Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Firefighters

Law Office in Tampa, FL


    Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Firefighters

    Law Office in Tampa, FL


      Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Firefighters

      Law Office in Tampa, FL


      Firefighters undergo extreme stress in their workplace. This work is unlike anything else and it is hard for those who don’t work the job to understand what firefighters go through on a daily basis. When firefighters head to a call, it could be something truly horrific. We often see firefighters come to us seeking workers’ compensation after suffering serious health issues due to their work. We know that the health issues firefighters suffer can be severe. Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers for firefighters seek to help people like you get the help they deserve. Call us right away if you are ready to file a workers’ compensation claim. We will be more than happy to set up your free initial consultation.

        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 Lawyers for Firefighters

        Firefighters undergo extreme stress in their workplace. This work is unlike anything else and it is hard for those who don’t work the job to understand what firefighters go through on a daily basis. When firefighters head to a call, it could be something truly horrific. We often see firefighters come to us seeking workers’ compensation after suffering serious health issues due to their work. We know that the health issues firefighters suffer can be severe. Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers for firefighters seek to help people like you get the help they deserve. Call us right away if you are ready to file a workers’ compensation claim. We will be more than happy to set up your free initial consultation.

        Why File for Workers’ Compensation?

        Workers’ compensation is available for workers of any kind. It provides financial relief for grocery clerks who slip and hit their hit resulting in a concussion, or a firefighter who has developed lung cancer in the scope of their workplace. Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers for firefighters have dedicated part of their practice specifically to helping firefighters get the financial relief they need from insurance companies for the harm they face at work.

        Our goal is to help you get the workers’ compensation that will fully and fairly cover the finances needed for the harm that befalls you as a firefighter. You can receive compensation for your medical bills, physical or psychological therapy, medication, etc. Some of the health issues that you suffer from might be long-term or leave you disabled. The compensation that you receive should cover your financial needs in full. If you need physical therapy for your injury or you will be struggling with PTSD long term, your compensation should reflect that.

        We have noticed a trend with first responders such as firefighters. There tends to be a hesitation to finally step back and take the time needed to get the treatment necessary to recover. There is a lot of pressure to continue helping people. You may feel guilty for stepping away. But we truly urge you to get the help you deserve. Your health is so very important and we know that, while it is a hard decision to make, taking care of yourself is never the wrong decision, especially when it helps you to live a life that is more enjoyable.

        The Four-Step Process for a Strong Case

        There are several types of health issues that you may experience in the scope of the workplace as a firefighter that we will get deeper into shortly, but it is often hard to prove that they were a result of working as a firefighter. For example, PTSD, heart disease, cancer, etc. are hard to link definitively to being a firefighter. We have a four-step process that allows us to get ahead of the insurance company and put your case in good stead. 

        The insurance company will do everything in their power to discredit your case. One of the most common things they will try to say is that your health issues are not related to your work. We want to get ahead of them here. Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers for firefighters have a way to do this:

        • We like to show the insurance company that you indeed work an extremely stressful job. That might include featuring incidents that are related to your health issues, ex: someone with PTSD witnessing horrors during a call.
        • We look to your medical records to find a pre-employment physical that shows that you did not have a diagnosis for the condition in which you are seeking workers’ compensation for, ex: a pre-employment physical where you are not diagnosed with hypertension.
        • We again look to your medical records to see that you have a diagnosis recently that shows you have been diagnosed with the medical condition you are seeking compensation for.
        • We display to the insurance company how much your life has been impacted by your diagnosis.

        Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers for firefighters go through this process so that we force the insurance company to go on the defensive, which gives us the upper hand. We know these insurance companies put up a fight, but we will make sure it’s a harder fight for them than it is for us.

        Issues that Firefighters Face

        The hazards that a firefighter faces on the job are as follows:

        • Burns
        • Heat exhaustion
        • Extreme stress, physical and mental
        • Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide

        Because of the exposures to these hazards, there is a likely chance that they will be prone to certain diseases. If they have unhealthy habits as well, such as smoking or heavy drinking, that increases the risk.

        Here are some of the health issues firefighters frequently experience:

        • Heart Disease: Nearly half of the work-related deaths with firefighters are due to heart attacks. This is due to the environment that firefighters face, which is that of heat exposure, carbon monoxide exposure, and stress. If someone is overweight, not in the best of shape, or smokes, the risk of heart attack is higher. Also, the heart requires oxygen and if someone who is a firefighter is exposed to carbon monoxide in high levels, this can cause heart issues as well.
        • Cancer: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health did a study that showed that firefighters are more than twice as likely to have a cancer diagnosis than non-firefighters. The types of cancers they often are diagnosed with are colon, bladder, brain, kidney, and lymphoma.
        • Respiratory Disease: Even the healthiest of firefighters, when exposed to enough hazards, can experience respiratory disease. The lung issues that they face can be temporary or permanent. They are around so many things that should not be burned because they let off toxic chemicals and they often suffer consequences because of that.
        • Hepatitis: Because the first people who arrive at a scene are firefighters, they often come into contact with blood. This blood could be contaminated with the hepatitis B and C viruses.
        • Stress: Being a firefighter is demanding both physically and mentally. There is so much pressure on the shoulders of our firefighters. When someone is exposed to extreme stress very often, it causes physical side effects. Along with PTSD, stress can cause GI issues, heart issues, and an inability to enjoy life.

        Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers for firefighters do our work because people who seek compensation for these types of health issues deserve someone in their corner to go up against the insurance companies and ensure that the compensation they receive covers their damages in full. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us right away to get a free first consultation. You deserve the ability to seek medical attention that will provide you with the financial relief you deserve.

        Your Health is Important

        Being a firefighter is very dangerous. The exposure to extreme heat, stressful situations, horrifying scenes, and being on high alert at all times during a shift can make even the strongest of people suffer terribly from a myriad of health issues. We implore you to take the time you need to take care of yourself. We know that might mean stepping away from your duties as a firefighter either temporarily or permanently. We really do understand why you might struggle with this decision. However, we urge you to prioritize yourself.

        Your health issues will likely worsen with neglect. You should seek treatment as soon as you possibly can so you can get the financial relief you deserve and get on the mend. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office right away so we can set you up on a path for success with your workers’ compensation claim.

        Call Our Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Firefighters Today

        If you are suffering health issues that you believe are related to your work as a firefighter, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Firefighters to help you get situated for financial relief. We know how hard it is to make that call and finally step back enough to do this. We deeply respect that you want to continue to help your community. Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers for firefighters can help you get back on your feet so you are not pouring from an empty cup. Please call our office today and set up your free initial consultation.

        Frequently Asked Workers’ Compensation for Firefighters 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.

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

        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.

        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

        Why do I need a first responder workers’ compensation lawyer?

        We were talking to some first responders the other day and they asked why they actually need a first responders workers’ comp attorney. First, workers’ compensation is general laws that are for everyone, not just for first responders, but then there are extra statutes that apply for first responders that a lot of regular workers’ comp attorneys may not know, may not follow, may not be aware of. There are many extra classes of benefits, and your workers’ compensation claim can have a tremendous effect on your pension benefits and vice versa, so it’s very important to have someone that’s fully aware of both of your workers’ compensation claim and whether it’s heart/lung, PTSD, cancer, a repetitive injury or just a regular physical injury handle that and how it interplays with your potential in line-of-duty disability benefits and pension benefits and employment. We seek to keep you employed, to keep you working to protect your career, and in doing so, again, handle that to maximize benefits that are available for you.

        If you’d like a free evaluation, please call us at Oliver and Fox, and we’d be happy to talk to you about all the benefits that may be available to you.

        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.

        Filing a Claim Without Missing Work

        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.

        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.

        First Responder Workers' Comp Insurance Investigation

        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.

        As a first responder, if I am diagnosed with cancer, can I qualify for workers’ compensation in Florida?

        We were recently contacted by another attorney regarding the cancer presumption and first responders. We advised that attorney that cancer presumption is unique in that it’s an opt-out of the workers’ compensation system, meaning that the Florida statutes provide presumptive coverage for firefighters if they develop cancer and meet the qualifying criteria. However, it is an opt-out of the workers’ compensation system, meaning that they’re not provided workers’ compensation benefits, but they are provided benefits pursuant to the statute.

        If you are a firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer and think that it is related to your employment as a firefighter, we invite you to contact us so we can discuss your options.

        What is important to know about heart-related diseases that may qualify for workers’ comp for first responders in Florida?

        We often speak at union halls and are questioned about the Heart/Lung Bill. Most of the union members do not know that there is a Heart Bill that gives a presumption that any hypertension or heart disease that a first responder in Florida may develop through their career may very well be covered, and medical care may have to be provided for the rest of their life, as well as potential lost wage and permanent impairment and impairment benefits.

        Please call us at Oliver and Fox. We would be very happy to explain what benefits may be available to you under the Florida first responder Heart/Lung Bill.

        Heart & Lung Bill Eligibility

        Am I eligible for the heart and lung bill even though I didn’t miss time from work as a first responder?

        Our firm was recently contacted by a Florida first responder who asked if he may be eligible for the Heart Bill, even though he did not miss time from work because of the hypertension or heart disease that he had. In that situation, he had actually had a visit to the hospital and been put on medication, but it was during his days off. He still is eligible for the first responder Heart Bill in Florida.

        These types of cases are often improperly denied. Please call us at Oliver and Fox. We would be happy to discuss how to get you your benefits in this situation.

        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.
        Read More Reviews