Workers' compensation insurance is a type of insurance that provides benefits to workers who suffer an injury or illness on the job. In Florida, most employers must provide workers' compensation insurance coverage to their employees. This blog post will provide information on employers' responsibilities under Florida law regarding workers' compensation insurance, including when necessary, penalties associated with non-compliance, and more.
When is Workers' Compensation Insurance Required?
In Florida, most employers must provide workers' compensation insurance coverage to their employees. Coverage varies depending on the specific industry. For example, the non-construction industry requires employers with four or more employees, including business owners and corporate officers, to carry workers' compensation insurance. Employers in the construction industry with one or more employees must have workers' compensation insurance.
Some exemptions exist from the requirement to carry workers' compensation insurance in Florida. For example, certain agricultural employees, domestic employees, and independent contractors may be exempt from the requirement. Employers should consult with an attorney to determine whether an exemption applies to their situation.
What Benefits are Provided by Workers' Compensation Insurance?
Workers' compensation insurance provides two main types of benefits to workers who suffer an injury or illness on the job:
Workers' compensation insurance provides medical benefits to workers who suffer an injury or illness on the job. This includes coverage for:
- Doctor visits
- Other medical expenses related to the injury or illness.
Wage Replacement Benefits
Workers' compensation insurance also provides wage replacement benefits to workers who cannot work due to their sustained injury or illness. This includes temporary disability benefits, which are paid to workers who are temporarily unable to work, and permanent disability benefits, which are paid to workers who suffer a permanent impairment as a result of their injury or illness.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Workers' Compensation Insurance Requirements
Employers who fail to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage as required by Florida law can face significant penalties. Penalties for non-compliance may include:
Employers who fail to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage may be subject to civil penalties. The Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers' Compensation may issue a Stop-Work Order and impose a penalty of two times the standard premium the employer would have paid.
Employers intentionally failing to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage may face criminal penalties. Intentional failure to provide workers' compensation insurance may be prosecuted as a felony, which can result in prison time and fines.
Liability for Damages
Employers who fail to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage may also face liability for damages resulting from work-related injuries or illnesses. Without insurance coverage, employers may be required to pay for medical expenses, wage replacement benefits, and other costs out of their own pockets.
How to Obtain Workers' Compensation Insurance
Employers can obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage from private insurance carriers or from the state-run workers' compensation insurance fund, the Florida Workers' Compensation Joint Underwriting Association.
In addition to obtaining workers' compensation insurance coverage, employers should also:
Notify Employees of Their Rights
Employers are required to notify their employees of their rights and responsibilities under Florida's workers' compensation law. This should include information on how to report injuries or illnesses, how to file a claim, and how to get medical treatment.
Keep Accurate Records
Employers are required to keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses. This includes information on the injury or illness itself, medical treatment received, and any wage replacement benefits paid.
Comply with Reporting Requirements
Employers are required to report work-related injuries or illnesses to their workers' compensation insurance carrier within a certain time period. Failure to report a claim within the required timeframe can result in penalties and other consequences.
Workers' compensation insurance is an important part of protecting both workers and employers in Florida. Employers are required to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage to their employees, except in certain circumstances. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in significant penalties and liability for damages. Employers should take steps to obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage to ensure compliance with Florida law. By doing so, employers can protect their employees in the event of a work-related injury or illness.
How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You After an Accident
An accident can be a traumatic experience for anyone, and getting hurt on the job may further complicate matters. Fortunately, Florida workers’ compensation laws provide financial assistance to those who have been injured in workplace accidents.
In most cases, an employee who suffers an injury or illness due to their workplace conditions can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover the medical expenses associated with an injury as well as a portion of lost wages while an employee is unable to work.
When filing a workers’ compensation claim in Florida, it is important to remember that there are deadlines on when you need to file certain documents and how long you have to receive medical treatment before your claim will be denied. Therefore, if you have been injured in a workplace accident in Florida, it is best to seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney who specializes in this area of law.
The attorneys at Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. understand the complex nature of workers’ compensation claims and are here to help you navigate through this difficult process. We specialize in all aspects of Florida workers’ compensation law and have years of experience representing workers from all kinds of industries.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or illness due to their job, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (888) 499-6206 for more information about how we can help protect your rights and get you the financial assistance you deserve.