If an injury at work has left you unable to pay your bills, waiting for your workers’ compensation benefits to come through might not be the answer you are looking for. In Florida, workers’ compensation benefits are limited by statute – you can claim full coverage for your medical expenses, but your “disability” benefits will, at best, be capped at 80 percent of your regular wages. Workers’ compensation laws in other states are similar.
So, if you cannot live off of 80 percent of your salary (or 67 percent if you do not have a qualifying “severe injury”), what can you do? The answer may be in a “third-party” claim if a third party was indeed responsible for your injuries.
The reason workers’ compensation benefits are limited is because employers are required to pay regardless of whether they are at fault for their employees’ injuries. Basically, rather than requiring employees to prove fault (or “negligence”) in order to recover their losses, workers’ compensation laws provide for “no-fault” benefits with the tradeoff that these benefits are limited. In exchange for submitting to this system, employers receive the protection that they cannot be sued for job-related injuries by their employees.
However, injured employees can file lawsuits to recover full compensation from third parties (i.e. companies other than their own employers). The following are common examples of situations where employees will typically be able to seek workers’ compensation from their employers and file third-party claims:
Unfortunately, in Florida, it is not possible to seek an advance on your workers’ compensation claim. The law does not allow it. So, if you only file a claim for workers’ compensation, you will need to wait for the process to run its course and hope you do not have to deal with wrongful denials and appeals that could delay your benefits significantly.
However, if you have a third-party claim, you may be able to receive an advance on your third-party settlement. Not all job-related accidents will support third-party claims, so it will be important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. But, if you have a claim and you meet the approval criteria, you may be able to secure financial help in as little as 24 hours.
If you qualify for Florida legal funding, you keep your advance regardless of whether your third-party claim is successful. Injury Funds Now provides settlement advances for third-party job injury claims in not only Florida, but also more than 30 states nationwide. To find out if you qualify, submit your free online application now.