Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Law Enforcement

Law Office in Tampa, FL


    Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Law Enforcement

    Law Office in Tampa, FL


      Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Law Enforcement

      Law Office in Tampa, FL


      Being a police officer Is more stressful than most people will ever understand. Getting hurt or getting sick because of your job as a law enforcement officer can feel very limiting. If you have a condition based on the job that you do, you can feel like you’re not giving your community the support it needs. We understand how frustrating this must feel for you when all you want to do is work but your body is saying no. We see a lot of these cases with police officers suffering long-term medical conditions who have a hard time taking that first step towards recovery. We urge you to make a phone call to our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for law enforcement and set up a free consultation with us as soon as you possibly can.

        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

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        Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Law Enforcement

        Being a police officer Is more stressful than most people will ever understand. Getting hurt or getting sick because of your job as a law enforcement officer can feel very limiting. If you have a condition based on the job that you do, you can feel like you’re not giving your community the support it needs. We understand how frustrating this must feel for you when all you want to do is work but your body is saying no. We see a lot of these cases with police officers suffering long-term medical conditions who have a hard time taking that first step towards recovery. We urge you to make a phone call to our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for law enforcement and set up a free consultation with us as soon as you possibly can.

        How Police Officers Get Hurt

        There are various reasons why an officer could get hurt on the job. Here are the most common reasons why police officers experience injuries at work:

        • Being physically attacked or exposed to a violent citizen
        • Being exposed to things such as drugs or hazardous materials that can cause health issues
        • Experiencing health issues due to stress such as mental health and PTSD
        • Auto accidents

        The injuries related to these incidents can include burns, hypertension and heart issues, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, head, neck, and back injuries, and in the worst of cases, death.

        Why You Should File a Claim

        Workers’ compensation, as its name suggests, is financial relief for workers who were hurt while in the scope of the workplace. When police officers are hurt on the job, it could be for a number of reasons from an acute injury like a twisted ankle to chronic conditions such as PTSD and hypertension. Some recoveries are quick and others are going to be lifelong issues that you learn to manage the symptoms of. When you file for your workers’ compensation, you are asking for financial relief for the costs of your medical and hospital bills, as well as for lost earnings you incurred when recovering and any therapy that is required for your treatment. Workers’ compensation generally covers anything that you need to get back on your feet within necessity and reason.

        A lot of police officers are the types who have a hard time taking vacations or stepping away from the job and they just want to keep serving and protecting their communities. Because of this, it’s hard for them to decide when enough is enough with their injuries or health issues, seek treatment, and file a workers’ comp claim. We understand how this might be a difficult decision for you but we truly encourage you to reach out to our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for law enforcement so we can set you up with a first, free consultation to go over the details of your case and give you the guidance you need.

        We understand if you hesitate to file your claim because of the fact that it can be hard to prove to the insurance company that certain illnesses are caused by your workplace. For example, hypertension is difficult to trace back to work as a police officer. We aim to get ahead of the insurance companies and put them on the defensive by building a strong foundation for your case. We aim to make their path of blocking you from compensation hard for them. We understand how to make sure that you get what you need for your recovery and we urge you to reach out and put your faith in our attorneys.

        Our 4 Step Test to See How Strong Your Case Is

        The way we manage a tough case when there is a difficult to prove health condition like hypertension or PTSD is we go through a process that involves four steps to determine that we have a strong case against the insurance company. If we can get through this four-step test with the correct outcomes, then we will be able to rely more on the strength of our case and trust that the insurance company will have a harder time turning you away.

        The first step is to prove that before your job you did not suffer this health illness. We don’t give our police officers enough credit in the United States and we often underestimate the stress that they go through. Stress for anyone can affect their health but when it is a daily occurrence and in immense amounts, it can have long-lasting implications for someone’s health. Ideally, we need to prove to the insurance company that before you started working as a police officer, before you were exposed to all that high stress on a daily basis, you were free of illness. That illness could be hypertension, heart disease, or PTSD. It is going to make our job of correlating your health condition to your employment as a police officer easier to prove if we have a pre-employment physical that shows you clear of these health conditions.

        Second, we will look for a physical that took place after you took a job as a police officer that shows that you indeed do suffer hypertension or heart disease or PTSD now. Once we have this diagnosis, it helps us draw the line between you starting this job and you developing this condition, which makes our case stronger against the insurance company.

        From here, we have the task of showing the insurance company all of the ways in which your life has been affected by your health diagnosis. If you have PTSD, maybe you can’t live your life the way you used to. If you have a heart diagnosis, you might need to make major life changes. We want to have all of this documented so we can show the insurance company how much your life has been affected.

