Workers Compensation

Do I need a lawyer to file for Worker’s Compensation?
No, but a lawyer experienced in these areas can help you navigate the forms, the processes, the medical reporting expectations, and any negotiations with self-insured worker’s compensation providers. They will be knowledgeable about additional monetary awards your worker’s compensation claim may be eligible to receive as well as additional medical treatment you may be entitled to. They can also appeal any denied requests for lost wages or medical benefits in your Worker’s Compensation claim. Since Worker’s Compensation lawyers work on contingency, if they decide to take your case, you won’t have to pay for their services until your claim is resolved and/or settled. Once your claim is resolved, the lawyer would be paid a percentage of the ending claim. If you want to attempt the process on your own, you can do so through your state bureau of worker’s compensation. For additional information on representing yourself in a Workers’ Compensation Claim in the State of Florida: http://www.jcc.state.fl.us/JCC/RepSelf.asp
What is a Notice of Injury and do I need to file one for Worker’s Compensation?
“First Report of Injury, Occupational Disease, or Death” is the form used to initiate a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer should complete this form once they are put on notice of your injury. A worker’s compensation attorney can complete one for you. If your employer does not properly report the claim you can report the claim yourself. Your employer should have the workers' compensation insurance information posted in the workplace. If they do you can contact the insurance carrier listed on the posting by telephone or you may contact the Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office at 1-800-342-1741 or by email at wceao@myfloridacfo.com and they can assist you in properly reporting the claim.

The first step in reporting a workers’ compensation injury is to timely notify your employer. You should report the work-related accident as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) days from the date the accident occurs, or within thirty (30) days of the date the doctor says you are suffering from a work-related injury. Failure to report your injury or illness within (30) days may result in your claim being denied. The employer should complete a Notice of Injury within 7 days after actual knowledge of injury or death with the insurance carrier. You or a worker’s compensation attorney can appeal denied claims.
What is a Petition for Benefits?
A Petition for Benefits is a form that is filed with the Judge of Compensation Claims that outlines what medical benefits and/or lost wages an injured worker is seeking entitlement to. If your doctor has recommended you for additional medical treatment that the insurance company is not responding to, not providing authorization for and/or has denied then this is the next step in the workers’ compensation system to continue to request the medical or lost wage benefit. Within 40 days after a Petition for Benefits is filed the Judge of Compensation Claims shall schedule a mediation conference on the issues outstanding in the Petition for Benefits and will notify the parties of the date, time and location of the mediation.

A Petition for Benefits can be completed by your attorney or you can complete this form on your own by downloading it from The Office of the Judges Of Compensation Claims Forms Database which can be accessed by clicking this link: http://www.jcc.state.fl.us/JCC/forms.asp