Florida Workplace Injury Attorneys
Workplace injuries are incredibly common in Florida, and affect workers in myriad industry types. While these injuries have the potential to change an affected worker’s life, particularly when the injury is severe, workers do have some protection in place in the form of workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help workers who are injured on the job afford their medical expenses and basic costs of living after an accident.
At the law offices of Whibbs Stone Barnett Attorneys at Law, our experienced attorneys care about helping you maximize your benefit amount. If you are injured in the workplace and have questions about your rights or benefits, contact our lawyers today for a free consultation.
Most Common Types of Workplace Incidents
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that nearly all workplace incidents are preventable. With that in mind, the NSC lists the following types of workplace incidents as some of the most common avoidable workplace accident types, including:
- Violence in the workplace. Violence in the workplace is a serious threat, and can occur between employees, or between employees and those they are serving. For example, those in the healthcare industry are often the victims of acts patient violence.
- Being caught in or in between machinery. Becoming entangled in a large piece of machinery is a terrifying thought, yet it is one of the most common causes of injury amongst workers in various industries, particularly the construction industry. Typically, loose clothing, jewelry, hair, and fingers are the things that get caught, although any part of a body may be impacted.
- Car and other vehicle crashes. Many workers are tasked with driving or operating vehicles on the job. When negligence of the workers, defective automobiles, or the negligence of others on the road is present, the risk of crash is high.
- Slips, trips, falls from heights, and crashing into objects. Other top causes of injury in the workplace are slips and trips, falls from heights, and workers walking/crashing into objects, such as not paying attention and walking directly into a door. Most of these hazards can be avoided by keeping tidy spaces, ensuring that fall protections are in place, and employees are property trained.
- Falling objects. Particularly in industries like the construction industry, the threat of an object falling from a height and striking a worker is very serious.
- Overexertion and repetitive stress injuries. Workers may also be injured as a result of overexerting themselves, or as a result of performing the same task over and over without changing physical position (i.e. continually lifting something day after day, typing at a computer, etc.).
Injuries that Result from Workplace Incidents
The accident and incident types listed above have the potential to result in an array of very serious injuries for employees. Workers involved in any of the accident types above, or others, may suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Bone fractures;
- Amputation injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Crush injuries;
- Psychological injuries;
- Ocular injuries; and
Who is Responsible for my Workplace Injury?
According to studies, the top 10 most dangerous occupations in the country are:
- Logging workers.
- Fishers and related fishing workers.
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers.
- Garbage and waste collectors.
- Commercial drivers and traveling sales workers.
- Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers.
- Structural iron and steel workers.
- Construction trades and extraction workers.
- Landscaping, lawn, and groundskeeping workers.
Various hazards on the job can result in workplace injuries. These include working in high elevations and/or on wet and slippery surfaces (where slips, trips, and falls are more likely to happen), being struck by or struck against a hard object or surface, equipment accidents, overexertion, and transportation accidents.
The Importance of Following Doctor’s Orders after a Workplace Accident
Many employees who are out of work for a while get restless and want to go back as soon as they can. And as their health is improving, returning to work becomes an even greater temptation. You might also have encouragement to return to work, perhaps from your spouse or your co-workers. This is totally understandable as working pays your bills and is a major part of most people’s lives, but all that said, you should not go back until your doctor says it is okay. While you are dealing with your injury, it is important to closely follow the recovery plan that your doctor has developed.
If you do everything your doctor prescribes, you are far more likely to heal from your injuries in a timely manner, and your workers’ compensation claim will go much more smoothly. But if you deviate from your doctor’s plan, your employer’s insurer might use this as a basis to deny compensation or not provide the level of benefits you deserve.
Serious Injuries Can Affect Your Ability to Work and Earn an Income
When you suffer a workplace injury, it may be that your workplace injury is serious enough to prevent you from returning immediately to work. In some cases, the injury may be so serious that you are left with a temporary or permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work in your same capacity, or prevents you from returning to work at all. In addition to the lost wages that you will surely suffer as a result of being unable to return to work, you may also incur medical expenses. Of course, being unable to work can take a psychological toll on a person as well.
Temporary total disability means that a Florida worker is temporarily disabled in a manner that totally prevents them from returning to work. When this is the case, they are eligible to receive wage replacement benefits at a rate of 66 ⅔ percent of your average weekly earnings for a period not to exceed 104 weeks. Once they have reached the 104 week maximum, or have reached their maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means their health has improved as much as it ever will, they will be reviewed for permanent impairment disability pay.
We also handle workplace injuries in Fort Walton Beach.