        Once our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for law enforcement are able to do these things, we are going to be able to put the insurance company on defense, making it harder for them to disprove the case that we are presenting. This will help us create a stronger foundation for your case, which gives us an advantage over the insurance company.

        How We Help Injured Police Officers

        With a lot of first responders such as police officers, it’s hard to stop working and address your health issues. It can be unsettling and jarring to experience an issue that can’t be taken care of right away and get you back on the job as soon as possible. Heart issues are an example of something that can happen because of the stress that you experience on your job day to day. Starting your recovery often means not being able to work temporarily and, in the severest of cases, permanently. We always tell law enforcement officers that getting medical care is paramount. You cannot serve and protect your community if you aren’t taking care of yourself first.

        With all of this worrying you, we make one thing easier for you. We aim to make your legal process as simple as possible for you so that you can focus on your recovery and your family. We do this so that we can hopefully get you back to work as soon as possible by getting you compensation you need for your recovery.

        Call Our Florida Workers Compensation Attorneys for Law Enforcement Today

        We hope that you act urgently if you are suffering from your duties as a police officer. We sympathize with how difficult it is to take that step away from your work and focus on yourself and your recovery. Filing that workers’ compensation claim can be a big step for those who just want to keep pushing so that they can serve and protect. We understand how you must be dealing with this but we hope that you take this time to put your health as a priority over your career because you cannot have a career if you do not have your health. You cannot take away the damage you cause to your health.

        If you are looking for Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for law enforcement, we are here to help you every step of the way. We want to help people like you get the compensation they need to get on the path to recovery as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call right away and we will be happy to set up your first, free consultation.

        Frequently Asked Workers’ Compensation for Law Enforcement Questions

        Reporting Work Injury to Your Captain

        Do I need to report my injury to my captain as a first responder?

        We had a client who recently met with us, and he had a heart attack while he was not on duty. Is it important in Florida to file a first report of injury regarding your injury? Whether you have a physical injury, such as a broken arm or broken leg, that occurs on duty as a first responder, or whether you have injuries such as a heart attack, hypertension, PTSD or similar injuries that occur either on or off duty, it is important and mandatory to file that first report of injury to notify the employer of your injury. At Oliver and Fox, We can help file your first report of injury and make sure that your benefits are provided pursuant to your report of your injury.

        What conditions are presumed to be work-related for first responders in Florida?

        We are often asked, with regard to fault in workers’ comp, whether you can still make a claim. The fault in workers’ comp should not matter. There are extenuating circumstances, but most of the time fault is not taken into account and workers’ compensation benefits are available regardless of whether you may be at fault or not, that includes, in a car accident for example, where you can be found at-fault for the car accident but still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

        We often have multiple party types of accidents as well, where there could be a slip and fall, or a trip, or, again, like a motor vehicle accident, so whether you caused the accident, were a victim, or no one was at fault, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Please contact us at Oliver and Fox. We’d be very happy to discuss this with you.

        What is an occupational disease as it relates to first responders?

        We were recently contacted by a personal injury attorney who was referring a physical injury for a Florida first responder, and he asked us a very good question as to what other types of injuries may be available for Florida first responders. We explained that there could be repetitive physical injuries, exposure types of claims. There’s presumption claims such as hypertension and heart disease. There’s mental health claims, PTSD, and cancer for firefighters.

        If you have any of these types of claims, please call us at Oliver and Fox for a free consultation.

        Covered Injuries & Illnesses for First Responders

        What injuries and illnesses are covered for first responders in Florida?

        We were talking to an attorney the other day that inquired as to what would constitute a workers’ compensation case, claim, or injury. There are many types of cases, many types of claims, especially for first responders. You can have just a regular physical injury; you can have a repetitive trauma injury, meaning knees, think carpal tunnel syndrome, and it can occur in your back 

        or neck as well; you can also have heart/lung, high blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease. All of those are covered under special first responder statutes, the Heart/Lung Bill. There’s also cancer for firefighters and mental health, PTSD, for all first responders.

        These benefits are available, and they do constitute workers’ compensation benefits. You may be entitled to benefits and just not be aware of it. Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation at Oliver and Fox.

        What is temporary partial disability and temporary total disability?

        Oftentimes our first responders ask us how they get paid following a workers’ compensation injury. In workers’ compensation there’s several categories of indemnity or monetary benefits. We have broken those down into three specific indemnity benefits – temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, impairment benefits, and a fourth category called permanent total disability benefits.

