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

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Tampa FL

Oliver & Fox, P.A.
13031 W Linebaugh Ave, Ste 102
Tampa, FL 33626
Phone Number: (833) 375-9400
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9-5 PM
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7 Mistakes First Responders Make With a Workers' Compensation Claim

7 Mistakes First Responders Make with a Workers’ Compensation Claim

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Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Tampa, FL 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL. 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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 or 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.

As soon as possible after you have started on the path to your physical recovery or your psychological recovery, we urge you to reach out to our workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL because these cases can be time-sensitive and we want to get started 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 or 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. 

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Tampa, FL 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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, deaths.

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’ compenstion 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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.

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Tampa, FL 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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, however, 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. They will try to say your health issues are not related to your work especially. We want to get ahead of them here. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL 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 to be able 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.

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Tampa, FL for EMTs

Working on an ambulance is often traumatic and beyond the public’s idea of what stress can be. When you are hurt or suffer a health condition due to your job as an EMT, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation. If you believe that you are suffering due to your job, then we hope that you would reach out to us as soon as possible. We know that a lot of first responders, including EMTs, have a hard time stepping away from their jobs to take time for themselves and their recovery. We also know, however, that your health is all you have at the end of the day and it is paramount to your career. Call us today to set up a free consultation with our workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL.

How EMTs Get Hurt

Being an EMT can often be a physical job as well as an emotionally taxing job. Most people don’t understand the horrible experiences you have to go through and that you see the worst of it, oftentimes on a daily basis. Here are the common ways that EMTs suffer due to their job:

  • Getting hurt in an encounter with a scared and violent patient
  • Getting exposed to dangerous materials such as drugs that can cause health problems
  • Witnessing horrors that causes mental health problems, including PTSD
  • Getting in an auto accident

EMTs can experience an entire array of possible injuries while they’re on the job. It can range from a minor injury to a lifelong injury and sometimes even death. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL want to be by your side and fight for your right to full compensation for your damages. We will guide you through your entire case every step of the way.

The Benefits of Filing a Claim

Workers’ compensation is essentially health insurance that your employer carries that is intended to help their employees get back to work as soon as they can. When you are hurt while working in an ambulance, it could be for a variety of reasons, and sometimes it’s harder to prove that an injury or illness such as hypertension or PTSD was due to your job as an EMT. Sometimes, the injuries are quickly healed and require minimal compensation; other times, you are going to be dealing with permanent disability. PTSD can often lead to permanent disability which would require extensive workers’ compensation. The compensation generally covers your hospital bills, medical fees, physical therapy, and psychiatric therapy, as well as the earnings you lose while you are recovering. Anything that treats your injury sustained while in the workplace is covered by your workers’ compensation if it is within necessity and reason.

EMTs tend to be people who don’t want to stop working because what they do is important to the community. We respect that about you and if you hesitate to bring your claim because you want to continue to help those who need you, we want you to know that your health is more important. You won’t be able to continue to help people if you let your injuries go and let them get worse to the point where you may not be able to ever recover in a way that would’ve let you to return to work. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL would like to set you up with a free, first consultation as soon as you possibly can so that we can understand what your circumstances are and what you are entitled to and start building a strong case.

If you are hesitating to file your claim, please know that we have extensive knowledge of workers’ compensation claims for first responders, including EMTs. We’ve seen all the obstacles in a case before and we have the resources and the wherewithal to handle these types of obstacles to get you the success that you need. You may have heard of others being turned away for injuries or illnesses that you suffer. We know how to show the insurance company that there is a correlation between your injuries and your job as an EMT and that you deserve workers’ compensation for this so that you can start to recover and hopefully return to work as soon as possible.

Our 4 Step Test to Determine the Strength of Our Case

We understand that some injuries such as hypertension or PTSD fall under the category of “hard to prove” to the insurance company. To that end, we have this four-step test to see how strong your case would be, which involves the following:

  1. The first thing we must do is prove that your job is indeed stressful, which is something that most people will never understand if they’ve never worked a first responder job. Having said that your job is indeed stressful will allow us to create the opening we need to show that this intense stress could indeed lead to illnesses, such as hypertension or PTSD.
  2. Step two would be to find a physical that you had performed before your employment as an EMT. When we pull up this pre-employment physical, we are looking for a lack of diagnosis of whichever injury or illness you are correlating to your job as an EMT. For example, if you needed to file a workers’ compensation claim because of your hypertension due to the intense stress that you undergo as an EMT, we want to find that pre-employment physical that shows that you did not have hypertension prior to taking this position as an EMT.
  3. Step three is finding a physical that you had recently or getting you one as soon as possible that has a diagnosis of the health condition you are filing workers’ compensation for. Going with the example of hypertension, we want to be able to show that you did not have hypertension before you took the job as an EMT and now, after some time working on an ambulance, you do indeed suffer hypertension.
  4. Last, would be to detail all of the ways in which your health condition has affected your life. If you suffer PTSD due to your job as an EMT, then our workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL have the duty to show all of the ways in which your enjoyment of life has decreased, as well as any other ways in which PTSD has affected your life.

Once we can establish these four things, our lawyers will have an easier time putting the insurance company on the defensive, meaning that we have the advantage and we have to make them prove that what we are claiming is not true, which is harder. This will give us a strong case for you going forward.

How We Help Injured EMTs

We help EMTs by creating a strong foundation for their case and allowing them the space to go through the difficult emotions attached to this circumstance. We understand that you might hesitate to bring your case for various reasons, including being fearful of getting turned away because you have a hard-to-prove injury or illness. We know how to handle those types of cases. We understand that you might also hesitate because you want to keep working and pushing yourself in order to continue to help the people in your community. We want to help you understand that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Filing a claim gets you one step closer to living without hindrance from your illness or injury.

We know just how much is on your mind and how much stress is on your plate right now. We aim to make your claim as smooth and simple as possible so that your main focus can be your health and your family. As soon as you are ready to take the step towards filing a workers’ compensation claim, please get in touch with our attorneys today.

Call Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Tampa FL 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 workers’ compensation attorneys in Tampa FL for you, we are going to treat you like your 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.

 

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