Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for First Responders

Law Office in Tampa, FL


    Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for First Responders

    Law Office in Tampa, FL


      Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for First Responders

      Law Office in Tampa, FL


      Being a first responder involves more stress than most people will ever understand. Having an injury as a result of working as a first responder can feel frustrating and limiting. Having a health condition due to your job as a first responder can also feel like you’re being held back from what you are supposed to be doing. There’s a lot of pressure in these jobs to perform. It’s not uncommon for first responders who have been injured or are suffering potentially long-term health issues to hesitate to call our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for first responders. We urge you to reach out right away to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

        Outstanding Legal Knowledge

        Tonya is a true expert in the field of workers compensation, including cases involving cardiac and pulmonary claims of first responders. She is an excellent trial attorney and demonstrates both outstanding legal knowledge and ethical standards.

        Anonymous

        Flawless Representation

        Jason was there for me from the beginning, Kept me informed at all times of my cases status, worked tirelessly during mediations to ensure maximum benefits were obtained, and most of all treated me like family rather than a client!

        James

        Thank You So Much For Getting Me Here

        The last year and a half have been exhausting, both physically and emotionally. Right from the start, I stressed over leaving a career behind that I loved with nothing to show for it. I know my law enforcement career was over, but had no idea what I was deserving of. Despite my case being about as clear-cut as they come, I knew I needed help and guidance…that’s where you and your firm came in. Despite my lack of patience, you explained clearly what needed to happen and how to get there.  I am SO GLAD this is over, and I thank you so much for getting me here.

        Anonymous

        Excellent Workers Compensation Attorney

        Jason Fox has been the best attorney that I have ever had. He handled my very complicated case very professionally. He not only did an outstanding job when it came to the legal aspects of the case , but was very thoughtful on how it personally affected me and my family. He also attended city council meetings, doctors appointment, etc. even when it was not legally needed. He stood by my side every step of they way, and was willing to fight all the way to the Supreme Court. Most Lawyers would not have put the time or effort. This was not a big money making case for a lawyer but he was standing up to a system and a City that treated an injured worker very poorly. He is a smart and determined person who is willing to go the extra mile for what is right. I would 100% recommend him.

        Dawn
        7 Mistakes First Responders Make With a Workers' Compensation Claim

        7 Mistakes First Responders Make with a Workers’ Compensation Claim

        Download our FREE book and start learning what not to do after a work injury.

        Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for First Responders

        Being a first responder involves more stress than most people will ever understand. Having an injury as a result of working as a first responder can feel frustrating and limiting. Having a health condition due to your job as a first responder can also feel like you’re being held back from what you are supposed to be doing. There’s a lot of pressure in these jobs to perform. It’s not uncommon for first responders who have been injured or are suffering potentially long-term health issues to hesitate to call our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for first responders. We urge you to reach out right away to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

        Why Workers’ Compensation Exists

        As its name implies, workers’ compensation is meant to compensate the workers for injuries or health issues that occur in the workplace. For first responders, that could involve a myriad of issues, from an acute injury such as slipping and falling and breaking a leg on the job to PTSD to heart and lung disease. When you file for your workers’ compensation, you are essentially requesting to be compensated for your medical costs and lost wages, as well as any rehabilitation or physical therapy or psychiatric help that you might need in order to get back on your feet and get back to work as soon as you can. A lot of first responders are strong and resilient people so it’s hard for them to draw the line in the sand and decide that now is the time that they are going to seek help. We urge you to reach out to our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for first responders so that we can discuss how this is good for you in the long run.

        Part of the hesitation comes from the known fact that getting workers’ compensation for things like heart disease or hypertension can be really difficult sometimes because it’s incredibly hard to prove that these types of health issues came from your workplace. Of course, our office understands that the incredible stress and pressure that you were under as a first responder can attribute to the illness that you’re dealing with. We want to get ahead of the insurance company and we don’t want you to just push through these injuries. We know that there is a path for you to get the compensation that you deserve so that you can start recovering and get back on your feet.

        4 Step Test

        When we are trying to prove that your health issues like PTSD or hypertension came from your work as, say, a law enforcement officer or an EMT, we like to go through four steps to see whether or not we think we’d have a strong case against the insurance company who just wants to turn down your case.

        First, we will show that your job is indeed a high stress job. There is no denying that being an EMT, firefighter, or police officer is incredibly stressful. We, as a nation, give thanks to our first responders for putting their lives on the line for our safety. A normal person might not fully comprehend how much stress first responders go through and how high stress can have a physical impact on their health.

