Workplace injuries take many forms, from carpal tunnel caused by years of computer use to broken bones due to sudden accidents. They may cause chronic pain or take you out of work altogether. Many people wonder if their situation qualifies for workers’ comp, and there are a few requirements you must meet to receive benefits: You must be an employee of the company, the business must carry workers’ comp insurance, and your injury must be traced back to your work and caused by your job-related duties.
Our injury attorney, John Fagan, will make sure the insurance company pays the damages you are due for your pain and suffering, and there’s never a fee unless we get money for you.
What is an Employee?
When you consider a company employee, you may think of full-time in-office personnel. However, seasonal workers and those employed part-time also qualify for workers’ comp benefits. Working from home has become more commonplace since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and these benefits also apply to remote workers. However, your work-related injury will not qualify for workers’ comp if you are considered an independent contractor or work on a freelance basis.
A few gray areas exist for temporary or “casual” workers, depending on how you’re classified within the company. If you’re unsure if you are an official employee, check your paystub to see if taxes are withheld. Any time an employer withholds taxes from your pay, you are considered an employee. Don’t let your manager or boss tell you otherwise, and contact our workers’ comp lawyer to ensure you receive your full benefits under the law.
You are eligible for benefits no matter how long you’ve worked for the business. Some organizations purchase workers’ compensation coverage for volunteers, but this varies widely.
Proving the Work Connection
Workers’ compensation benefits apply to nearly all career fields, and the associated workplace injuries are specific to your profession. Your injury does not need to result from a sudden accident, such as losing a toe to an equipment malfunction. For someone who works an office job, repetitive strain from computer work that eventually leads to an injury—such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, and tendonitis—will be covered under workers’ comp.
Depending on your job, your injury may involve an infectious disease (including COVID-19), occupational illness such as 9/11 firefighters who developed respiratory problems, or an injury caused by a sudden accident or prolonged physical stress. Some workers’ comp cases apply to pre-existing conditions worsened by a workplace injury, but that may lower your benefits. PTSD and other mental illnesses brought on by traumatic events may qualify if the trigger happened at work, such as a teacher who survives a mass shooting.
The possible work-related injuries are expansive, but no matter the physical or mental trauma, you must prove the injury or illness was caused by or occurred at work, which includes:
- Any trauma occurring during your work hours at the business
- Attending an office party and experiencing an injury such as falling down the stairs.
- Purchasing office supplies for the company and getting into an accident
- A home-office injury while you telecommute to work, such as a computer-related injury
You are not eligible for workers’ comp if you were injured on your way to and from work or during your lunch break. Some employees worry they won’t receive benefits if they are at fault for the injury. However, these claims tend to take on a no-fault system. That could be an issue if you were negligent and breaking company policy, self-inflicted the injury, was impaired by drugs or alcohol or started a fight with another employee.
Why You Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Workers’ compensation claims are complicated, and insurance providers often try to devalue or wrongly deny your claim. Our injury attorney understands the complex laws for Florida workers’ comp coverage. John Fagan will pursue your case and fight on your behalf so you can focus on healing from your injuries or illness.
Our practice is dedicated to helping accident victims. If you ever need help with a legal problem or just want information on this subject, you can always reach me at 777-JOHN.
We serve clients throughout Florida with our offices in Ocala, Keystone Heights, Palatka, Starke, Gainesville, and Middleburg.