Workers Comp Costs Rising

 

 

The most recent data shows that medical costs for worker’s compensation rose between 5 to 7 percent in 2005 and 2006.

In 2004, Florida reformed their worker’s compensation legislation to give higher payments to doctors but lower payments to outpatient services, a key element in rehabilitation for workers with on-the-job injuries. As a result, fewer workers sought outpatient care, preferring the extra coverage of full hospital stays or going without treatment to paying more for the convenience of outpatient services.Those suffering from severe trauma received less expensive surgeries even though the payments exceeded the state’s schedule rate, which was among the lowest in the nation.

One of the reasons Florida underwent such legislative change in 2004 was to reduce the number of lawyers representing workers in their compensation claims. Among the changes to the actual schedule rates for treatment, there was a cap placed on attorney’s fees. By reducing the amount a lawyer could hope to make, the insurance industry supported lawmakers hoped to reduce the number of overall claims.

It didn’t work. The decrease was minimal, and the state Supreme Court has already ruled that such practices are unconstitutional because they intend to block a worker’s right to due process and legal representation. The Florida legislature has ignored this decision and reinstated the caps.

If you are injured on the job, seek the advice of an experienced trial attorney.

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Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney Michael E. Seelie, PA has represented people in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding communities of Orange Park, St. Augustine, Green Cove Springs, Callahan, Palatka, Fernandina Beach, Gainesville, and Lake City in injury cases since 1978.