        Ideally, our client will have a pre-employment physical that shows that they did not previously suffer from the health issue that they are making their workers’ compensation claim about. For example, we would ideally have someone who is saying that they now have heart disease come in with a pre-employment physical that shows that they did not have heart disease prior to taking this job.

        We also need to have a diagnosis that they indeed do have heart disease now and that they’ve been working at this workplace for X amount of years or so. The diagnosis would be strong enough for us to show causation.

        Then we’re going to show all the ways that this diagnosis has proven you to be incapacitating for the client in some manner. This is basically just saying how this health diagnosis has affected your life. For someone with PTSD, for example, they might not be able to work with this type of incapacitation.

        By taking these steps, we are able to get ahead of the insurance company because it’s a lot harder to disprove these things once they’ve been presented like this when we have the upper hand and the advantage.

        Taking Care of Yourself

        We urge you to get the treatment that you need as soon as you possibly can. If you were to have an acute injury like a broken arm or traumatic brain injury, we would like you to go to the emergency room as soon as you possibly can. If you are suffering from a health issue that happened over a prolonged period of time, such as PTSD or hypertension, it’s not a bad idea to start with your primary care physician.

        After you have started on the path to your physical recovery or your psychological recovery, we urge you to reach out to our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for first responders as soon as possible. These cases can be time-sensitive and we want to get started on building the foundation of a strong case for you right away.

        We really do urge you to take that first step and decide that this is the time you are going to recover and heal from your illness or your injuries. We know that anxiety and depression among first responders is prevalent and can really affect someone for the rest of their life past their career as an EMT, firefighter, or law enforcement officer. We understand that heart disease and lung disease isn’t as simple as putting a cast on it and waiting several months for it to go away.

        You should know that it is a mistake to put off seeking medical attention if you really do need it. Understand, though, that there is a path to getting compensation so that you can deal with this situation financially. We will support you every step of the way if you choose to hire us to be your lawyers and we will make sure that you are taken care of.

        How We Help Injured First Responders

        Particularly with first responder workplace injuries, there can be a lot of complications that you may not be ready to face. Having developed a lung issue or a heart issue can be really jarring and unsettling because those are really severe issues for someone to deal with on top of the stress of the job and the guilt of having to step back and take time for yourself to recover in this moment. It can take a long time to learn how to live with these health issues or recover from them if that’s a possibility for you.

        We make sure that with all of this on your plate you don’t have to worry about the legal aspect of your workers’ compensation claim. We take care of all this heavy lifting and all of the monotony of the law so that you can focus on yourself, your family, and learning how to deal with what you’re going through and figure out what is next for you and your recovery and your possible return to work once you are ready.

        Call Our Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for First Responders Today

        We urge you to reach out to us as soon as you can. We know that it is incredibly hard to step back from your job and take some time to file a workers’ compensation claim and potentially spend a long time not working, because you feel like you have a duty to your community. We fully respect that and understand how hard this must be for you but we want you to prioritize your own health in this moment. We can’t reverse the damage but we want to go forward causing no further harm and help you live a fuller life with these issues that you’re suffering with.

        If you decide that we are the Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for first responders for you, we are going to treat you like you are family. We will fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve as if we were fighting for our own family. We stay strong so that you can focus on your own recovery, and we believe that each client is important and deserves to be treated like a priority. Please call us right away to set up your free initial consultation.

        Frequently Asked Workers’ Comp for First Responders Questions

        What recommendations would you give first responders as they are entering their profession as it relates to workers’ comp?

        Workers' Comp Recommendations for First Responders

        In speaking with union, there are several pieces of advice that we give to the union members, particularly to the incoming first responders for firefighters and law enforcement. A couple of critical or key important things that they need to consider is, one, to maintain a copy of their pre-employment physical. The pre-employment physical is very important not only for identifying the physical condition that each first responder entered service in, but it’s also essential for application of the presumption pursuant to the Heart Bill.

        In addition, the young first responders entering service often feel invincible. However, after years of service, the toll that serving as a first responder takes on its body is important, so it’s important to document every injury file, each notice of injury, with the agency, contemporaneous with when it occurs and seek and continue in medical treatment in order to receive all benefits that each first responder is entitled to.

        If you have any questions as you’re entering into service as a first responder, as to how workers’ compensation benefits apply to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at Oliver and Fox.

        How do I choose the best workers’ compensation attorney for first responders in Florida?

