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If I have a workers compensation case open and then I get laid off from work 2 days after being clear whats next?

Hollywood, FL |

I currently work for a construction company in south florida, my right foot/leg was hurt on the job. No fractures or broken bones, but severe muscle tissue to my shin/tibula (permanent skin damage) and ankle is still inflamation. I was cleared from the doctors with Max Medical Improvement on monday, presented clear duty to employer, was laid off 2 days later. Although being cleared my foot still has pain when walking or moving. I go back to the doctor and he takes me off of MMI, limited duty. Puts me back into therapy and schedules follow up Whats next? Am i entitled to collecting 70% pay from workers comp even though I am not employed by the company? Will the company be notified from Worker comp that i have been limited duty status and call me back to work? Whats your input?

Attorney Answers 2

  1. First, I think you should discuss your case with your attorney as he/she would be the one most familiar with all the circumstances in your case.

    MMI is a significant time in your w/c case. This is when your entitlement to temporary benefits ends. You wont be paid 66-2/3% of your prior wages anymore, UNLESS you are permanently totally disabled. The determination of whether you are PTD is a medical/vocational one and cannot be answered with the facts you provided.

    I suspect the Carrier will be notified about your MMI status and they will stop your temporary benefits. Youare entitled to impairment income benefits for a set number of week depending on the rating or permanent injury rating you have received.

    If you are off of MMI and back on limited duty you are entitled to temporary benefits again as long as you have not received 104 weeks of benefits already. After 104 weeks your entitlement to temporary benefits terminates by statute.

    You should have your attorney explore the circumstances under which you were terminated to determine if there are any additional claims you may have.

  2. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get the best claimant lawyer who is aggressive and who does not treat your case McDonalds' style, which means cookie-cutter style. The workers comp law in Florida is very unfair (I should know...I fought for workers for 35 years until I recently retired so now I only answer Qs on Avvo). It's not fair in that you get NO money for pain and suffering and if you are able to return to any kind of work, even light duty, your case is a small case. Workers who can show that they can't return to work because of all of their limitations from the injury have a BIG case worth potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, either a BIG case or a little case with nothing in between, and the dividing factor is simply whether you can work. That is why almost all employers will fire an injured worker after they have been released to return to full duty. Some clever employers will let them return but then fire them several weeks or months later to avoid a wrongful or retaliatory discharge claim. If you have a lawyer, make sure that you've got a good one and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions, such as "Do I have a big case or a little case?", "What do I need to prove a big case?" "How can I get a psychiatrist or psychologist to help me with the pain and emotional problems from my injury?", "Am I entitled to any other specialists for other medical problems I'm having which may have been caused or aggravated by the work injury?", etc. Hope this helps you!
    Happy Holidays!
    Robert Shapiro