O'Rourke & Akers

QUESTION: HOW CAN A WORKER'S COMPENSATION ATTORNEY HELP ME? 

Call: 904-398-0811

QUESTION: MY EMPLOYER SAYS I NEED TO COME BACK TO WORK AFTER MY ACCIDENT. IS THIS RIGHT?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

QUESTION: SHOULD I SETTLE MY WORKERS' COMPENSATION CASE? 

ANSWER: Your workers' compensation check may increase if you lose your health insurance. If your employer previously contributed some money to your health insurance premium, then that lost fringe benefit can be added into your average weekly wage ("AWW"). The AWW is the starting point of how workers' compensation will calculate your checks.  This calculation can be complicated, and we can help determine if you are being paid at the correct rate. Workers' Compensation insurance companies rarely increase your workers' compensation checks voluntarily.  Many times, an attorney can help to encourage or compel an increase in your checks. 

ANSWER: The most immediate way one of our attorneys can help you is by filing Petitions for Benefits for medical and/or indemnity benefits. Without a Petition, insurance carriers may be able to stall or delay providing you the medical treatment or benefits that you are entitled to. Don't let the insurance company dictate when and if you receive the treatment you need. Additionally, one of our worker's compensation attorneys can help you with advice and insight about your doctors and the workers' compensation claims process. If you feel your claim is moving too slowly, or being ignored, we invite you to reach out to us to learn more.  

QUESTION: CAN I SUE MY EMPLOYER BECAUSE THE EMPLOYER NEGLIGENTLY HARMED ME AT WORK?

QUESTION: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE O'ROURKE & AKERS TO HELP ME? 

ANSWER: You don't pay us until we recover for you! You can schedule a free consultation and meet with one of us in person or over the phone. There is no obligation to retain us, but we're confident you'll get excellent legal advice and make the right decision.  

QUESTION: WHAT HAPPENS IF MY HEALTH INSURANCE IS CANCELLED WHILE I'M OUT OF WORK ON WORKERS' COMPENSATION?  

QUESTION: HOW MUCH SHOULD I GET PAID BY WORKERS COMPENSATION? 

ANSWER: When you are released to work with restrictions by an authorized doctor, your Employer can offer you light duty, as long as it fits within your assigned restrictions. If light duty is made available to you, you should try to work this position. However, there are circumstances that could justify refusal of light duty under the law. Each case is unique and depends on a lot of facts. We are here to discuss your case if you would like any guidance. 

ANSWER: If an authorized workers' compensation doctor places restrictions on your working abilities, or if the doctor takes you out of work completely, then you may qualify for temporary partial disability or temporary total disability benefits. Temporary total disability benefits are 66 2/3% of the average of your gross weekly wage (AWW) in the thirteen weeks before your accident/injury. Temporary Partial Disability benefits are paid using a formula of: 80% of your AWW minus gross earnings you made during that week and that result is then multiplied by 80% again. We can help calculating your workers' compensation checks to make sure you are getting paid the benefit you are entitled to. Give us a call.  

ANSWER: In most circumstances, you cannot sue your Employer outside of workers' compensation, if the Employer did something negligently to harm you. Florida's workers' compensation system provides "tort immunity" to Employers who obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage and provide it to injured employees. Although "tort immunity" protects against claims of negligence, it does not necessarily extend to intentional acts. This does not mean that you have no recourse, however! You may be still entitled to medical and indemnity benefits that the workers' compensation carrier is failing to provide. You may also be able to negotiate a lump sum settlement in your workers' comp claim. Give us a call and we can review your case.  

ANSWER: It depends on the unique facts of your case.  A settlement is when you accept a lump sum of money and in exchange, you give up any rights to further workers’ compensation benefits.  This includes medical benefits and wage benefits, the two main categories of benefits available in the Florida workers’ compensation statute.  When you settle, workers’ compensation is no longer responsible for providing you medical care or wage loss.  There are a lot of other factors involved in considering settlement.  For instance, if you are a Medicare beneficiary, special consideration of Medicare’s interest in the settlement must be undertaken, or you could lose your Medicare benefits.  Also, if you owe child support, then the workers’ compensation judge will order up to ½ of your settlement be paid to the child support agency.  If you are interested in discussing settlement, make sure you know the full picture and get every dollar that you can.  The attorneys at O’Rourke & Akers are glad to guide you through the settlement process, should that be the direction that you choose to go and we will make sure we get every dollar that we can for you.