a slip-and-fall accident when you fall due to a wet surface. Meanwhile, trips and falls suggest that your injury was due to an object on your way.
You may also fall when you lose your balance or fall from a height, primarily if you work in construction. Regardless of your injury, falls are serious accidents that may lead to the most severe injuries. Common injuries resulting from a fall include broken bones, contusions, bruising, traumatic brain injuries, sprains, strains, etc.Overexertion Injuries
Overexertion injuries happen when you put too much stress on your tendons, ligaments, or muscles. This usually happens in industries where you have to push, pull or lift heavy items. In addition, overexertion can trigger heart-related conditions.Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetition motion injuries are often the result of performing similar tasks every day. These injuries happen over a long period and may not be easily noticeable. However, they can significantly impact your health and quality of life negatively.
Common repetitive motion injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated discs, tendonitis, strains, tennis elbow, etc.Vehicle Accidents
Sometimes, car crashes are part of a work-related injury. This usually happens when you are on your way or returning from an official assignment. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation accidents accounted for 37% of work-related fatalities in 2020.
Vehicle-related work injuries can be pretty severe and, in some cases, fatal. Unfortunately, they're pretty common in West Palm Beach.Trauma Injuries
A trauma injury happens when an object falls on you or you fall from a height. These types of wounds are common at construction and mining sites. Trauma injuries are often severe and require extensive treatment and recovery time.What Are the Types of Workers’ Injury Benefits in West Palm Beach?
You may receive these benefits after a work comp case in West Palm Beach:Temporary Disability Benefits
You're eligible for temporary disability benefits if your injuries keep you away from work for some time. Two types of temporary disability benefits are Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and Temporary Partial Disability (TPD).
TTD is for injured employees who cannot return to work due to their injuries. Meanwhile, workers receiving TPD benefits can return to work but only perform limited roles or can't work full-time.Impairment Benefits
You'll be eligible for impairment benefits if your condition doesn't improve even after reaching MMI. MMI is short for Maximum Medical Improvement and refers to a state where your condition can no longer improve. In such cases, your doctor will give you an impairment rating and evaluate you for possible work restrictions.Permanent Total Disability Benefits
As impairment benefits, permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are for injured workers whose conditions don't improve after reaching MMI. However, unlike impairment benefits, injured workers under PTD can't work any longer.Death Benefits
Florida's work comp laws provide death benefits when an employee dies due to a work-related injury. The deceased's family may be eligible for these benefits if the victim dies within one year after the work-related accident. They may also receive death benefits if the death happens after five years of continuous disability.
Death benefits generally include funeral expenses and other allowances.How to File a West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Claim
Here's how the work injury claims process works in West Palm Beach:Report the Accident To Your Employer or Supervisor
The first step after a work-related injury is to report it to your employer or supervisor. According to Florida's work injury laws, you have only 30 days after the accident to do this. Failure to report your injuries within the stipulated time can result in a denied claim.Seek Medical Treatment
Another essential process in your work comp claim is seeking medical attention for your injuries. Besides ensuring that you recover, visiting a physician proves that you sustained a work-related injury.
Generally, you can only get medical treatment from a medical practitioner authorized by your employer to qualify for benefits. However, in emergency cases, you can visit the nearest emergency room for urgent medical attention to avoid complications.Your Employer Reports the Injury to Their Insurance Carrier
After reporting your injury to your employer, they must inform their insurance carrier. Legal experts call this the accident report or first report of illness. Employers must file this report within one week after you report your accident.
The insurance company is responsible for investigating your eligibility for compensation. They'll do this by analyzing your medical records, work experience, wages, etc.
The insurance company may also order an Independent Medical Examination (IME) to verify the extent of your injuries. Another reason for the IME is to confirm that your injury was work-related.The Insurance Carrier Accepts Your Claim, and You Start Receiving Benefits
Once the insurance carrier is aware of your injuries, they'll send you an information packet within three days. You'll find a copy of the accident report and a rundown of your rights.
If the insurance carrier accepts your claim, you should receive your first benefits 21 days after they obtain the report. Afterwards, your benefits will depend on the severity of your injuries (whether it falls under TTD or TPD). Generally, you should receive benefits checks every two weeks until you resume work or 104 weeks elapses.Appealing a Workers' Compensation Denial in West Palm Beach
While every injured worker hopes their claims process works smoothly, it doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes, the insurance carrier will deny a claim and force you to file an appeal. This is especially true when the denial results from bad faith or malice.
Note, however, that there may be legitimate reasons for your claim's denial. For example, you may have failed to see an approved health care provider or reported your injuries late. Nevertheless, our West Palm Beach injury lawyers will evaluate your case and advise you on the next best step.
