Anderson & Hart, P.A. Frequently Asked Questions

Answers from Our Tallahassee Injury Attorneys

With offices in Tallahassee and Panama City, our attorneys are deeply familiar with the ins and outs of personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability law in Florida. We understand that the laws pertaining to these types of cases can be convoluted. If you have been injured in an accident or are seeking Social Security disability benefits, you probably have a lot of questions. Our Tallahassee injury attorneys have answers.

If your question is not answered below, don’t hesitate to contact Anderson & Hart, P.A. at (850) 203-3041. We can discuss your case during a free, no-obligation consultation.

  • General

    • Why do I need an attorney to represent me?

      Whether you have a personal injury claim or a workers' compensation claim, odds are you are not familiar with the insurance claims process. You may not know the extent of your rights and your legal obligations. Even if you are knowledgeable about insurance claims, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by seeking the advice of a Tallahassee personal injury or workers’ compensation lawyer. You can only benefit by having an experienced attorney evaluate your case and discuss your legal options.

      Hiring an attorney may be necessary to prove your claim, accurately value your damages, and negotiate with the negligent party's insurance company.

    • If I hire Anderson & Hart, P.A., how do I pay for services?
      We represent individuals on personal injury, wrongful death, and wrongful termination claims on a contingency basis. This means you are not charged a fee unless a recovery is made. We extend this principle to litigation costs and expenses as well.
    • What is the first thing I should do if I’m injured on the job?
      Report the accident to your supervisor. Generally, you have 30 days to do this. Make sure that the accident is documented in writing by either you or your employer. Reporting the accident as soon as it occurs is extremely important because it preserves your right to seek treatment or wage loss benefits. Also, we recommend that you seek treatment immediately as it helps to have medical documentation of injuries at or near the time of the accident. If your employer does not document the accident or is unwilling to authorize a medical doctor, you should consult with a Tallahassee workers’ compensation attorney at Anderson & Hart, P.A.
    • Can I choose my own doctor if I have been hurt at work?
      Generally, no. Florida workers’ compensation law primarily gives your employer and his workers’ compensation carrier sole control over the selection of your treating physician(s). Your employer/carrier will select your initial treating physician and any new physician to whom you are referred. The only time you can select your own doctor is when you request a “one-time change” of physicians. If your employer/carrier fails to respond to this request in writing within five days, you are permitted to choose a doctor in the same specialty.
    • Who is responsible for paying my medical bills if I file a workers’ comp claim?
      The workers’ compensation insurance carrier and/or your employer are responsible for payment of all “authorized” medical treatment for your on-the-job injuries. If you receive notices of non-payment from any authorized medical provider, you should consult with an attorney. At Anderson & Hart, P.A., we can assist you in getting the insurance carrier to pay your bills. You should NOT use your personal health insurance to pay for your work-related medical treatment. If you do use them, they will likely request repayment. Should that happen, you need to consult with us to discuss your rights and options.
    • When will I receive my first wage-loss check?
      Generally, you will receive it within eight to 21 days following your accident. However, before your entitlement begins, a physician must have placed you on a no-work restriction or given you work restrictions that limit you from returning to work. You will not be paid for the first seven days following the date of your accident unless your disability/work restrictions persist for more than 21 days. If you do not receive any money from the workers’ compensation carrier after three weeks, you should discuss this with our Tallahassee workers’ compensation lawyers to see what can be done.
    • How is the amount of my wage-loss benefits calculated?
      It is based on your average weekly wage (AWW). Generally, your AWW is calculated by averaging your gross pay (including gratuities, bonuses, or other income) for the 13 weeks preceding your accident. However, the maximum compensation an injured worker may receive per week is capped by the State of Florida and adjusted annually.
    • If I am injured at work, will I be able to keep my health insurance provided by my employer?
      Generally, the answer is yes. However, if you pay a portion of your monthly premiums (or your employer deducts it from your paycheck), you are required to continue to pay that premium to ensure no lapse in coverage if you are unable to return to work.
    • What should I do if I’ve been in a motor vehicle accident?

      You should take certain steps to ensure that you do not inadvertently break the law and that you positively impact your insurance claim.

      We recommend that you:

      • Remain at the scene. Leaving the scene, even if you did not cause the accident, is a criminal offense. You should exchange driver and insurance information with the other parties involved.
      • Seek medical attention. Even if you feel you were not injured, you should see a doctor. Car accident injuries may not show up immediately.
      • Do not talk to anyone about the cause of the accident. Do not give a statement to the insurance company or law enforcement regarding whether or not you may have caused the accident.
      • Contact Anderson & Hart, P.A. as soon as possible. With proper legal representation from our seasoned Tallahassee personal injury lawyer, you can be sure that your interests are protected.
    • Do I have to receive medical treatment for my injuries? What if I don’t have the time or money?
      The value of your case is determined by the nature and extent of your injuries. If you do not receive any medical treatment, it is unlikely that your attorney can prove damages to the insurance company. Our firm can help you find physicians who provide quality care at a time convenient to you. If you don’t have health insurance and can’t afford medical care, we can refer you to physicians who will bill directly against your personal injury case.
    • Are there time limits on filing personal injury cases?
      Florida law contains statutes of limitation (time restraints) on filing personal injury claims. Depending on the type of case, the time limitations can range between one and five years. Failing to file a claim within the specified time period can bar you from seeking compensation forever. As lawyers who seek the most favorable resolution for our clients, we suggest you pursue legal action as quickly as possible to give you the best chance of achieving the results you want.
    • What if an insurance company offers me a settlement?
      Many insurance companies will try to offer you a nominal settlement for your damages. If you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company directly, you should assume that it is nowhere near the amount to which you are entitled. You need an attorney to negotiate and fight on your behalf to obtain the damages you deserve.
    • How do I know if I qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

      Generally speaking, you must have a disability that:

      • Prevents you from working in your most recent job
      • Prevents you from taking on a different kind of job
      • Is expected to last at least a year

      That said, it can still be difficult to determine eligibility without the help of an attorney. Our Tallahassee SSD lawyers can discuss your situation during an initial consultation and determine whether you may be eligible for benefits.

    • If I was denied SSD benefits, can I appeal the decision?
      Yes – and we can help. In fact, a vast portion of applicants are denied at first. We have extensive experience handling the appeals process and know how to properly document your medical condition and physical limitations to ensure the best chance of approval.

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