        In choosing the right attorney to represent an injured first responder regarding a workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to select an attorney that is well-versed not only in workers’ comp, but also can handle the issues regarding the agency and potentially pension issues. A lot of times our clients come to us and they have injuries, and we are able to provide their benefits and put them back to work relatively easy and quickly with no issues. However, there are occasions when an injured first responder cannot return back to work, and this affects not only their employment but as well as potential pension issues within line-of-duty disability pension.

        We invite you to call our firm so that we can discuss these options, whether your injury is relatively small or catastrophic, where we can help with those recommendations.

        What mistakes are often made by first responders during a workers’ compensation case in Florida?

        The other day we were speaking to a union leader and we had a very good question posed, and that is, “What are some of the most common mistakes that first responders in Florida make?” We told them that there are several. First and foremost, don’t resign, don’t retire, don’t quit, as this may eliminate eligibility for your benefits, whether it be for your pension and line-of-duty of disability or workers’ compensation. The next is always file a notice of injury. Even if you don’t need medical care at that time, file a notice of injury, put everyone on notice that you had a work-related injury. Failure to do that may not have any immediate effects, but it may prevent you from making a claim in months, years, or towards the end of your career. It can destroy what may be a very good claim, just by failing to file and give your employer notice. Failing to follow the doctor’s recommendations, restrictions, and simply failing to follow up with your claim at least once every year, seeing an authorized doctor.

        These are some of the most common mistakes that are made and we say please avoid them at all costs. Even if this is done or you want more information on how to avoid these common mistakes, please call us at Oliver and Fox and we can assist you through your workers’ compensation claim in Florida.

        Filing a First Responder Workers' Compensation Claim

        How long do I have to file a first responder workers’ compensation claim in Florida?

        We had a client who reached out to us because he suffered an injury, and he wanted to know how long he had to report that claim. The answer to that question is very complicated in Florida because depending upon when the claim occurred, if treatment was provided or if notification was provided to a supervisor, the answer could vary. In addition, Florida has a requirement that on all compensable claims that you must treat one time per year in order to keep the claim open. Unfortunately, we see oftentimes and individual have a workers’ compensation claim, however those benefits lapse because they do not keep up with their annual treatment.

        If you would like to reach out and contact us, we can tell you whether or not you have made a viable claim and, if your treatment has lapsed or if your treatment has not lapsed or even if it has lapsed, look at ways we can help assist you to make sure you’re getting medical care and benefits.

        Should I contact a first responder workers’ compensation lawyer even if I do not lose from work?

        We had a client come to us because he was not receiving medical benefits. He reported to us that he did not miss any work, but he was physically injured and required treatment for that injury. It is important, even if you do not miss work in Florida, that you report that injury to your employer, then a first report of injury is filed, and that benefits are provided pursuant to that claim.

        If you have questions as to whether or not you need to complete a first report of injury, and if you missed work or did not miss work affects your claim, please call and we can assist you with those questions.

        Why should I make a first responder workers’ compensation claim when I am still working, being paid, and have medical care provided?

        I’m often asked by injured Florida first responders why they should make a workers’ compensation claim when they’re still working, still being paid by the employer, and they have the medical care being provided to them through their health insurance. The answer is, if you don’t make that proper claim through workers’ compensation and the condition progresses, or you have a worse injury down the road later in your career, you may not be able to make a workers’ compensation claim, as the injury that you’re treating for presently may be deemed to be the major contributing cause and not related to work because you didn’t file a claim.

        It’s very important that claims are filed and processed the proper way through the proper means and channels. Please call us at Oliver and Fox. We’d be happy to evaluate your claim and help assess whether you should or should not make a claim.

        Filing a Claim Without Missing Work

        I don’t want to take time off, how can I continue to work and still file a first responder workers’ comp claim?

        We were speaking to a group of first responders, and one of the questions that arose indicated that an individual, while injured, wanted to return to work. In Florida, you can return to work following a work-related injury, but it’s very important that you follow all doctor’s orders and restrictions. If a doctor has specifically taken you out of work, you should not return until cleared by the workers’ compensation doctors so that you can return and resume your duties.

        At Olive and Fox, if you would like to discuss with us your opportunities to return back to work following a work-related injury, we invite you to call.

        What happens when a first responder workers’ comp claim is contested by the insurance carrier?