If you're qualified for an appeal, here's how the process goes:Notice of Denial
The workers' compensation carrier must inform you of the decision to deny your claim. They'll typically send you the denial notice within 120 days after the injury report. After the denial, you may decide to resolve the dispute in good faith by appealing to the insurance adjuster. You may also choose to contact the Florida Bureau Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office (EAO) to assist in resolving the issue.Petition for Work Comp Benefits
Another step after a denial is to file a petition with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC). You'll also have to send copies of the petition to your employer and the relevant insurance company. After receiving your petition, the OJCC will review it and decide based on the information of its denial.
Note that the insurance carrier must respond to the petition they receive. They can accept or decline to pay your benefits via a filed and served response.Mediation
Most of the time, the OJCC will attempt to resolve the dispute via mediation. Note that the mediation process is informal and non-binding. However, it can be effective in helping you and the insurance carrier reach an amicable settlement.
The OJCC will typically order the mediation within 40 days after you file the petition. Meanwhile, the mediation process will be held within 130 days after the date of filing the petition.
If the mediation is successful, the insurance carrier pays your benefits, which signifies the case's end. Unfortunately, mediation doesn't always work out, and you may have to proceed to a pre-trial hearing.Pre-Trial Hearing
The pretrial hearing happens in the county where you sustained your injuries before a Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC). Generally, all the parties to the hearing will receive the notice of hearing 14 days before the hearing date. This will give you enough time to prepare your case with your West Palm Beach work injury lawyer.Final Hearing
The final hearing is the next stage after the pre-trial hearing. As the name suggests, it's also the last process in your appeal with OJCC. This is where our work comp attorneys will represent your best interests before the JCC.
Of course, the insurance company will also try to defend itself. After the hearing, the JCC will decide your case within 30 days. This decision is binding and will order the insurance company to pay your benefits or deny your right to compensation.
If the JJC accepts the argument in your favor, they'll stipulate the amounts the insurance carrier must pay. This may include penalties, interest, lawyer fees, etc.Lawsuit
While the JCC's decision is final and binding, you may also appeal via a lawsuit if you don't accept the decision. In some cases, the lawsuit may be at the instance of the insurance company if they disagree with the decision.
Regardless of who files the lawsuit, the notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after the JCC's decision. The disputing party will file the appeal notice at the First District Court of Appeal.
The JJC will typically send the appeal record to the First District Court of Appeal within 60 days. After this, the appellant will file a brief which the appellee will respond to. Then, after carefully examining the case's merits, the Court of Appeal will affirm or reverse the JCC's decision.Why Should I Hire a West Palm Beach Injury Lawyer?
Our West Palm Beach work injury attorneys can be assets in your claim. Here's why:Our West Palm Beach Work Injury Lawyers Will Determine Your Eligibility
You may only receive work comp benefits when you qualify for workers' compensation. Therefore, filing a work comp claim when you have no right to work comp benefits will waste valuable time. Unfortunately, with so many factors to consider, determining your eligibility can be a challenging task.
The good news is that you don't have to do all that brainstorming by yourself. Our workers' compensation lawyers will access every detail of your case and determine if you qualify for work comp benefits. We'll let you in on your other options if you don't.We Make Sure You Take the Right Steps
It's one thing to qualify for work comp benefits and another to take the proper steps to attain justice. Unfortunately, injured employers often don't obtain their full benefits because they don't know how to go about it. Fortunately, this won’t be a problem when our work comp attorneys work on your case.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we determine if you meet all the legal requirements. From proving your work-related injury to filing a report and visiting an approved physician, we can advise you so you do everything right.Our Attorneys Will Properly Calculate Your Losses
It's good to know you're entitled to certain benefits after a workplace accident. However, it’s important to determine your eligible benefits correctly. For example, are you qualified for medical, vocational, or disability benefits?
Our workers' compensation lawyers will discuss all the options available to seek the compensation you deserve.We Will Help You Deal With the Insurance Companies
Filing a claim doesn't automatically guarantee you'll receive the benefits. Many challenges and bottlenecks can hinder receiving sufficient benefits. In these cases, our work comp attorneys will tackle them head-on.
For example, insurance carriers can be problematic when you file for compensation. They could seamlessly deny your claim without a work injury attorney representing your interests.
Our lawyers understand the tactics. We can negotiate with insurance companies for a chance of a fair settlement.Our Work Injury Lawyers Will Help You File an Appeal
Receiving a claim denial can be disheartening and weaken your resolve to pursue justice. However, our work comp attorneys will provide you with ample moral support.
You wouldn't have to worry about the appeal process because we'll adequately prepare you for it. Our lawyers will also represent your interest before the JCC and an appeal court judge.Contact Our Experienced West Palm Beach Work Injury Lawyer
After a work-related accident, you need to focus your energy on recovering from your injuries and returning to work. However, this won’t be possible if you don't have enough financial resources to support your healing. As such, your best option is to remain focused on your recovery while our work injury attorneys represent your interests.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we understand West Palm Beach's work comp claims process. We've been advocating for many years and have helped our clients throughout the legal process. Call our law office at (561) 800-8000 to speak with our West Palm Beach work comp lawyers now.