Understanding Workers' Compensation
Workers' compensation is a system of insurance that provides financial and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. The primary goal of workers' compensation is to ensure that injured workers receive necessary medical treatment, wage replacement, and rehabilitation services, while also protecting employers from lawsuits related to workplace injuries.
The following are the available benefits for injured workers in Florida:
- Medical Benefits: Injured employees are entitled to receive reasonable and necessary medical treatment for their work-related injuries or illnesses. This includes doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery, medications, and rehabilitation services.
- Wage Replacement: Workers' compensation provides wage replacement benefits, typically two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage, up to a maximum limit defined by state law.
- Permanent Disability: If an employee suffers a permanent disability due to a work-related injury, they may be eligible for additional compensation based on the nature and extent of the disability.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Workers who are unable to return to their previous job due to their injury may receive vocational rehabilitation services to help them re-enter the workforce in a different capacity.
Workers' Compensation Laws in Florida
In Florida, most employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance if they have four or more employees, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. In the construction industry, even employers with one or more employees must have coverage.
Most employees in Florida are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and migrant workers. Some specific categories of employees, such as independent contractors, domestic servants, and certain agricultural workers, may not be covered.
Employees must report work-related injuries to their employer within 30 days of the incident or within 30 days of the date they knew or should have known that their injury was work-related. Employers are required to report workplace injuries to their workers' compensation insurance carrier within seven days of becoming aware of the injury.
In Florida, injured workers generally have two years from the date of the accident or the date they knew or should have known that their injury was work-related to file a workers' compensation claim.
If there is a dispute between the injured employee and the employer or insurance carrier regarding benefits, the dispute can be resolved through the Florida Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) or the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC). This may involve mediation, hearings, or appeals.
Let Our Firm Fight for You
At Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A., our dedicated team of workers' compensation lawyers offers a wide range of services to ensure you receive the best legal representation possible.
Here are some of the services we provide:
- Initial Consultation: We offer a free initial consultation to assess your case and discuss your rights and options.
- Case Evaluation: Our attorneys will thoroughly evaluate your case, gathering evidence and medical records to build a strong claim.
- Claim Filing: We'll help you complete and submit your workers' compensation claim accurately and within the required deadlines.
- Negotiation: Our experienced negotiators will work with insurance companies to secure the maximum compensation for your injuries.
- Appeals: If your claim is denied, we'll guide you through the appeals process, representing your interests in court if necessary.
- Protecting Your Rights: We'll ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire process, from start to finish.