Florida has a high concentration of undocumented workers, and it is vital for each of these individuals to know their rights and recovery options if they sustain injuries at work. Most undocumented workers in the Miami area are hesitant to pursue any type of official action after experiencing an injury at work due to the concern of immigration-related penalties like deportation. The reality is that if you work in the state, even if you are undocumented, you have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits if you are hurt while working.
The attorneys at Callejo Law can provide the compassionate legal counsel you need in this challenging situation. Attorney Karen Callejo provides legal representation in English and Spanish from her office in Coral Gables and has years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims for clients throughout the Miami area. Our team can take your undocumented status into consideration as we develop a legal strategy aimed at helping you recover the benefits needed after a workplace injury.
Most employers are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance protects both employers and their employees when workplace injuries happen. The employer is not faced with civil liability for their injured employee’s damages as long as the employer has appropriate insurance coverage. The injured worker will receive economic relief to help them recover, ideally in a more streamlined fashion than what they could expect if they were forced to file a personal injury claim.
As long as your employer has workers’ compensation insurance and your injury happened while you were working, you have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, if a third party outside of your work caused your injury, if your employer caused the injury intentionally, or if they do not have workers’ compensation insurance, these factors could enable you to pursue a personal injury claim for additional compensation.
If you suffer an injury at work, you should report the injury to your supervisor immediately. While you may be worried about potential legal issues related to your undocumented status, your Miami workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in addressing any such legal issues that might arise. They can be invaluable for guiding you through the claim filing process, and it is important to remember that reporting your injury immediately is crucial for success with your case.
Florida law requires employers to provide their injured workers with the forms needed to file their workers’ compensation claims. Employers may not interfere with claims or attempt to dissuade injured workers from pursuing benefits. Doing so could lead to severe legal penalties for the employer. Under the law, an injured worker will need to undergo medical treatment from a physician approved by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. They can see any doctor in an emergency, but after they stabilize they should expect to see a workers’ compensation physician. This doctor will review their injury and assign them a disability rating.
Your disability rating will be a crucial component of the workers’ compensation claim filing process. This is a numerical value that indicates the severity of your injury, and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will use this rating to determine the level of benefits you are eligible to receive. If you disagree with the first doctor’s rating, you do have the right to seek a second opinion.
The objective of a workers’ compensation claim is for the injured worker to obtain the benefits needed for their recovery. Two forms of benefits are typically provided to an injured worker once their claim is approved. They will receive full coverage of all their medical expenses related to their injury and disability benefits for the time they are unable to work.
When it comes to medical expenses, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier typically covers all medical care the injured worker needs to reach maximum medical improvement from their injuries. This could include the cost of necessary future treatment if they sustained a serious injury. Disability benefits are more variable and can be paid in partial or total designations based on a claimant’s disability rating.
Partial disability benefits may be paid when a claimant can handle light duty or lower-paying work while they recover from their injury. They will need to report their earnings to the insurance company to maintain eligibility for these benefits, and payments will cease once they are able to return to their previous job duties and prior earning capacity. Total disability benefits are typically paid at a rate of two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly earnings each week until they are able to return to work. These benefits are applicable when a claimant cannot work at all due to their injury.
Your Miami workers’ compensation lawyer can provide valuable guidance through each step of the claim filing process. They can also assist you in resolving any disputes that could arise with your employer and/or their insurance carrier, ensuring you receive fair consideration for your injury. If your claim is disputed or denied for any reason, your attorney will know how to resolve these issues.
Even undocumented residents of the Miami area have the right to file personal injury claims when they are hurt by the negligence or intentional misconduct of others. Workers’ compensation insurance typically makes employers immune to these civil claims, but if they do not have appropriate coverage as required by law or if they cause employee injuries intentionally, this does not apply, and an injured worker can pursue a personal injury claim against their employer. It’s more likely for the victim to have grounds for a personal injury suit against a third party responsible for their injury.
As long as your injury happened while you were working you can file a workers’ compensation claim, even if you are undocumented. If a third party caused the injury, you can file a personal injury claim as well, and this could significantly enhance your overall recovery from the injury in question. Callejo Law has years of experience helping Miami area residents with all kinds of work injury claims, and we are ready to put this experience to work for you. If you are undocumented and need legal assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, contact us today to learn how a workers’ compensation attorney can assist you.
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