​​In June 2016, The Florida Supreme Court ruled that part of Florida's the workers' compensation statute was unconstiutional.  The Court stated that the 104 week cap on Temporary Partial Disability benefits was so oppressive “that the workers suffer in silence rather than fight a system that is so obviously and drastically skewed against them.”  If you've been injured on the job, contact us to protect your rights. 

 

We know that an on the job injury can be the source of a lot of pain, confusion and frustration. Medical expenses can pile up, and if you’re unable to work due to an injury, paying bills, buying groceries and taking care of yourself and your family can become very difficult. If you’ve experienced an on the job injury, we urge you to contact us now, before insurance company adjusters or employers try to dismiss your injuries as less severe than they really are and so you can get the guidance and counsel you need.  No one wants to be injured and have their life turned upside down. Whether your injury was a result of negligence or an accident, it's important that you understand your rights. It's common to feel like you have been taken advantage of if you don't have an experienced workers' compensation lawyer on your side.

When you have sufffered a work related injury or illness, it can quickly become a battle.  Some employers tell their workers' to shake it off. Others become upset with the injured employee.  Some employers try to convince their employees not to report the accident. They may say it's a minor injury and it will hurt their accident free status or that it will cause their insurance rate to increase.  An employer may try to prevent an injured worker from seeing a doctor by threatening to withhold pay for the time off required to visit a doctor.  So what do you do? Contact us. While not all employers fall into thses categories, the truth is that Florida has one of the toughest workers' compensation laws in the country, if you're an injured worker.

Contact a workers compensation attorney who is dedicated to working for your rights. At the Law Office of Arna D. Cortazzo, P.A., we offer zealous representation and compassionate personal service. We will treat you with courtesy and respect during this difficult time.  As a former workers' compensation defense attorney who represented employers and insurance companies, Attorney Arna Cortazzo knows how the empoyer and workers' comp insurance companies think and act. She will put this invaluable experience to work for you.

 

Many employees in Florida don’t know that most employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees. This type of insurance is considered "no-fault", so you do not have to prove fault in order to receive benefits that you are legally entitled to receive. Sometimes employers try to hide that fact.

 

If you have been injured on the job:

    • You must report the injury to your employer, supervisor, or someone in charge. Florida Law requires you to report your accident within 30 days of its occurrence. Your employer may have much shorter reporting requirements, but the law allows 30 days. Fill out the workplace injury form, but, do not complete the forms if you’ve experienced head trauma or think you might have a concussion. An injury report should be complete and concise, and include specific details about what happened, the time and date of the incident, and the names of witnesses. If your judgment is clouded and details are blurry, you may want to wait until after treatment to complete the report. Just be sure to meet the 30 day requirement.

    • If your employer won't call their workers' compensation insurance company for you, then call the State of Florida yourself at 1-800-342-1741 to report your injury. It is your right to have the accident accurately and timely reported, or call us before the 30 day time limit is up. Don't wait.

    • File a claim as soon as possible.

    • Contact us.

  • Seeking medical treatment is very important for a successful workers’ compensation claim. Getting the right treatment for your injuries can reduce the risk of a recurring injury, and it can help you get back to work more quickly. Some injuries are catastrophic or severe enough that an employee will not return to work, medical treatment in these cases is of the utmost importance.

  • Medical reports from doctors who are authorized by the workers' comp insurance company are very important as the physician will document your injuries. Be sure to prepare for your doctor's appointments by writing down all your symptoms and what causes the pain to worsen or improve.  Ask your family members to help you prepare. We will use the medical records for proof if we have to go to court or if the insurance company questions your claim.

  •  Florida law allows the workers' comp adjuster to choose the physicians that will provide treatment to you, in most cases. There may be restrictions on doctors and facilities, but an injured worker may seek another opinion from a different medical professional and a one time change in physicians. But before you ask for the one time change or another opinion, talk to us. The law is very strict in these areas and you need to get advice from an experienced workers' comp lawyer before you act.

How do I know if my employer has workers' compensation insurance?

As we stated above, most Florida employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Some employers do not have to have workers’ compensation coverage unless they employee a minimum number of workers. If you have been injured on the job, you need an experienced lawyer to tell you what you need to know to successfully secure the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Contact us now.

 

I've heard that Florida law is against injured workers, what do I do?

In 2016, the Florida Supreme Court addressed the unfairness of Florida's workers' compensation law againt injured workers in two separate cases. The Justices ruled that parts of the law violated the constitutional rights of injured workers. We have extensive experience helping injured workers. You will be provided with an honest assessment of your workers’ compensation case.  We know the changes in the law and how to protect your rights.  Most people are hurt on the job due to circumstances that are beyond their control. The Florida Workers' Compensation Statute has provisions in place to assist workers who have been injured on the job. This includes compensation for lost wages and medical care. It is true that Florida has some of the toughest laws in the country for injured workers. That's why it is important to hire an experienced Florida workers' compensation attorney to represent you. We have a highly experienced staff to assist you in getting the medical attention you need and the compensation that you are entitled to under the law. For over 20 years we have been fighting for the rights of injured workers. We work diligently to make sure that you and your family are protected. While workers’ compensation laws can be complicated and ever changing, we know the law, your rights and how to fight to get you the medical care and compensation you deserve. Contact us to learn your rights.

