Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
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Workers' compensation law is a set of statutory regulations that govern your rights and responsibilities following 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 an accident.
In Florida, workers’ compensation coverage is compulsory. This means that employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for all their employees. This type of insurance can be provided through either a private insurance carrier or by the employer’s own insurance company.
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, they have 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 area, the attorneys at Harris & Riviere can help. Our attorneys are Board Certified in workers' compensation and will be able to offer you 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.
If you need additional help, you can speak to an attorney by contacting Harris & Riviere at (813) 669-2080 or completing our contact form.
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We Only Represent the Injured
At Harris & Riviere, we are committed to helping you get the justice you deserve, and we fight to win.