Florida’s Workers’ Compensation System Discriminates Against Injury Victims
The current state of Florida’s workers’ compensation law provides an unequal playing field when it comes to the hiring of an attorney.
Simply put, since major changes were made to Florida’s workers’ compensation laws in 2003, injured workers have faced an uphill battle when trying to get the minimal benefits the law provides if they are injured at work.
While employers and their insurance companies can pay their attorney’s unlimited amounts of money to represent their interests and deny benefits to injured workers, employees are not so lucky. The workers’ compensation law in Florida now places severe restrictions on how much an injured worker can pay his or her attorney. If that’s not bad enough the law makes it a felony to pay their attorney anymore than the 10% fee allowed under the law.
While 10% may be a sufficient fee on larger cases, the problem is in cases where the amount at issue is relatively small as a large number of cases are. For example, if the injured worker is owed $1,000 in wage benefits due to an injury and needs this money to pay the rent, feed their family or put gas in the car they won’t be able to get an attorney in order to help them get these much needed monies.
The insurance company on the other hand can hire a Miami workers compensation attorney and pay them any amount they chose just so they can keep an injured worker from getting what they deserve and what they very much need to get by in their lives and keep their financial heads above water.
While this scenario is great for rich insurance companies and employers, the effects on the injured worker is sometimes devastating and all too often results in financial ruin, divorce and sometimes injured workers may even become homeless.
Some will ask “how can this be?” To them I’d say that’s a good question that should be asked to their state representatives who represent them in Florida’s legislature.