Understanding Florida’s Workers’ Comp Laws
The state of Florida requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. So, when an employee gets injured at work, he or she is entitled to receive benefits under this insurance provision. While Florida’s workers’ compensation laws can be challenging to follow without legal experience, knowing the basics can help you better understand how the process works as well as increase your chance of a favorable outcome in your case. Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Unless your work accident was due to willful negligence on your part, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You are eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits if you meet the following requirements:
- You are considered an employee of the company.
- Your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your injury or illness was work-related.
- You have met Florida state’s guidelines for reporting your injury.
- You have met Florida state’s guidelines for filing your workers’ compensation claim.
Although most employers in the state of Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, there are some exceptions. Insurance coverage can depend on the type of industry and number of employees an employers has. For example, a business in Florida with less than four employees is not required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
If you are not sure if your employer holds workers’ compensation insurance, and you’ve been injured on the job, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to learn your rights.
What Injuries are Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
If you meet the above eligibility requirements, you may be covered under workers’ compensation for work-related injuries that may include but are not limited to the following:
- Broken bones/fractures.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Repetitive use injuries (back injuries from lifting heavy objects daily).
- Occupational illnesses from exposure to chemicals and allergens in the workplace.
- Emotional or mental stress-related injuries such as heart disease.
What Type of Benefits Will I Recieve Under Workers’ Compensation?
Your workers’ compensation claim can give you access to medical care and other benefits after sustaining an on-the-job injury or illness. However, there is an option to receive a lump-sum settlement if you agree not to pursue any further reimbursement for medical costs or other workers’ comp benefits relating to your injury. When it comes to lump-sum settlements, speak to your workers’ compensation attorney to determine the best course of action to take.
The following are some benefits that may be included in a workers’ compensation claim:
- Wage replacement.
- Physical therapy.
- Re-employment services.
- Hospitalization and doctor’s visit costs.
- Medical tests and other diagnostics.
- Prescription medications.
- Mileage reimbursement.
When Will I Recieve My Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Not every workers’ compensation claim is the same, so the benefits payout timeline does vary from case to case. It’s also important to understand that insurance companies are notorious for going through each claim with a fine-toothed comb to find errors to either deny the claim outright or hold it up. Here are some common reasons why workers’ compensation claims get delayed or denied:
- Inaccurate physician diagnosis.
- The injury or illness was believed to be pre-existing.
- The injury was deemed as non-disabling by a medical professional.
- The injury was not timely reported to the employer.
- The workers’ compensation claim was not submitted by the standard deadline.
- Lack of witnesses to the accident/injury.
- Missing paperwork and medical records required by the insurance company.
- Inconsistent information between the accident/injury report and medical records.
Common Workplace Accidents That Cause Injuries
A workplace accident can happen in the blink of an eye, and in many cases, can lead to severe injuries. The following are the most common types of workplace accidents:
Trips Slips and Falls
When it comes to severe head, back, or neck injuries, a trip, slip, or fall could be the culprit and could happen by:
- Slipping on liquid spills.
- Slipping on wet or oily surfaces.
- Falling on icy walkways or steps.
- Tripping over loose rugs.
- Tripping over wires and cables.
A poorly lit workspace can also cause workers not to see any objects in their way and, as a result, have a trip, slip, or fall accident.
Cuts, Lacerations, or Punctures
Working with machinery and other tools increases the risk of an on-the-job injury. From permanent scarring and cutting of tendons and muscles to losing a limb, here are some ways these injuries can occur:
- Being exposed to sharp surfaces such as broken glass or jagged metal edges.
- Passing through low overhangs.
- Using sharp tools.
- Using machinery that has sharp attachments such as blades.
Contact with an Object or Equipment
Being struck with an object or equipment can cause severe injuries such as broken bones, head injuries, and brain trauma, as well as cuts and lacerations. Some common ways an object can strike a worker are:
- Moving objects.
- Bumping into, being pushed into, or stepping on an object.
- Being caught or crushed between moving or stationary objects.
- Being trapped in a collapsing structure.
- Falling objects.
Injured at Work? We’re Here to Help
Sustaining an on-the-job injury can be a stressful and devastating event. If you have been injured on the job, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers will fight the toughest insurance companies to protect your rights so you can receive the compensation that you deserve.
Contact Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. today at (888) 499-6206 to schedule a free consultation.