Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Lost Wages
When an employee suffers a workplace injury or illness, the workers’ compensation system is designed to provide medical treatment and wage replacement benefits quickly and efficiently. The advantage of using the workers’ compensation system to address work-related injuries and illnesses is that a worker is not required to prove that an act or failure to act on the part of the employer contributed to the injury/illness, as is the case in a traditional personal injury lawsuit. As a workers’ compensation claimant, you are entitled to wage replacement benefits to help ease the financial burden you are undoubtedly shouldering because of your injury or illness. At Van Dingenen Law, our Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys for lost wages are dedicated to ensuring that workers receive the maximum lost wages available for their workers’ compensation claims.
If you believe you are entitled to lost wage benefits in a Florida workers’ compensation claim, let the Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys for lost wages help make sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled. Because our practice is dedicated exclusively to workers’ compensation, we are uniquely situated to understand the obstacles and roadblocks you may face when filing for workers’ compensation benefits. Let us put our experience, resources, and commitment to work for you to make certain your claim is approved for the maximum benefits available. For a consultation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys, contact us online or call (407) 967-5377. We will sit down with you and review your case to determine what benefits you are entitled to and how we can help you get approved for all of them.
How Does the Florida Workers’ Compensation System Work?
Prior to the existence of the workers’ compensation system, a worker who was injured or became ill while on the job was forced to pursue a traditional personal injury negligence lawsuit against the employer to get compensation for medical bills and lost wages. To protect workers and streamline the payment of benefits for employers, workers’ compensation was developed.
Each state governs and administers its own workers’ compensation system. In the State of Florida, most employers that have four or more full-time and/or part-time employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If a worker suffers a work-related injury or illness that causes the worker to be out of work for more than seven days (waiting period), the worker files a claim with the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. Once the claim is approved, the worker is entitled to medical treatment and wage replacement benefits.
Am I Entitled to Lost Wages for My Orlando Workers’ Compensation Claim?
As a workers’ compensation claimant, you are entitled to both medical treatment benefits and lost wage benefits. Wage loss benefits are calculated using your average weekly wage (AWW). Your average weekly wage is calculated using wages earned 13 weeks prior to your injury/illness, not counting the week in which you were injured. If you worked less than 75 percent of the 13-week period, your AWW will be calculated using either your full-time weekly wage or a similar employee in the same job who worked at least 75 percent of the relevant 13-week period. Also, if your illness or injury extends beyond 21 days, you are eligible to receive wage replacement benefits for the seven-day waiting period that applied before you were eligible to file a claim.
What Type of Wage Replacement Benefits Am I Entitled to for My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
There are four categories of lost wage benefits to which you may be entitled. The type of lost wage benefits you receive will depend on your ability to work and the extent to which you suffered permanent injury, if applicable. Florida workers’ compensation lost wage benefit categories include:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits. Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are paid when a qualifying physician has determined that you are temporarily unable to perform any type of work for your employer. Standard TTD payments are equal to 66 2/3 of your average weekly wage (AWW) up to the state maximum. Certain injuries, including loss of a limb or loss of eyesight, qualify for up to 80 percent of your AWW. For 2023, the state’s maximum weekly compensation rate for work-related injuries and illnesses is $1,197. A claimant can collect TTD benefits for up to 104 weeks.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits. If your treating physician determines that you may return to work but with limitations, you may be entitled to receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. For example, you may be cleared to return to work part-time in your previous position or full-time in a different position because of your injuries/illness. If you are now making less than 80 percent of your pre-injury wages, you may qualify for TPD benefits. Calculating TPD benefits is complicated. First, multiply your pre-injury weekly wages by 80 percent. Then, subtract the wages you are currently earning from that figure. Finally, multiply that figure by 80 percent. Temporary partial disability benefits are also available for up to 104 weeks.
- Impaired Income Benefits. When you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) you may be eligible for impaired income (II) benefits. MMI does not mean you are fully recovered. Instead, MMI means that your treating physician has determined that you are no longer in a state of curative treatment. In other words, you have reached the point where you are unlikely to achieve significant additional improvement. If your injury or illness has left you with permanent physical, psychological, or functional impairment, you may be eligible for II benefits. A doctor will evaluate you and assign you a permanent impairment rating that is intended to reflect the percentage of your body that is affected by your permanent disability. The amount and duration of II benefits will depend on your impairment rating and the type of impairment.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits. Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits apply if, because of your injury or illness, you will never be able to work again. If, for example, you suffered a traumatic brain injury, blindness, or a spinal cord injury that caused paralysis, you might receive PTD benefits. These benefits continue for the duration of your disability, typically for life.
How Can the Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Lost Wages at Van Dingenen Law Help Me?
If you were injured or became ill while on the job, you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim that will provide you with both medical treatment and wage replacement benefits. The Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys at Van Dingenen Law can help ensure that you receive all the wage replacement benefits to which you are entitled and that you receive those benefits for the duration of your injury or illness.
We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits and tax-free settlements for Florida’s injured workers and their families and we will fight to get your claim approved. To discuss your legal options after a workplace injury, get in touch with Van Dingenen Law today for your free initial consultation by calling 407-976-5377 or contacting us online.