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What are your rights if your job costs you an arm or a leg?

If you have suffered a non-serious workplace injury, you might be able to pursue workers' compensation benefits without legal assistance. However, not all benefits claims are approved, and navigating complicated cases involving serious injuries may prove to be challenging. If you suffered a catastrophic injury that caused a disability that prevented you from returning to your regular job, the support of an experienced attorney should prove to be a valuable asset.

The Florida workers' compensation insurance program offers vocational rehabilitation for employees who suffered injuries such as amputations. However, the insurer does not automatically provide such training, and injured workers must request to be part of a vocational rehabilitation program.

What will vocational training include?

Your employer's insurance provider will explain the services that will be included in its vocational rehabilitation program, and the following might form part of it:

  • After an assessment of your current skills, counselors will determine which of your existing skills can be utilized in a different occupation that will accommodate your physical disability.
  • You will then receive training to prepare you for a different job. If there is no position requiring your new skills at your current employer, you will receive assistance in looking for a job elsewhere.
  • The search may include surveys of the labor market and a full-scale job analysis.
  • Counselors may assist with evaluation of the wages offered by potential employers.
  • You might receive assistance with drafting the best possible resume and learning interview techniques and skills to increase your chances of securing a job that will accommodate your physical challenges.
  • An ergonomic assessment might be included to ensure a potential new work environment fits your needs.
  • The rehabilitation counselors may see that you receive reasonable accommodation assistance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The workers' compensation insurance program will provide wage replacement compensation during time of your vocational rehabilitation -- providing you continue with the program. However, many variables come to play when workers suffer injuries that cause permanent disabilities. The most appropriate step might be to consult with a workers' compensation attorney who is experienced in arguing for the rights of workers who suffered catastrophic injuries.

Regardless of whether you have lost a finger, an arm or a leg in a workplace accident, if your unfortunate condition hinders your continuation of your regular occupation, an experienced attorney can advocate for you. Your lawyer can make sure you receive the medical care, vocational training and wage compensation to which you are entitled.

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