Workers' Comp Lawyer in Vero Beach, Florida
Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Most Workers’ Compensation cases in Vero Beach, Florida, eventually result in a settlement. It is important to keep in mind that injured workers are never required to accept a settlement, and employers and their insurance companies are never required to offer a settlement. The judge does not have the ability to hear about your case to tell you whether you should settle or for how much. This is very different from a personal injury case in which you have the opportunity to have a jury hear about your case and decide the amount of your damages. The value of your case for settlement will depend on many factors, including the nature of your injury; what your doctor says about your need for future medical care; your potential entitlement to future lost wages; whether you have used your one-time change in treating doctors; and your Average Weekly Wage which determines the rate at which you are paid. Who you hire to represent you matters also. You should be very careful about accepting a settlement from an insurance company if you are not represented by an attorney. While the judge will review your settlement if you are unrepresented, the judge will not get involved in helping you negotiate a settlement.
Workers’ Compensation Denials
If you have received either a total or partial denial of benefits, you are entitled to challenge the denial. You will most certainly need a lawyer to do so.
Insurance companies deny benefits for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons for a denial are 1) a positive drug test; 2) accident did not arise out of the course and scope of employment; 3) no causal relationship between the accident and the need for the requested medical treatment; 4) voluntary limitation of income; 5) misconduct at work; 6) insurance fraud; 7) the recommended medical service is not reasonable and medically necessary; and 8) Major Contributing Cause. Insurance adjusters can and do make mistakes when they deny claims. In order to have your case properly investigated to determine if the insurance company has a valid defense, you need to consult a Workers’ Compensation attorney.
Workers Compensation Litigation & Trials
Most issues in a Workers’ Compensation case resolve informally, without the need to go to court to have a judge decide the matter. When issues arise that cannot be resolved between the injured worker and the insurance company, the injured worker can file a Petition for Benefits which triggers the scheduling of a mediation and a trial before the Judge of Compensation Claims. It is nearly impossible for an injured worker to present their case to the judge without the assistance of an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney. There are many procedural and evidentiary rules which apply when you go before the judge. Olivia has decades of trial experience, including her service as a Workers’ Compensation Judge when she made decisions about the injured worker’s benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Review
If you are currently receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, but you aren’t sure that you are receiving what you are entitled to, Olivia in Vero Beach can review your case to determine whether there are any additional benefits that you might be due and owing. Mistakes are made during the claims process which could mean additional benefits to you. For example, errors regarding Average Weekly Wage calculations will affect the amount of your benefit checks. Penalties and interest for the late payment of lost wages might be owed. You may have been denied a medical benefit, such a test to determine if your condition is related to your accident. You may have been denied a surgery which is recommended by your authorized doctor. After review of your file materials, including your medical records, Olivia can determine if you are entitled to additional benefits and then pursue those benefits for you.