An Overview Of Workers’ Compensation in Florida
Serving the West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Sunrise, FL
If you’ve been injured or hurt on the job in Florida, you probably have many questions: How does the Workers’ Compensation process work? What are my rights? Can I choose my own doctor? Don’t take a chance by trying to handle your claim by yourself — hire an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney like David M. Benenfeld
David Benenfeld has just written a brand new report on Florida Workers’ Compensation called “Hurt on the Job — What Are My Rights?” Order your free copy by calling our office at (954) 677-0155 .
So, you’ve been hurt on the job and are probably overwhelmed by how you feel. You may also be wondering when (or if) you’ll receive any money while you recuperate or even if you’ll receive medical care for the injuries that you have.
The Florida Workers’ Compensation system is supposed to be a “self executing” system in that when you get hurt, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carriers are supposed to automatically provide you with all the benefits that you’re entitled to under the law. Unfortunately, although this was the intent of the law when it was written, the notion that the law is “self executing” simply isn’t the case.
To begin with, once you get hurt, and you file a claim, your claim will now be handled by the insurance company. It is important to remember that the person handling your claim for the insurance company works for the insurance company, not you. Their client is not you, but rather your employer. Put very simply, they work for your boss. Who do you think they want to make happy — you, or their boss?
Out of all the various types of insurance, Workers’ Compensation adjusters are notorious for denying claims for needed treatment, or deeming legitimate costs as “unnecessary” or “not their responsibility.”
Most Workers’ Compensation policies require that the injured party undergo a consultation from a doctor, which would seem reasonable, but more often than not, these doctors are paid by the insurance companies themselves. They usually recommend what is called palliative treatment. This is basically the least expensive and least effective treatment that they can get away with. The purpose of this is to treat the symptoms as opposed to the actual injury, which does two things for the insurance company: First, it covers their legal obligation to “do something” without resorting to more effective and more costly treatments. And second, it gives them time, which is the most important tool that the insurance companies have.
An insurance company has the luxury of waiting. An injured worker does not. Medical bills, paying the mortgage, and feeding a family are real costs that can very quickly place a worker in serious financial jeopardy, particularly if the injury is the sort that prevents him or her from obtaining other employment. Time is not something the average workers’ compensation injured worker has.
Delaying and arguing over every claim also gives the insurance companies plenty of time to hire private investigators. While that might sound far-fetched and even paranoid, we’ve had plenty of experience in dealing with them. It is their job to keep an eye on you and catch you doing something that would give the insurance company yet another reason to cancel your benefits. Something as seemingly non-important as not limping severely enough could be used against you. Catching people in situations that benefit insurance companies is big business for private investigators. It’s developed into such a profitable sideline for them that there are actually textbooks published on the subject.
Not only do investigators do surveillance of injured workers, but they also dig into their backgrounds, looking for anything that could keep them from issuing benefits. If you lifted weights regularly or played football on weekends with your friends, then maybe, according to the insurance company, THAT was the reason you threw your back out instead of the injury that you suffered at work. Insurers take their profits very seriously, and they are always looking for any way to minimize their liability.
Another insurance company tactic is to offer an inadequate lump settlement payment to workers’ compensation recipients. To many injured workers that are tired of the constant paperwork and accusations, this would seem like a blessing. But the initial offer for a lump sum payment is usually far less than what an injured worker needs, and accepting a settlement offer without an attorney to fight for your rights could be disastrous.
Insurance companies also have enormous public relations machines that give the public the perception that most workers’ compensation claims are based on fraud and deceit. We see the results on television and in our newspapers on an almost daily basis. Despite being one of the most profitable industries in the world, insurance companies complain about “frivolous lawsuits” driving them into bankruptcy and raise their rates almost every year, even though their reasons for doing so have very little to do with “frivolous lawsuits” and everything to do with investors and annual profit reports.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance adjusters may take advantage of what you don’t know. It is for that reason that victims of work-related injuries should always check with an experienced attorney to make sure that they are being treated fairly. In South Florida, that attorney is David Benenfeld.
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, your intention is probably to recover as quickly and as permanently as possible so you can get back to work. That’s what workers’ compensation is supposed to be for. Unfortunately, these days it takes first rate legal acumen to get the insurers to live up to their end of the contract. David Benenfeld knows the insurance company tactics, he knows the doctors, he knows how the investigators work, and he knows what it takes to get you the treatment and compensation that you deserve. And fortunately for his clients, the insurers know him. Over a decade of personal injury experience has made David Benenfeld a known and respected advocate for the injured among insurers, and they take the needs of his clients very seriously. He places a priority on helping injured workers obtain lump sum settlements that are fair for the injured worker instead of convenient for the insurers. He also places a priority on getting medical care, obtaining money for the victims while they recuperate, and getting transportation for the injured worker to medical appointments.
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, or are suffering from an illness brought on by your working conditions, the Law Offices of David Benenfeld can help. If it turns out that you are being treated fairly by your insurer, we will tell you. If you aren’t being treated fairly, we will do everything we can to see that your situation is corrected.Contact David Benenfeld, an experienced Sunrise, FL workers compensation attorney, today at (954) 677-0155 or (954) 677-0155 for legal advice.