Fort Walton Beach Workers' Compensation Lawyers
A Fort Walton Beach, FL workplace accident can cause catastrophic injuries or death. If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury in Fort Walton Beach, FL, then contact us today at 850-777-7777. Fasig | Brooks has been fighting for the legal rights of workplace injury victims for years and can provide you with compassionate and competent representation.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation law ensures that injured employees can recover compensation for their financial losses caused by the incident. Workers comp benefits include disability benefits, wage replacement, and medical care. Under Florida’s “no-fault” workers’ compensation system, employees are guaranteed to receive benefits to cover their medical care and other losses in exchange for giving up their right to file a lawsuit in civil court. Since this is an important aspect of the law to understand, our workers’ compensation lawyers are happy to explain it to you and provide legal guidance in your case, starting with a free, personalized case evaluation.
Although there was a 10.7% decrease in the fatal work injury rate between 2019 and 2020, they still occur at alarming rates. The most common injuries in the workplace are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Knee and other joint injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
If you have suffered an accident at work, then you need to seek immediate medical care. Then, call our Fort Walton Beach law firm to speak to a workers’ comp attorney at Fasig | Brooks.
What Causes Most Workplace Accidents
The top causes of workplace injuries are:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Contact with objects or equipment
- Falling objects
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 31% of exertion injuries affect the upper extremities, primarily the shoulders. 46% of exertion injuries involve the trunk, mainly the back. Lastly, 16% of exertion injuries occur in the lower extremities, primarily in the knees. 78% of these injured workers are employed in the service industry. A job injury caused by overexertion is usually caused by:
- Repetitive motions such as bending, twisting, climbing, kneeling, reaching, or crawling
- Excessive physical exertion from lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying
Contact With Objects Or Equipment
According to the CDC, for the year 2020, there were 196,140 workplace injuries due to contact with objects and equipment and 1,038 US workers who died in work-related crashes.
Slip And Falls
Of the 1,176,340 nonfatal workplace injuries resulting in lost time from work in 2020, 18% were due to slips, trips, and falls. They occur when slick surfaces are not cleaned up or when workers don’t have appropriate footwear.
An injury can be caused by small items like hand tools falling off of toolbelts or from scaffolding and other high places or can be caused by larger objects falling. Fort Walton Beach employers can prevent an injury by providing barricades or overhead protective structures, guardrails, and carts with sides.
In 2020, there were 672 lives lost due to exposure to harmful substances or environments and an additional 424,369 fatal injuries and illnesses. Manufacturers must evaluate chemical hazards and toxic substances, and all employees that work with hazardous chemicals or toxic materials must be trained on how to handle them appropriately, in accordance with regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers comp benefits cover loss of earnings, medical expenses, and death benefits. Doctor’s appointments, medical exams, lab tests, physical therapy, prescription medications, and medical bills are covered in your medical benefits. Suppose you cannot return to work due to your workplace accident or illness. In that case, you can receive lost wages, which include temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent total disability, and impairment income benefits. Family members in Fort Walton Beach, FL could receive up to $150,000 in death benefits to be used for funeral and burial expenses and financial losses.
These are some of the most frequently asked questions our Fort Walton Beach workers’ compensation attorneys receive, but you should call us today if you are an injured employee and want personalized legal advice on your workers’ compensation case.
What is Workers’ Compensation immunity, and what are the exceptions in Fort Walton Beach?
Employers who provide worker’s compensation to injured workers are entitled to immunity from civil suits by the employee or their representatives outside of the workers’ comp system. In some jurisdictions, this immunity is extended to general contractors and project managers.
Damages for pain and suffering are generally not awarded in workers’ comp cases like they are in personal injury cases. Unfortunately, when worker’s compensation claims are denied, workers face major legal issues because they cannot file a personal injury claim for their damages in court. In a personal injury claim, the victim must prove negligence and liability to receive damages in court, which could take years. With the Workers’ Compensation system, the worker can receive benefits while recovering from their injuries without having to prove that anyone was negligent. In exchange, the worker gives up the right to file a personal injury suit against their employer.
However, there is an exception if your Workers’ Compensation attorney can prove that their client’s employer was aware of a danger that was virtually certain to cause injury. If your employer covered up or tried to hide the hazardous condition without fixing it, then you should talk to us about filing a lawsuit.
How do I prove negligence after a Fort Walton Beach, FL workplace accident?
To receive Worker’s Comp benefits, you must prove that your employer owed you a duty of care to take reasonable precautions to ensure your safety while working. Next, you must prove that your employer breached or violated this duty of care. An example would be when an employer fails to put a wet floor sign at the site of a spill, resulting in an employee slipping and falling. Next, you need to prove that the breach caused your injury and that you suffered damage as a result.
Can I sue a third party in a personal injury claim if they are responsible for my workplace injury?
You may be able to recover damages in a personal injury claim against a third party. For example, you can bring forth a claim against the designer or manufacturer of a defective work truck, piece of equipment, or tool.
When should I file a workers’ comp claim in Fort Walton Beach, FL?
If you believe that you suffered an injury on the job due to your employer’s breach of their duty of care, then you will need to act quickly and take the right steps. According to Florida law, workplace injury claims in Fort Walton Beach must be reported to the employer within 30 days of your accident, when you became aware of your injury, or when a doctor diagnoses you with a work-related condition.
Employers are required to post information about workers comp in a break room, by a punch-in and out station, or in another area that is frequented by workers. This sign should contain information on the procedures and deadlines you must follow. If your Fort Walton Beach employer didn’t post this sign, then you can contact the Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman for help with filing your workers’ comp claim.
If your Fort Walton Beach employer does not report your Workers’ Compensation case to the insurance company, then you can report it yourself using a form from the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation website.
Fort Walton Beach Workers’ Compensation Law Firm
Call Fasig | Brooks today if you have suffered a workplace injury due to the negligence of your employer or a third party. We handle workers’ compensation claims in the Fort Walton Beach area. We are ready to be your tenacious advocates, so call 850-777-7777 now to schedule your free consultation with us.