Frequently Asked Questions

 

Workers’ Compensation

 

I had an accident while working and told my boss, but was then fired. Do I still have a workers' compensation claim?

Yes. Your termination does not affect your right to workers¹ compensation benefits.  Additionally, the employer's conduct may give rise to an independent claim for wrongful termination.


I had an accident on my job. What benefits might I be entitled to receive?

You are entitled to medically necessary testing and treatment, lost wages (if a doctor determines you are unable to work or can only work part time, light duty or sedentary duty), professional or family member attendant care benefits (if a doctor prescribes same), impairment benefits (if you incur a permanent impairment rating) and/or permanent total disability if your permanent injuries are severe enough.


 How long after my accident will I get my check from the workers' compensation insurance company? How much will that check be?

If your authorized doctor determines you are eligible for checks from the insurance Carrier for time you have missed from work, the check should start approximately 14 days from the date of the accident. These checks will be calculated at approximately 2/3 of your wages earned before the accident.  Temporary disability benefits can be paid up to a maximum of 104 weeks under certain circumstances.  If a doctor places you at maximum medical improvement and ascribes a permanent impairment rating you may be entitled to impairment benefits calculated according to the statutory formula.  If you sustain permanent injuries of a severe nature and are unable to return to work you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. 


 How do I get medical treatment for the injuries sustained in my workers' compensation accident?

If you suffered an on-the-job injury, you first must report it to your employer. Your employer's insurance carrier should then refer you to a doctor through their medical network. If it is an emergency you can seek treatment on your own and submit the bills to the insurance carrier for possible reimbursement.   


 I am not satisfied with the medical doctor who is treating me for my workers' compensation injury. Can I change my treating doctor?

Depending on the date of your accident you may be entitled to a change in doctor.  You may also be entitled to an independent medical examination by the physician of your choice.


 Is my spouse entitled to compensation or benefits, as he/she missed work to take care of me ?

Depending on what type of care your spouse (family member or friend) provided and whether a doctor deems that care necessary, your spouse (family member or friend) may be entitled to compensation known as attendant care benefits.  You may be entitled to receive attendant care services from professional or non-prefessional attendant care providers if prescribed by a physician,  These benefits can continue for so long as is medically necessary.


 I was getting my workers' compensation benefits but now my checks have stopped. Why?

A doctor may have opined that you can return to work. A doctor may have placed you at Maximum Medical Improvement. Or, if you failed to keep your doctors appointments, the Insurance Carrier may have terminated or suspended your benefits.  There are proper and improper reasons upon which an Insurance Carrier may rely on to suspend or terminate your benefits. 


 My doctor has told me I can return to work but I am still in pain. Is there anything that I can do?

Depending on when your injury occurred, you may be entitled to another doctor¹s opinion via a one-time-change in physician or independent medical examination.


 It’s been a while since my workers' compensation injury, can I still file a claim?

In Florida there is a two (2) year statute of limitation in workers' compensation claims.  However, there are numerous factual and legal exceptions to this rule and you should immediately consult an experienced lawyer regardless of dates involved.


 If I hire an attorney from your firm to help me, what will it cost me? How do I pay the attorney if I don't get any money?

You are only required to pay a fee if we settle your case for a lump sum of money. If you decide to settle, your attorney is entitled to a percentage amount determined by Florida Statute and subject to approval by a Judge of Compesation Claims.  There are circumstances in which the Insurance Carrier becomes responsible for payment of your attorney's fees and costs.


 How long after I settle my workers' compensation case will I get my check?

Settlement documents must be drafted and signed by all parties and then forwarded to the Judge of Compensation Claims for approval. This usually takes about 4 to 8 weeks.

 

Personal Injury

 

I recently had an automobile accident and need medical care. Can I go to my own doctor?

Yes. You will need to provide your doctor with your automobile insurance information for billing purposes.


It’s been a while since my automobile accident, can I still file a claim?

In Florida there is a four (4) year statute of limitation in personal injury claims. This means that unless you settle the claim or file a lawsuit within four (4) years from the date of the accident you will be forever barred from recovering money damages.


 What is the value of my case?

It is impossible for us to tell you how much money, if any, you will recover in connection with your case. All cases are different. Recovery is often related to the amount of insurance coverage available, as well as the nature, extent, and duration of your injuries, along with an assessment of liability. As your attorneys, we feel it is our primary duty to obtain an amount of money which will fairly and justly compensate you for your injuries and other damages. We will make every effort to do this by locating all sources of insurance coverage and/or assets.


 I was involved in an automobile accident and the driver at fault has no insurance. Do I have a case?

If you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you may be eligible for benefits under your own policy or the policy that covered the vehicle in which your were driving or riding.  There may be a third party or person at fault for your accident.  Proper investigation is required to fully understand your ability to recover for your injuries and damages. 


Can I give my insurance company a recorded statement?

Do not give any statements, written, recorded, or oral, to anyone concerning your accident or injuries without first getting our approval.  There are circumstances under which your insurance policy may contractually obligate you to proved a recorded statement.


 Should I tell my doctor about my prior accident(s) and/or injuries?

Yes. Disclose all known accidents, injuries and/or medical conditions.  In this day and age of modern technology, this information will be discovered.  If you forget some information on the initial visit, report it at the next visit.  Do not make any incorrect statements to any doctor who may treat or examine you respecting any prior injuries, accidents or medical conditions.  If you don¹t remember, say so. 


 My vehicle was towed after the accident. Should I retrieve it?

Yes. These costs will most likely be reimbursed by the insurance company. However, the company will not pay if it determines you have not done everything in your power to minimize damages such as storage fees.  Make sure to take photographs of the damage to your vehicle as well as your body.  If able, photographs of the accident site should be obtained.

 

For more information please email us at info@vdatriallawyers.com or call Velasquez Dolan Arias, P.A. at (954) 382-0533 or (305) 817-0800