Can I Handle My Own Workers’ Comp Case In Florida?
After a work-related injury, it’s not unusual to feel as if handling your workers’ comp case on your own is a good idea. Yet, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly as a workers’ comp insurance company usually has the employer’s best interest in mind and not the injured worker.
When You Can Represent Yourself
Generally, you may be able to successfully represent yourself in a workers’ comp case if:
- The workplace injury was minor, such as a small cut with few stitches or an ankle sprain;
- The employer admits your injury took place at the job site;
- Little or no work time was lost due to the injury; and
- The bodily area injured isn’t affected by a pre-existing condition.
The caveat is all four statements must apply to the injury and situation. Otherwise, it’s recommended to contact a workers’ comp appeals process can feel daunting but will advocate for your best interest until a fair settlement is received.
Settlement Offer Is Insufficient For Lost Wages & Medical Bills
All settlement offers are approved by a workers’ compensation judge before the offer is presented to an employee. But this doesn’t mean the offer will be sufficient to cover lost wages and medical bills, now or in the future. A workers’ compensation attorney can review an offer and provide guidance on whether it should be accepted or declined.
Medical Condition Impacts Previous Job
Depending on the severity of a workplace injury, you may be unable to return to your former position, be limited to certain tasks, or unable to work at all. You may be eligible for partial or total permanent disability payments to make up for lost wages, but many insurance companies balk at paying out these monies if possible.
It’s illegal for an employer to retaliate — wage decrease, demotion, or termination are examples — under Florida Statute § 440.205. If this happens after filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact an attorney Ocala, FL, workers rely on with Schatt Hesser McGraw.
Receive Or Plan To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
The structure of a workers’ compensation settlement can greatly impact the benefits you receive or may receive in the future for Social Security disability benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney knows how to negotiate and draft a settlement that limits this effect.
Injuries Were Caused By Third-Party Actions Or Employer Misconduct
While workers’ compensation generally prohibits filing suit for a work-related injury, certain situations allow for both types of claims. Examples include willful misconduct by your employer or a vehicle accident caused by a third-party while commuting to work.
Three Benefits Of Workers’ Comp Lawyers In Ocala, FL
Even if your workers’ compensation claim seems straightforward, speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney may be beneficial in these three ways or more.
1. Thorough Evidence Gathering
Workers’ comp lawyers in Ocala, FL, know how crucial medical evidence is to a workers’ compensation claim — the more evidence there is, the higher the odds the claim will be approved. Attorneys with Schatt Hesser McGraw can build this body of evidence by gathering medical records, deposing medical experts, and arranging medical treatment with specialized physicians.
2. Negotiation Skills
An experienced workers’ comp attorney can review a claim and provide a good estimation of a potential settlement amount. However, if the settlement offer is significantly lower than the estimation or ultimately insufficient for your situation, an attorney can negotiate a better settlement with the workers’ comp insurance company. Many times, final offers can be renegotiated and result in your favor.
3. Comprehensive Legal Representation
Sometimes it isn’t possible to resolve a workers’ compensation case outside of litigation. If your case is scheduled for an administrative hearing or trial, contact Schatt Hesser McGraw. An attorney can uncover evidence during discovery, including witness depositions, and research applicable to state and federal labor laws to build the strongest case possible.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney In Ocala, FL
Workers’ compensation was created as a safeguard for workers who are injured on-the-job. Yet, many workers feel the system has segued from its original intention and instead, works to safeguard the employer. At Schatt Hesser McGraw, our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys have helped many workers navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation and ultimately receive the benefits due to them. Contact our law firm today to discuss your case.