        Temporary total and 

        temporary partial disability benefits are very similar benefits where you’re either temporarily unable to return to duty as a first responder or you’re allowed to return to light duty but are not earning your full wages, which would result in temporary partial disability benefits to make you whole or to make your wages whole.

        Impairment benefits are benefits after you’re at maximum medical improvement and a doctor has said that you are as good as you’re going to get as a result of your injury. Workers’ compensation has an impairment guidebook that delineates an impairment rating for each type of injury, and that rating translates into monetary benefits.

        Permanent total disability benefits, again, are benefits that are post-MMI, or maximum medical improvement, and are benefits when an injured worker is permanently and totally disabled from returning back to work in any capacity.

        At Oliver and Fox, we can discuss with you your monetary benefits as it applies to temporary total, temporary partial impairment, and permanent total disability benefits. We invite you to call our office so that we can discuss that with you.

        What is important to know about impairment benefits relative to first responder workers’ compensation?

        I’m often asked by potential clients and first responders whether or not they may have a claim, or whether they settled their claim because they received impairment benefits. Impairment benefits are a statutory benefit that’s provided to you and it does not settle or close out your case, and it is not a restriction in your case. Impairment benefits are based on a rating that a doctor gives you, based on a whole book, and it’s put into a formula and we calculate how many weeks of benefits you receive for having your diagnosis or your injury. It is not a restriction. You can have no restrictions but still receive an impairment rating and receive impairment benefits.

        Furthermore, if your employer does not pay your impairment benefits correctly, which happens quite a bit of the time, your statute of limitations may not have run and you may be able to reopen or re-investigate any old claim where your employer is telling you that your statute of limitations may have run or you’re not entitled to benefits. If you would like, please call us at Oliver and Fox and we’d be happy to review your impairment benefits, what have been paid, if they’ve been paid appropriately, and whether or not your case remains open.

        Apportioned Pre-Existing PTSD Claim

        How does a first responder qualify for PTSD benefits?

        We were recently contacted by a union leader who asked what is necessary for his members to make a mental health or PTSD type claim. We explained that there are actually two types of claims that can be made. Normally, under regular workers’ compensation, you need to have a physical injury along with your mental health claim for that to stand, but for first responders there’s an exception to that. If you’re just making a mental health claim and not seeking lost wages, you need to just advise your employer, file a notice of injury, and request the care and the benefits. Again, that will be medical care provided, but not the lost wage or lost income.

        On the flip side, there’s a new part of the statute and a new section that entitles a first responder in Florida to lost wages if he’s out for PTSD, a mental health claim, as a result of a qualifying incident and have a manifestation or symptoms develop within 52 weeks of that qualifying event. Please call us at Oliver and Fox. We’d be happy to discuss what benefits are available for you under these types of cases and claims. 

        Can my first responder workers’ compensation claim be apportioned due to pre-existing PTSD?

        We were recently asked by a first responder if he was able to make a PTSD claim, even though he had some prior mental health history. The answer is likely yes, but it depends on the facts of the specific incident or qualifying event that that first responder has seen or endured. Please call us at Oliver and Fox. We’d be happy to evaluate your case and claim.

        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.

        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.

        What happens if I am unable to return to duty as a first responderWhat happens if I am unable to return to duty as a first responder?

        We were speaking to a client who was injured on the job and was unable to return to full duty as a firefighter. In Florida, in workers’ comp, we can assist with providing temporary benefits, if you’re unable to return to work on a temporary basis, and permanent benefits, if you’re unable to return not only to work as a firefighter but in all work capacities as a result of your injuries.

        At Oliver and Fox, we invite you to call so that we can discuss your injuries and your work status in a full consultation to determine what benefits you are entitled.

        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.

        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.

        Are repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel covered for first responders?

        We often find ourselves speaking with first responders in Florida that tell us about repetitive-type injuries that they have and that they haven’t made a claim for. They may not realize that they may be able to make a claim for them. Just like a secretary or phlebotomist or somebody working with their hands may develop carpal tunnel over time, first responders can also develop repetitive-type injuries to their knees, back, or neck.

        We recently assisted an officer who developed severe neck pain and herniations in his neck and required a fusion because of the very awkward position in which he had to have his neck and hands while typing in his squad car. These types of cases can be repetitive trauma, just like a firefighter jumping on and off the truck and climbing ladders with 80+ pounds of gear on his back. The wear and tear that you endure and that your bodies endure is not typical of anyone that’s not a first responder, and it may entitle you to additional benefits and to make a claim.

        Please call us at Oliver and Fox. We’d be happy to evaluate your specific injuries and help you decide if a claim is in your best interest.

        Do I Need A Workers' Comp Lawyer If I Can Still Work?

        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.

        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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