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Top Workers’ Compensation Doctors In Florida

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Dr. Deuk
An expert in all things spine, Dr. Deukmedjain is a board certified neurosurgeon who has performed thousands of minimally invasive surgeries and procedures including the revolutionary Deuk Laser Disc Repair and the Deuk Spinal Fusion. 

If you have experienced a workplace injury or accident, you can file for a workers’ compensation claim in the state you reside in, such as Florida. Workers’ compensation doctors not only diagnose and treat the injury but also ensure that you have all of the necessary paperwork to support your workers’ compensation claims. Here's everything you need to know about workers’ compensation doctors in Florida.

How to file a worker compensation claim in Florida

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Every year, hundreds of employees in Florida file workers' compensation claims due to work-related injuries and accidents. In actuality, more than half of these claims are denied by the employer or the insurance company. If you want to assure the success of your workers' compensation claim, you must follow specific guidelines and keep track of deadlines.

The first step in getting compensation for work-related injuries is to file a claim to your employer. According to Florida law, workers' compensation claims must be filed within 30 days after the event that produced the injury. In some instances, injuries may not be seen right away and instead develop over time. In that situation, an employee must file a  claim within 30 days of discovering the injury and demonstrate that it was related to their job activities. If you do not file your claim within the deadlines, it may be reduced or dismissed entirely, leaving you without the compensation you would have received otherwise.

Once you have filed your claim with your employer, they will report your claim to its insurance company within seven days. Once your claim has been approved, your employer or insurance will send you to a doctor. Florida law allows your employer to select the doctor except in cases where emergency medical treatment is necessary.

What Are Top Workplace Injuries in Florida?

Workplace injuries can be highly costly for business owners and their employees. Every year, many workers in Florida are injured on the job. When they get hurt, they must be compensated for their missed wages and medical expenses. 

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Workers in industries such as factory workers, utility workers, law enforcement officers, and construction workers are among those who are more likely to get injured on the job. However, even ostensibly safe workplaces can pose a threat to employees. Knowing the most common workplace injuries can help prevent them and decrease the number of workplace accidents. The most common workplace injury in Florida are:

  • Overexertion injuries: A sudden overexertion injury to a muscle, tendon, or ligament can occur when lifting, tugging, pushing, or pulling a heavy object. Overexertion occurs when you engage in activities that need you to exert strength for an extended period, leading to tiredness. Even basic tasks might lead to injuries due to overexertion. If a worker bends, kneels, climbs, or stands incorrectly, an overexertion injury might occur.
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  • Repetitive stress injury:  Overexertion over an extended time is a common cause of repetitive stress injuries. A repetitive stress injury results from a series of tiny or progressively growing injuries that compound into a catastrophic, debilitating condition that renders workers unable to perform their job functions. Types of repetitive stress include Strains, Sprains, Bone fractures, Herniated discs, Knee injuries, and many more.
  • Fall, Slips, and Trips: The most prevalent causes of occupational injury are falls, slips, and trips. A fall, a slip, and a trip are all different events that do not always occur due to one another. When someone loses their balance and is unable to restore it before falling to the ground, or when there is a significant difference in elevation between one footstep and the next, it is called a fall. A fall from a considerable height can be hazardous. On the other hand, slips and trips are caused by a lack of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or unintentional contact with a fixed or moving item, resulting in a fall.
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  • Automobile-related injuries: Many jobs require driving to and from a destination or appointment, as well as delivering or transporting things. An employee may be involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving for work purposes. Because Florida ranks second only to Texas regarding work-related motor vehicle accidents, this is a rather typical form of a work-related accident.
  • Equipment-related injuries: Equipment injuries can happen to anyone on the job at any moment, and these types of injuries are widespread in factory, manufacturing, and construction settings. A malfunctioning or poorly maintained piece of equipment might cause catastrophic injury to the user. 

How Long Do You Have to File a Florida Workers’ Comp Claim?

In Florida, you have 30 days to tell your employer of a work injury after you become aware of it. You may have a more challenging time getting Florida workers' compensation payments if you do not report it on time. As a result, you should file a claim as quickly as possible, as your employer may attempt to discredit your claim. That is, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to connect your symptoms to a workplace occurrence.

On the other hand, as an employer, you have seven (7) days from the time you are notified of the injury to contact the insurance provider. Similarly, if your employer and insurance provider denies your claim for workers' compensation, you have two (2) years from the date of the injury to submit a Petition for Benefits with the Employment Assistance Office. When an injured worker obtains a medical or indemnity benefit from the workers’ compensation insurance company, the two-year restriction might be extended by one (1) year.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Because each injury is unique, the duration of time an employee can collect workers' compensation benefits varies. But for most people, it is 104 weeks to receive workers' compensation benefits or until you return to your previous job. Also, Florida has a no-fault workers' compensation system. Employees do not need to prove that the employer's actions were responsible for the injury. As long as your injury happened on the job or was caused by your work activities, you will typically be eligible for benefits. 

After you notify your employer, it has seven days to disclose your claim to its insurance company. Your workers' compensation benefits must be approved or denied within a short period by the insurance company. You will begin receiving disability payments and other benefits if your claim is approved.

You can receive benefits based on:

  • Temporary disability: An injured worker in Florida can obtain up to 104 weeks of temporary compensation under the state's workers' compensation statute. Temporary disability payments begin when your doctor says you can't do your usual work for more than three days or you get hospitalized overnight. Payments must be made every two weeks. Generally, Temporary disability stops when you return to work or when the doctor releases you for work or says your injury has improved as much as it's going to.
  • Medical benefits. Medical benefits do not expire as long as the need for treatment is related to the workplace accident. However, for workers' compensation to cover the costs, you must have "approved" medical care at least once every 12 months.
  • Permanent partial disability. If an employee remains unable to work after temporary benefits have ended or the patient has reached maximum medical improvement, the employee is eligible to receive impairment income benefits. Payment may be made until the employee's death or the specific time restriction for the degree and kind of impairment is met.
  • Permanent total disability. If an employee's damage leads to total permanent disability, they are entitled to 66.67 percent of their typical weekly wages for as long as they cannot work. In some cases, you can also continue to draw workers’ compensation benefits in Florida until you reach age 75.