If you are injured under the workers’ compensation system, you may be entitled to the following benefits:

  • Medical care;

  • Lost Wages;

  • Lost Time;

  • Temporary disability- the Florida Supreme Court recently struck down part of the workers' compensation law that unfairly limited temporary benefits. This decision helps injured workers. Call us to learn more;

  • Permanent disability

  • Vocational rehabilitation

If you were injured on the job, contact us immediately to find out what type of benefits you may be entitled to. We are experienced in representing injured workers.

The Law Offices of Arna D. Cortazzo, P.A. is dedicated to representing people who have suffered work-related injuries. We represent injured workers in all types of work-related accidents. Employees working in Brevard County and Indian River County encounter serious and catastrophic workplace injury accidents and wrongful death in every sort of work environment including assisting patients in hospitals and nursing homes, in agricultural fields, factories, offices, fishing boats, construction sites and more. Among the many causes of serious occupational injuries are repetitive motion, car accidents, slip and fall, fires, explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrocution, just to name a few. First responders and DOC workers face the risk of serious injury everyday. Were you seriously injured at your job? Did a loved one die from fatal injuries in a workplace accident?  Contact us now.

Frequently asked Questions: No two cases are the same.  Every case must be carefully evaluated, but here are a few answers to frequnetly asked questions.

 

How long until I receive my benefits check? There is a seven-day waiting period before you can receive your benefits. You have to be unable to work for 7 days before you can receive any benefits. The first seven day waiting period is due after you have reached the 21-day minimum day requirement.

How are my workrs' comp benefits determined? Your benefits that replace your earnings are based on your gross pay for the 13 weeks before the accident or injury. If you were not employed for substantially the whole 13 weeks there are other ways of calculating your benefits. Payments are

66 2/3 % of your average weekly wages subject to a maximum amount imposed by the legislature.

How long will I receive benefits? You may receive Temporary Total payments, Temporary Partial Disability payments or a combination of these payments up to a maximum of 260 weeks (5 years), or until you reach maximum medical improvement or are returned to full duty work.Other types of benefits, such as Permanent Total Disability benefits are also provided in the law.

Who pays for medical treatment?

Most work-related injuries are covered by the employer's workers compensation insurance. Injuries that were sustained in an accident, such as a fall or mechanical malfunction are covered. Even injuries that occur from normal daily job duties are covered, such as carpal tunnel syndrome caused by too many consecutive hours at the computer or working on a machine, lung cancer caused by second-hand smoke at an institution permitting smoking, and all other types of repetitive trauma. By law, employers are required to minimize safety risks and make sure workers are not in danger. If you’ve been injured on the job, your employer’s insurance company has the responsibility to provide medical treatment and compensate you for missed time from work due to your injuries. They will also be responsible to pay for attendant care, if you cannot take care of all your personal needs for a period of time. Additionally, if your doctor has placed you on light duty, your employer should accommodate your restrictions. If they do not, the workers’ compensation insurance company will be responsible for compensating you while you are on light duty.

We represent clients in all types of work-related injuries across a wide range of industries and job types. Our firm takes pride in protecting people who become injured on the job and are in need of professional legal assistance.

Some of the types of cases we have handled include:

Our extensive experience has allowed us to become familiar with claim adjusters and insurance companies. We work hard to get you the compensation and medical care that you deserve. We file all the necessary legal documents to ensure our clients receive weekly benefits while they are out of work from their injury.  Please contact us at (321) 690-2363 to schedule a free consultation. Or, you can contact by completing the form below.

Can I settle my case?

Your case may be able to be settled.  Settlements vary based on your average weekly wage, age, education, and past work history. Settlements are also determined by the extent of your injury, your future medical care needs and the level of your permanent impairment, as determined by your doctor. Florida workers’ compensation law does not compensate an injured worker for pain and suffering or loss of your ability to enjoy life.  If the workers' comp adjuster offered you a settlement, call us before you accept.  We will review the details of your particular case and we will let you know how much your case is worth based upon our  experience.

If I file a claim, am I suing my employer?

When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are asking for benefits from the employer's workers' comp insurance company and not filing a lawsuit against your employer. In some cases, if you are injured on the job by the fault of someone other than your direct employer, you can seek third party compensation. These claims usually take place in civil court, not in the workers’ compensation system and are in addition to your workers' compensation claim. We can help you with third party cases where you may be able to be compensated for pain and suffering. If you do file a third party suit, the worker's compensation insurance company will likely asert a lien for any damages awarded in the third pary suit.  We will negotiate that lien for you.  An example of a third party suit is if you are in a car accident caused by the fault of someone else while working.

Also, if you were injured on the job and were subsequently terminated, you may have a “retaliation” or wrongful termination” claim.

If I'm an independent contractor and get hurt on the job, am I covered by workers'  comp?
Certain types of occupations are exempt as are independent contractors. If your injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a civil claim. Call us for a complete evaluation of your case. Contact us to find out more.

If you've been injured on the job and have questions about your legal rights, we are here to assist you - call us at 321-690-2363 or contact us online.

The initial consultation is free. You pay no fees or costs if no recovery is made. We offer in-home or hospital consultation if you are not able to come to our offices located in Rockledge and Melbourne.

 

 

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Gavel and paperwork Florida

       Arna D. Cortazzo

Protecting Floridians' Rights for over 30 years.