If your Florida workers’ compensation claim has been denied, call the attorneys at Vaughan Law Group for help.
Each year, more than 70,000 workers are injured on the job in Florida. Many of these injuries require extensive medical treatment and force victims out of work for several weeks or even months. Not only do these injuries result in overwhelming mental and physical pain and suffering, but they have a devastating impact on the financial wellbeing of victims and their families.
The state of Florida requires all companies with four or more employees to maintain adequate workers’ compensation policies to cover workers injured on the job and to provide them with compensation and various other benefits that can help them throughout their recovery.
Occasionally there are instances where the workers’ compensation claim filed by an injured worker is denied. In these cases, it is crucial to understand the legal options available so you can proceed and recover the benefits you need and deserve. Working with an aggressive workers’ compensation attorney in Orlando will ensure you are in the best position imaginable to protect your legal rights and obtain the benefits you are entitled to.
Why Was My Claim Denied?
Being injured on the job can be extremely traumatic. In addition to suffering overwhelming physical and emotional pain and suffering, victims often worry about lost wages and medical expenses. In Florida, the workers’ compensation system is designed to help those harmed on the job by providing an array of benefits and compensation to them throughout the duration of their recovery.
There are numerous instances where workers are denied the benefits they rightfully deserve. Some of the most common causes of denial for workers’ compensation claims include:
Not Filing the Claim on Time: A failure to file the claim within the allotted time frame can jeopardize an injured worker’s ability to obtain benefits. Injured workers must notify their employer of the accident and injuries within 30-days of it happening. Not providing adequate notice can result in the forfeiture of benefits.
The Injury Was Deemed to Be Not Job-Related: There are instances where people are injured under circumstances that are not job-related. For example, if a worker is running personal errands and is injured in a car accident on their lunch break, they are not considered to have been injured on the job. Unfortunately, this is a common reason for the denial of legitimate claims for benefits.
The Worker Was Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol: Being injured on the job while impaired can have a negative impact on a worker’s ability to obtain benefits. In most cases, employers will issue a drug screening or blood tests after accidents occur. Workers who fail these tests will not be covered under workers’ compensation laws.
The Medical Record and Accident Report are Conflicting: When a worker is injured, they need to provide detailed information to their doctor regarding the symptoms they experience. They will also undergo testing to determine the extent of injuries. When the information provided to the employer does not match what is in the medical record, it can indicate that a worker was not truly injured on the job.
There Were No Witnesses: If a worker is injured on the job, and no one saw the accident occur, the employer may deny that they were actually injured during the course of their employment. Working with an experienced Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer in Florida will ensure you have the evidence you need in support of your claim.
The Employer Disputes the Claim: There are instances where employers dispute valid claims presented by injured workers. Those who are wrongfully denied benefits under these circumstances should consult with an aggressive attorney as soon as possible.
Being denied workers’ compensation benefits can be devastating. Fortunately, workers are able to proceed and secure benefits by filing an appeal.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Denial in Florida
When workers are denied workers’ compensation benefits, it is crucial that they act quickly to ensure their legal rights are protected so they can obtain the benefits they need.
In general, workers who are denied Florida workers’ compensation coverage have up to two years to file an appeal. Those who want to proceed must file a Petition for Benefits with the Clerk at the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC) within two years of being denied. They will need to provide various details surrounding their accident including what types of injuries they sustained and the wages they have lost out on.
Once filed, the OJCC will notify your employer that an appeal was filed and they will notify the employer’s workers compensation insurance company. The insurance company will have 14-days to respond to the OJCC or they must issue payments for victims.
After the appeal is filed, it will be issued a case number and transmitted to the OJCC district office nearest you. You will then need to attend a mediation hearing with the insurance company, your employer, and a third-party mediator to come to an agreement on how to proceed.
If you are unable to come to an agreement, you will need to attend a pretrial hearing within 130-days in front of a judge to present the details of your case within 90 days. The judge will then make the determination surrounding your entitlement within 30-days. Working with a workers’ compensation attorney in Florida will provide you with the best chances of obtaining the outcome you expect.
Vaughan Law Group Can Help You
If you were injured on the job in Orlando, it is crucial that you work with a skilled and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney in Orlando to ensure you get the benefits and compensation you deserve. Having a claim for benefits denied can have a detrimental impact on your ability to recover from your injuries and tend to your financial obligations as you recover. Instead, working with an attorney from Vaughan Law Group will ensure you have the best chances of securing your benefits as quickly as possible.
With decades of experience, our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys have fought aggressively to ensure those harmed are in the best position possible to secure the benefits and compensation they deserve after a devastating workplace accident. Our team will investigate your claim, file your claim, and provide evidence and information necessary to ensure you have the best chances of recovering. Contact our law firm today at (407) 648-4535 to explore legal options available for you.