If you were injured at work, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and lost wages through a workers compensation claim. On the surface, a workers compensation claim can seem very similar to a personal injury claim. But the two types of claim have a few significant differences.
One of the main differences is the circumstances under which an individual is permitted to file a workers compensation claim. To be eligible for this type of claim, the victim must:
- Be an eligible employee of his or her company, not an independent contractor or exempt employee;
- Have been at work, performing his or her job when the accident occurred; and
- Comply with the deadlines imposed by the Florida Division of Workers Compensation.
In Florida, an employee injured at work must notify his or her supervisor of an accident within 30 days of the accident’s occurrence. It is the employer’s responsibility to file the employee’s workers compensation claim with its workers compensation insurance provider. All Florida employers with four or more employees are required to carry workers compensation insurance. This insurance covers expenses related to the medical treatment of an employee’s workplace injury and 66 2/3 percent of an injured employee’s average weekly wages while he or she recovers. Our experienced Tampa workers compensation lawyers can provide more information by contacting us today.
If you become disabled to the point that you cannot work anymore, you could be entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits. These come from the Social Security Administration of the United States. These benefits are available to individuals who have a sufficient number of work credits to qualify for them. Individuals without sufficient work credits can qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. Contact our Tampa Social Security Disability lawyers for more information or assistance.
Personal Injury Compensation
Beyond the immediate pain and medical expenses of a personal injury accident, a victim may also suffer other losses and costs such as:
- Ongoing medical treatment or therapy costs;
- Lost wages due to time missed from work;
- Pain and mental suffering;
- Reconstructive surgery costs;
- Lost future earnings if you are unable to return to your previous job or are completely disabled; and
- Other losses and expenses you suffered in your accident.
It is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer investigate the facts and circumstances of your case. If you choose an inexperienced lawyer – or choose to represent yourself – you may fail to discover all the compensation to which you are entitled. If you fail to identify all parties responsible for causing your injuries, you may be unable to recover the full amount of damages you need to make you financially whole.
Any time an individual is injured because of another party’s negligence or reckless behavior, the victim may seek compensation for his or her medical bills, lost wages, and intangible expenses known collectively as “pain and suffering.” Many different types of accidents can be grounds for a personal injury claim, such as the following:
Tampa (like other areas of the Sunshine State) can be a great place to visit or reside. It can also be dangerous. In an instant, you can slip on a wet walkway or trip over an object on the floor. A careless or negligent waiter or waitress may spill hot liquid on you at a restaurant, causing severe burn injuries. Or a neighborhood dog may escape its confines and attack you, causing serious and disfiguring injuries. Or still a careless pedestrian or bicyclist may run into you and, in doing so, cause you to suffer significant pain and damage.
Where you have suffered a personal injury because of the careless or reckless actions of another, you may be entitled to recover compensation through a Florida lawsuit. The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Barbas Nuñez Sanders Butler & Hovsepian can help you obtain the monetary damages you need to handle the expenses you suffered as a result of your injury.
Wrongful death claims are not quite like personal injury claims in that instead of the victim seeking compensation, it is the victim’s close family members seeking compensation for the loss of the victim’s income, the loss of the inheritance they would have received from him or her, the loss of benefits that he or she provided to the family, and the loss of the victim’s companionship and guidance.
Serving Tampa & St. Petersburg
At Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, we are here for practically all of your legal needs. We represent people who have been seriously injured due to the negligence or misconduct of another, as well as families of those who have lost their lives as a result. Our estate planning practice extends from drafting wills and trusts to guiding estates through probate administration. We represent parties in the full range of labor and employment matters, and we help to resolve broker-dealer disputes and other securities litigation. Our firm is even approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to handle compensation claims under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for children who are injured by childhood vaccinations. In fact, we are currently one of only two Tampa firms and one of only nine in Florida statewide with authorized VICP vaccine lawyers.
How Do I Win My Work Injury or Workers Compensation Lawsuit?
An injury victim (the “plaintiff”) can bring a lawsuit against another person (the “defendant”) whenever it is alleged that the defendant’s careless or reckless behavior caused the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff is responsible for proving the following four facts by a preponderance of the evidence – in other words, the plaintiff must show that the following four facts are more likely than not true:
- The defendant had an obligation to act in a certain way. This is known as the “duty of care.” Every person owes every other person a legal responsibility to act in a reasonably careful manner. In some personal injury cases, the defendant may owe the injury victim additional obligations.
- The defendant failed to fulfill his or her obligation to act in a certain manner. In most cases, the plaintiff will be able to show this by showing the defendant acted in a careless or reckless manner. The defendant’s behavior must be such that a reasonable person of a similar age, background, and experience as the defendant would not have engaged in that behavior.
- The defendant’s careless or reckless behavior is the cause of the defendant’s injuries. The defendant’s actions must be responsible for causing the plaintiff’s injuries. The defendant’s actions do not need to be the only cause or even the predominate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Not only this, but the plaintiff him- or herself can be found to be partially responsible for causing his or her own injuries. So long as a defendant is at least one percent responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, the defendant may owe compensation to the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff can be “made whole” through monetary damages. The objective of a personal injury lawsuit is to award an injured plaintiff monetary damages sufficient to enable him or her to be “made whole.” An injured plaintiff can be awarded:
- Compensatory damages that compensate the plaintiff for the expenses and losses that he or she had to bear;
- Future damages for any losses that the plaintiff can reasonably be expected to bear in the future (such as ongoing treatment costs); and/or
- Punitive damages, designed to punish a defendant who acts in a reckless or deliberate manner. These damages do not compensate the plaintiff for any loss but are rather intended to “teach the defendant a lesson.”
These factual propositions can be proved through a variety of evidence and testimony. Your Tampa workers compensation lawyer will need to analyze your case before determining what evidence and testimony he or she has available to help you prove your case. He or she may use:
- Eyewitness testimony from you and other people who observed the accident happen;
- Expert witnesses who can “reconstruct” how the accident occurred and opine as to whether the defendant’s actions were careless or reckless;
- Photographs of the accident scene and/or your injuries;
- Diagrams prepared by law enforcement officers, investigators, or others who observed the scene of the accident firsthand;
- Notes, letters, e-mails, and certain other communications to or from the defendant concerning the accident;
- Evidence of prior similar accidents involving the defendant; and/or
- Other relevant evidence.
Admitting testimony and evidence requires the skills and knowledge of an experienced Tampa personal injury litigation lawyer.
Contact Our Experienced Tampa Workers Compensation Lawyers Today
At Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, you will receive advice and representation from a team of experienced Tampa workers compensation lawyers including some who are Certified Specialists in their area by The Florida Bar; AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell for the highest levels of ethics and legal ability; members of Super Lawyers and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Our record of results speaks for itself, but please take a moment to browse our website if you need more information about our lawyers or our areas of practice. If you need to speak with an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer, please call (800) BARBAS-LAW, or contact us online to arrange a consultation with one of our dedicated and experienced lawyers. We look forward to hearing from you and helping your with your legal needs.