Tampa Workers Compensation Lawyers
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Workers' Compensation law is a set of statutory regulations which govern
your rights and
responsibilities when you have an on the job injury. Workers' compensation laws vary
from state to state. Generally, the location of the accident governs which
state's laws will apply. There are exceptions for workers who are
employed pursuant to a contract with their employer. In those cases, the
contract may specify which state's laws will apply in the event of
In Florida, Workers Compensation coverage is compulsory. This means that
employers must provide Workers Compensation insurance for all of their
employees. This type of insurance can be provided through either a private
insurance carrier, or by the employers own insurance company.
Workers' Compensation Coverage Details
Employers with less than four employees, except those in the construction
industry, do not have to carry workers' compensation coverage, although
they can if they wish to. Employers who carry workers' compensation
insurance are generally immune from a negligence suit by an injured employee.
The system was designed to give employers
affordable insurance coverage for employee injuries, while at the same time giving workers
a quick, efficient method of recovery for work related injuries. In doing
so, both employers and employees gave up some of the legal rights they
would enjoy in a strict negligence claim. Injured workers do not have
to prove their employer's negligence caused their injuries and in
exchange the worker gives up recovering monetary damages for pain, suffering,
scarring, loss of earning capacity and psychiatric impairment.
As it stands now,
the system is very much skewed in the employer's favor. This has largely occurred through a series of legislative revisions to
the workers' compensation statute. These changes were designed to
make Florida more business friendly, by further limiting employee's
rights under the law and thereby reducing the workers' compensation
premiums paid by employers. While the legislative changes have reduced
premiums, it has done so by reducing the benefits workers receive and
restricting their access to the courts. The new legislation has limited
physician choice, stops permanent and total
disability benefits at age 75, forces injured workers to pay for their own independent medical
examinations and reduces carrier paid attorney's fees to the point
where even hiring a lawyer becomes difficult.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to return to work
because of your injuries, your employer has discharged you while you are
out on workers' compensation or you are dissatisfied with your medical
care, consider consulting with one of our legal experts. Workers'
compensation laws are complicated and change frequently. It is important
to consult an attorney to assist you through the claims process. If you
live in the Tampa Bay area, the attorney's at Harris & Riviere
can help. Our attorneys are Board Certified in Workers' Compensation
and will be able to offer you some sound advice about the handling of
your claim. Consultations are always free and all cases are handled on
a contingency basis. There is never a fee unless we win your case and
in most cases, the attorney's fees are paid by the insurance carrier.
Contact Our Firm For Defense in Your Workers' Comp
Please consult our common questions section of this site for a general
discussion of your rights under Florida's Workers' Compensation
law as well as industry specific topics. If you need additional help,
you can always speak to an attorney by contacting Harris & Riviere
at our Tampa office,
, sending us an
, or by completing one of our free
case evaluation forms.