Workers’ Compensation Lawyers That Fight Hard
At Massey & Duffy, we understand that injuries on the job can devastate your life. What adds insult to injury is when your employer or its insurance company turns its back on you when you need help the most and denies your claim or fires you as a result of your attempt to make a claim. Our attorneys have successfully litigated numerous workers’ compensation issues, and will fight hard for the compensation you deserve.
We Can Help
Companies are quick to take advantage of employees when they are healthy, and quick to fire or deny benefits to employees when they are injured on the job. Under the law, an employee statutory damages, plus actual damages, emotional distress damages, punitive damages and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs for willful noncompliance with the workers’ compensation laws. These rights vary greatly depending on the various situations, and we can assist consumers in filing suit for these rights in state or federal court without any costs to our clients.
Your Employer and its Insurance Company May Be Violating the Law
Once you are injured and you immediately notify your employer of the on the job injury, your employer should report the injury as soon as possible, but no later than seven (7) days after their knowledge. Their insurance company must send you an informational brochure within three (3) days after receiving notice from your employer. If you reported an injury, and you did not obtain these benefits, please contact us immediately.
Your rights under the Workers’ Compensation Laws have changed under the laws, and our law firm can assist in obtaining every right to which you are entitled. In 2003, the laws underwent a major reform, with changes to the Permanent Total, Impairment Income and Death Benefit structures, construction industry exemptions, compliance enforcement, medical services, and examination and investigation of carrier and claim handling entities. Many of these changes were adopted to assist employers or for the benefit of large insurance companies; our firm can help negotiate this maze and maximize the benefits or compensation you receive (including but not limited to suing in State court for pain and suffering).
Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Exists
Florida Statute Section 440.205 proves as follows:
Coercion of employees.—No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law.
Courts have held that the legislative history of that statute demonstrates the intent that employees be entitled to bring suit based upon a workers’ comp claim filed with both a previous, current and former employer. Fla. Stat. Section 440.205 is not only intended to punish employers who discharge an employee for having filed a workers’ compensation claim; is also insures that employees do not have to fear reprisal from their employers when they file a workers’ compensation claim. The reach of the statue is broad, because “Interpreting section 440.205 as [the employer] would have us do would have a chilling effect on an employee’s decision to file a meritorious workers’ compensation claim for fear of being discharged from a subsequent position merely because that employee filed a claim against a previous employer.” Bruner v. GC-GW, Inc., d/b/a Jackson Cook, 880 So. 2d 1244 (1st DCA 2004).
Our Firm can Assist with Your Workplace Injury
The Workers’ Compensation laws (without citations to relevant case law) and are quite complex. The intent of the statute is described as follows:
Legislative intent.—It is the intent of the Legislature that the Workers’ Compensation Law be interpreted so as to assure the quick and efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to an injured worker and to facilitate the worker’s return to gainful reemployment at a reasonable cost to the employer. It is the specific intent of the Legislature that workers’ compensation cases shall be decided on their merits. The workers’ compensation system in Florida is based on a mutual renunciation of common-law rights and defenses by employers and employees alike. In addition, it is the intent of the Legislature that the facts in a workers’ compensation case are not to be interpreted liberally in favor of either the rights of the injured worker or the rights of the employer. Additionally, the Legislature hereby declares that disputes concerning the facts in workers’ compensation cases are not to be given a broad liberal construction in favor of the employee on the one hand or of the employer on the other hand, and the laws pertaining to workers’ compensation are to be construed in accordance with the basic principles of statutory construction and not liberally in favor of either employee or employer. It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure the prompt delivery of benefits to the injured worker. Therefore, an efficient and self-executing system must be created which is not an economic or administrative burden. The department, agency, the Office of Insurance Regulation, and the Division of Administrative Hearings shall administer the Workers’ Compensation Law in a manner which facilitates the self-execution of the system and the process of ensuring a prompt and cost-effective delivery of payments.
The case law interpreting these laws is even more difficult to digest. Our workers’ compensation lawyers not only provide experienced legal guidance, but they are also litigate worker’s compensation issues.
If you would like to discuss your on-the-job injury, please contact our lawyers at Massey & Duffy, PLLC, for a free consultation. We can advise you on the course of action that is best for your personal situation and obtain the compensation you deserve.