        We received a call from a new client indicating that he received a denial in the mail from workers’ compensation. He’s a first responder, he’s not back at work, and he’s receiving medical care and treatment and wants to know what he is supposed to do. A first report of injury was filed, and the insurance company has 120 days to investigate that injury and can accept the injury or deny the case. If the case is denied, the claimant or the employee has the opportunity to contest that in court. In doing so, a petition for benefits must be filed and there must be medical evidence to support the claim or the injury and its relationship to the workplace event.

        At Oliver and Fox, if you’ve received a denial, we would be happy to help you investigate whether or not the denial was issued, and whether you’re entitled to additional workers’ compensation benefits, and proceed with those in court. We invite you to contact our office and we can set up a consultation with you to do so.

        Why should a first responder hire an attorney when medical care is already provided after an accident in Florida?

        We often speak to first responders who ask why they should hire an attorney when the medical care is already being provided through workers’ comp. The answer is they may not know what benefits are out there and what they’re eligible for. There may be reimbursement for mileage that they’re not getting; they may be paying for prescriptions that they should not be; there may be impairment benefits that have never been paid or underpaid. It is one of the most common mistakes that are made by adjusters on claims, not intentionally, but they underpay benefits that are available to the first responders in Florida. If you don’t know what’s out there, you don’t know what you’re missing.

        As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know. Please call us at Oliver and Fox. We’d be very happy to assist you in evaluating and making sure you’re receiving all the benefits that you’re entitled to.

        I have been asked to settle my first responder workers’ compensation claim, what should I do?

        At Oliver and Fox, we are often contacted by Florida first responders who have been approached by their employer or the insurance company and asked to settle their case or their claim. This is because many first responders from Florida have long-standing or open claims for several years. You must be very careful when you are approached with this question, as many times the employer or the insurance company is going to request that you resign or retire or separate as part of that settlement. That can have a very negative implication on other benefits that may be available to you.

        Settlement is a very good option in certain situations. We definitely recommend that you contact us at Olive and Fox to assist you in this stage of your case and your claim and hopefully maximize the benefits and protect your career as best as possible.

        How do you determine the value of a workers’ compensation claim for a first responder in Florida?

        First Responder Workers' Compensation Case ValueWhen we speak to first responders we are often asked, “What’s the value,” or “How much is my claim worth?” Claims have a value based on, first and foremost, how much it’s costing you for your care, treatment, and your lost income. It also has a value based on what those things are costing the employer. The value is then assessed and includes, again, the medical care, lost wages, impairment benefits, medications, therapies, other things and everything that flows through to you, and whether or not you’re taking advantage of it or whether or not it’s been paid.

        The amount that you’ve cost the carrier or the employer in the past is not as important, per se, as what they may have to pay in the future, so we have to look at the history, but then extrapolate out and look at what type of future care, treatment, what your ability is to return to work, if there’s work available, what impairment you may have, what restrictions you may have, what impairment rating you may have and whether those benefits have all been paid and whether they have been paid appropriately.

        We truly need to have this full evaluation to give you a fair and appropriate value or settlement estimation, so please call us at Olive and Fox. We’d be happy to do this for you and assist you through this stage of your claim.

        How long will my first responder workers’ compensation case take?

        We’re often asked how long it may take for a first responder workers’ compensation claim or any workers’ compensation claim to resolve in the state of Florida. The first thing that’s important to understand is that you never have to settle your case, neither does the employer carrier. Neither side can force the other to settle, to close it, to resolve it. If we want to reach a resolution, it must be completely voluntary.

        If everybody is able to reach an agreement, we really have to wait until we can assess the value and the breadth of your injuries – how severely injured are you? Is it going to be long-standing? Is it going to be something that quickly resolves? If we can then put together and assess your injury, and both sides are interested, we can reach a settlement. Again, no case is ever required to settle. Sometimes we can settle them as quick as two or three weeks, and sometimes we may have a case open for 20 years. It’s really dependent on what you desire and what the employer would like to do as well, but everyone has to come to that agreement.

        We at Oliver and Fox can help you assess the value of your claim and help you achieve your goal, whether it’s a quick settlement, or protect your career and extend that settlement out as long possible.

        Client Reviews

        stars

        “The last year and a half have been exhausting, both physically and emotionally. Right from the start, I stressed over leaving a career behind that I loved with nothing to show for it. I know my law enforcement career was over, but had no idea what I was deserving of. Despite my case being about as clear-cut as they come, I knew I needed help and guidance…that’s where you and your firm came in. Despite my lack of patience, you explained clearly what needed to happen and how to get there.  I am SO GLAD this is over, and I thank you so much for getting me here.”
        – Anonymous.
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