You could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for being
hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program required
by state law to pay workers who are hurt in work-related injuries or illnesses
to cover the costs of medical bills no matter who was at-fault. In exchange
for the ease of filing such claims by injured employees, these workers
lose the right to sue employers for the injury.
There are certain requirements you must meet to qualify for workers’
compensation. The first being that your employer needs to have workers’
compensation coverage and in Florida there are specific criteria that
determines when an employer needs coverage. It is the employer’s
responsibility to offer workers’ compensation coverage to their
employees if they meet certain criteria. Some employers try to circumvent
or around the law by playing with your employment classification as a
sub-contractor or part time status instead of following Florida law to
avoid have to pay for workers’ compensation insurance.
The second qualification is that you must be an official employee and not
an independent contractor to be eligible for benefits. Freelance writers
or computer consultants do not meet this requirement, for example. However,
if you are being denied compensation because the employer claims you are
an independent contractor you should consider retaining an attorney.
Finally, your injury or illness must be work-related. For an injury to
be “work-related” it needs to be the result of an act done
for the benefit of your employer. Common injuries on the work-site include
lower back injuries or carpal tunnel. A workers’ compensation attorney
can help you in cases that are more difficult to decipher such as being
hurt on a lunch break or other injuries not on the job site.
If you meet these requirements, and your employer or workers’ compensation
provider denies your claim, you should reach out to our Fort Lauderdale
workers’ compensation lawyer to uphold your rights.