The Workers' Compensation system in Florida was created to furnish benefits to workers injured on the job without regard to fault. The controlling statutes are contained in Chapter 440 of Florida's Statutes. Broadly stated, the benefits are limited to medical and lost wages. Unlike personal injury cases, injured workers subject to the workers' compensation system are not entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.Most employers are required to participate in the system by maintaining insurance or being self-insured.
The first workers' compensation system began in the United States in 1910. Now, every state has its own unique workers' compensation system. Workers' compensation was devised as a system to provide immediate benefits to injured workers without regard to fault. This was a breakthrough concept and a major change from the procedures existing before, which required injured workers to prove fault against the employer for causing the accident. In exchange for this no-fault system, employers are given immunity from being sued for negligence.
Unfortunately, the provision of benefits to injured workers under Florida's workers' compensation system has proven to be anything but self-executing. In many instances, the benevolent system for the friendly provision of benefits has developed into a tough daily battle between injured workers and employers and their insurance companies. Common disputes include: where and when and even if an accident has occurred; the extent and nature of the injuries; to what extent, if any, the injuries are preexisting; entitlement to lost wages; the correct average weekly wages; the provision of medical care; and job harassment and wrongful termination.
Our law firm has represented nearly 2000 injured workers. We handle our workers' compensation cases on a contingent basis, meaning that no fees or costs are incurred by our clients until we win the case.
Call or email now to arrange a free consultaton. Our offices are conveniently located in Miami-Dade County, only minutes from I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard in Miami Shores Village. Parking is free and easy. If necessary, a member of the law firm will come to your home, the hospital, or nursing home to meet you. We are available after hours and on weekends.
Important Definitions & Considerations:
- "Accident" means only an unexpected or unusual event or result that happens suddenly. 440.02(1)
- "Maximum Medical Improvement" (MMI) means the date after which further recovery from, or lasting improvement to, an injury or disease can no longer reasonably be anticipated, based upon reasonable medical probability. 440.02(10)
- "Disability" means incapacity because of the injury to earn in the same or any other employment the wages which the employee was receiving at the time of the injury. 440.02(13)
- "Employee" means any person who receives remuneration from an employer for the performance of any work or service while engaged in any employment under any appointment or contract for hire or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, whether lawfully or unlawfully employed, and includes, but is not limited to, aliens and minors. 440.02(15)(a)(b)(c)
- Employee does not include an independent contractor who is not engaged in the construction industry. (The criteria of an independent contractor are set forth in 440.02(15)(d)1.a.)
- "Injury" means personal injury or death by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, and such diseases or infection as naturally or unavoidably result from such injury. 440.02(19)
- "Permanent impairment" means any anatomic or functional abnormality or loss determined as a percentage of the body as a whole, existing after the date of maximum medical improvement, which results from the injury. 440.02(22)
- "Wages" means the money rate at which the service rendered is recompensed under the contract of hiring in force at the time of the injury. 440.02(28)
- Notice of Injury must be given to the employer within 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury unless the employer had actual knowledge of the injury. (Other considerations apply.) 440.185
- Statute of Limitations for filing Petitions (440.19): within 2 years after the date on which the employee knew or should have known that the injury or death arose out of work performed in the course and scope of employment. Payment of any indemnity benefit or the furnishing of remedial treatment, care, or attendance pursuant shall extend the limitations period for 1 year from the date of such payment. 440.19
Examples of significant injuries the Firm has handled:
- Aggravation of MS
- HIV/AIDS from exposure to blood
- Retinal Detachment
Call or email today to arrange a free confidential consultation.