Americans get hurt on the job every day. If this has happened to you or a member of your family, you need advice from experienced Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers who can help you navigate the complex rules that govern compensation for workplace injuries.
As you may already be aware, getting injured on the job leads to some tough problems, including physical rehabilitation, medical expenses, and lost wages. The government has established a system called workers’ compensation to handle claims like these. Contacting a distinguished personal injury lawyer should be your first step to recovery.
Defining Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a kind of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who have been hurt on the job. In order to participate in the system, employees waive their right to file a lawsuit. The tradeoff between certain but limited coverage and losing the ability to have a day in court is referred to as “the compensation bargain.”
The system was created in part so that injured employees whose employers went out of business after a huge disaster would not be left without a chance of any compensation. Unfortunately, some corporations have devised methods of using the rules to block injured workers from getting justice. It is important to work with Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers who can fight for an individual’s right to damages.
Appealing a Claim
It is not unusual for insurers to reject legitimate workers’ compensation claims, in the cynical hope that the injured workers will not exercise their right to appeal. All too frequently, workers who are hurt on the job accept the denial of their claim without appealing.
Do not let the employer or insurer get away with this. A Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer can give an injury victim a thorough assessment of the value of that claim, and advice about whether it is worthwhile to appeal the denial, as it often is.
Employers sometimes make settlement offers, but they almost never will pay for all the lost wages or medical costs that the victim has incurred. The worker cannot rely on the workers’ compensation judge to make sure that the deal is fair. Many judges will sign off on any settlement that does not seem clearly unjust on its face. An objective assessment by a lawyer who is there solely to represent the accident victim’s interests is very important.
Impact of Permanent Disability
A worker who has suffered permanent disability as a result of an on-the-job injury may be entitled to lifetime weekly payments (or a single lump sum) to make up for the reduction in income. As one might expect, insurance companies battle very hard to avoid making these payments.
Social Security is another factor that may affect the outcome. If the settlement is not structured correctly, Social Security may get a large percentage of the benefits. An experienced lawyer will understand how to draft the contract in such a way as to minimize this offset. Sometimes an employer will attempt to terminate or otherwise penalize a worker who has won damages in an injury claim. This sort of retaliation is illegal.
Speaking with a Tampa Attorney
Whenever you are dealing with the workers’ compensation system, it is crucial to get advice from a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer who is there only to look out for your interests, rather than relying on promises from employers and insurers that may turn out to be worthless.