However, workers’ compensation income benefits do not begin until day eight. You will not be compensated for the first week you are absent from work, at least not immediately. It is typically expected to use vacation or sick leave to cover this time away. If you miss 21 days or more, you can receive workers’ compensation pay for the time you missed.

How do I report an injury at work in Florida?

After suffering an injury at work, it is your responsibility to report it to your employer right away. Notifying your employer is the first step to starting a workers' compensation claim. You can do this by submitting a report in writing, even if you have already given an account of the event verbally. You can also follow up with an email to document the incident. 

Most injuries must be reported within 30 days in Florida. If sickness or illness worsens over time, you must report to your employer within 30 days of learning about the connection to your job. Failure to notify your employer by these deadlines means you risk losing some or all of your benefits.

When you notify your employer, provide as much detail as possible, including:

  • When the event occurred
  • How you were injured
  • Symptoms you are experiencing.

Once you report an injury, your employer or the insurance company will send you to an occupational doctor. In Florida, your employer gets to choose your treating doctor unless you need emergency treatment. It is essential to provide the doctor with accurate information about the cause of your injuries and the severity of your symptoms.

Do you choose your workers compensation doctor in Florida?

Workers' compensation is handled differently in each state. In some places, an injured worker can choose their doctor for diagnosis and treatment, but this is not the case in Florida.

In Florida, the workers' compensation insurance company for your employer will provide you with a doctor to take care of your treatment. Most medical cases will be handled by the doctor chosen by either your company or their insurance carrier. 

Can you Change your Workers Compensation Doctor in Florida?

If you've been hurt on the job and filed a claim, Florida workers’ compensation laws oblige your employer's insurance carrier to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatments.

However, If you are unsatisfied with the quality of care you are receiving throughout your treatment, you have the right to switch physicians—but you can only do it once. The Florida Workers' Compensation Statutes do provide that you have a restricted number of options. Section 440.13(2)(f) of the Florida Statutes contains the provision for changing workers' compensation doctors. According to the statute, if you are injured on the job, you have the right to request a change of doctors during your treatment. However, you can only do this once in the event of an accident. Here's how it goes:

  • You must submit a written request to your insurance carrier to change doctors. For your records, make a copy of this notification.
  • After receiving the written request, the insurance adjuster has five days to respond.
  • If the insurance adjuster fails to approve the change after five days, you have the option of choosing any doctor of your choosing.
  • Changing your treating doctor is a one-time alteration, and you will not be able to make another change for that injury.

Requesting a change of workers compensation doctor entails a significant amount of risk. As a result, before making your one-time adjustment, we recommend talking with an attorney.

What should I expect from a workers’ compensation doctor?

Following your employer's report of a work-related injury, the next step in the workers' compensation process is to notify your treating doctor. You will undergo a physical examination and explain to the doctor what has happened. 

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The doctor will assess your injuries or illness and provide a treatment plan appropriate for the situation. Medicine, rest, physical therapy, surgery, or other comparable treatments will be recommended. Also, each person is assessed individually. That is, what is an appropriate treatment for your injury that may not be appropriate for someone else, even if they have the same injury. You may also be referred to another medical professional, such as a surgeon or a physical therapist, who can better address your problem.

You may also be given some light-duty restrictions, which limit your ability to do your regular work. For example, you can be restricted in how long you can stand or the amount of weight you can carry. You should inform your employer if you are subjected to light-duty restrictions. If they do not have a position for you while you are restricted, you will need to look for other work for the duration of your restriction.

The doctor will also give you an idea of how long you'll be on medication or have to rest during your treatment. Inquire if they don't tell you. Lastly, a follow-up appointment may be scheduled by your treating doctor, including the need for a physical therapy session. This follow-up appointment is to aid recovery and enable you to go back to work if possible.

Top Workers’ Compensation Doctors In Florida

Dr. Ara Deukmedjian

Known by his patients and colleagues as Dr. Deuk, he is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He is fellowship trained with a focus on spine care and neuro-spine surgery.

With over 24 years of experience, He is a pioneer in his field. Dr. Deuk has also personally performed over 2,000 cervical decompressive discectomies and treated over 1,000 herniated or degenerated lumbar discs with no significant complications, in addition to hundreds of laser spine surgeries with a 95% success rate in the elimination of pain. 

Dr. Deuk serves as CEO and Medical Director at Deuk Spine Institute. He developed his unique method of using laser technology to heal the spine: 

Dr. Ara Deukmedjian’s Deuk Laser Disc Repair has revolutionized minimally invasive spinal surgery; it is a modern alternative to spinal fusion surgery and outdated laser surgery techniques.

He is also affiliated with medical facilities such as Melbourne Regional Medical Center and Parrish Medical Center. Outside his professional practice, he volunteers with the Deuk Spine Foundation, a non-profit that promotes spine research and development.

On top of that, Dr. Deukmedjian is personally invested in the well-being of every patient and has spared no expense to guarantee the best possible outcomes.

Get started with treatment for your workers' compensation claim

If you are in Florida, and you've suffered a work-related injury, or you suspect that your neck injury is work-related, Call 1-877-751-DEUK (3385) to speak to one of our workers' compensation representatives.

Cure your back and neck pain once and for all.

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