One of the most common questions injured workers’ in Florida ask is why they are not receiving their full wages when they go out of work for an accident. They also often ask why they are not paid for the first week they miss. Keep in mind that the workers’ compensation system (by design, largely through the influence of the employer and insurance lobby) is set up to get you back to work as quickly and quietly as possible. That may not always be fair to the injured worker. Florida law says that if you are out for less than a week, it’s basically on you. If you are out for more than a week but less than (21) days, the insurance company owes you from the 8th day forward. If you are out for more than (21) days, the insurance company owes you from the day you were out of work.
If you are taken out of work completely on a temporary basis, you are entitled to 66 and 2/3 of your weekly wages for the 13 weeks immediately before your accident. If you are given restrictions and your employer doesn’t have a position, you are paid 80% of the difference between your average weekly wage and what you are able to earn post injury. Once the doctor places you at maximum medical improvement (MMI), you are no longer entitled to benefits. If your benefits are not paid properly, and they frequently are not, our lawyers can help you obtain penalties and interest on late payments.
There are numerous special situations which apply in cases involving lost time at work, such as having multiple doctors involved or where there are catastrophic injuries. How does unemployment affect my benefits? What if my employer harasses or fires me once I have been injured? It is critical that injured workers’ partner with experienced lawyers who are able to help them navigate the workers’ compensation system. The lawyers at Whibbs Stone Barnett have decades of experience in working with injured workers and all of our workers’ compensation lawyers have previously represented insurance companies in these claims, giving them a unique advantage. Both Donovan Whibbs and Ryan Barnett have been recognized by Florida Super Lawyers as “Rising Stars” in the workers’ compensation field, a recognition extended to only 2% of Florida lawyers each year. If you have questions about your work accident, don’t hesitate to contact the firm for a free consultation on all personal injury claims. We have represented thousands of injured workers’ in Florida and Alabama and we are glad to be of service to you in this difficult time.
Ryan M. Barnett
Whibbs Stone Barnett