Florida’s Correctional Officers, Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters & Firefighters, collectively referred to as First Responders, are trained to be prepared for dangerous, hazardous, and stressful situations. Under Florida’s Heart & Lung Law, these First Responders may be entitled to benefits if they successfully passed a physical examination upon entering into service with their current employer, and thereafter developed any condition or impairment of health caused by heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension) or tuberculosis while employed, resulting in total or partial disability or death. At the law firm of Martin L. Leibowitz, P.A., we help you get the Workers’ Compensation benefits you deserve.
First Responders are subject to a variety of mental and physical demands which put them at a high risk of becoming injured or debilitated while on the job. As a result of these nerve-racking situations, many first responders develop a variety of medical conditions including:
1.) Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Disease, Atrial Fibrillation and other heart related conditions)
2.) High Blood Pressure, also known as “Hypertension”
3.) Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
4.) Mental or Nervous Injuries
6.) Tuberculosis (TB)
9.) Chronic back, knee, or shoulder pain
10.) Breathing disorders
12.) Hearing loss, and
13.) Several other conditions resulting in total or partial disability.
Under the Florida Heart & Lung Statute, many of these conditions are presumed to have been accidental and to have been suffered in the line of duty. This “Presumption” for Florida’s Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Correctional Officers & Firefighters is contained within Sections 112.18, 112.181, and 112.1815 of the Florida Statutes, also known as the Heart & Lung Statutes.
Unfortunately, while the Florida legislature has specifically deemed these conditions to be “work related,” insurance companies and employers either mistakenly or intentionally deny legitimate claims for relief. At the Law Firm of Martin L. Leibowitz, P.A., it is our goal to solve these problems and secure those benefits to which you are rightfully entitled.
Employers and insurance carriers often wrongfully refuse to pay injured first responders the benefits to which they are rightfully owed. Many of these wrongful denials are due to the fact that work related medical conditions or injuries may take weeks, or even years, to surface. In these situations, the insurance carrier (Division of Risk Management in the case of State of Florida Employees) will often argue that your medical condition is not due to an on-the-job injury and ignore the Statutory Presumption of work-relatedness. Although this is a common error, it is important that you contact an attorney, familiar with the complexities of Florida’s Heart-Lung Statute, to resolve the issue with your employer’s insurance carrier.
At the Law Firm of Martin L. Leibowitz, we have written an extensive guide for First Responders, The Truth About Florida’s Heart & Lung Statute, What You Should Know, which outlines the complicated process associated with filing a claim under the Heart-Lung Presumption. The guide provides a detailed explanation of the claims process as well as an array of information which will enable you to assess the strength of your potential claim. By requesting this informative book, you will be taking the first step toward securing the benefits to which you are entitled. Please contact us to secure access to this free, no obligation electronic book.