Any type of injury is stressful, but when it affects your ability to earn a living, it can be particularly traumatic.
Workers’ compensation is insurance purchased by employers that provides their injured workers with benefits (with few exceptions) for work-related injuries. If you have been injured on the job, understanding how workers’ compensation works in Florida can be of great benefit to you.
What Does the Law Require?
In Florida, most employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation to provide insurance coverage benefits for any of their workers who are injured on the job.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?
The purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide insurance coverage for workers who are injured at work.
Before we had workers’ compensation, absent filing (generally long, protracted and expensive) lawsuit against an employer, injured workers could not get paid for their medical care, or for the time they could not work as a result of their injuries. Further, the families of workers who were killed on the job could not get compensation for their loved one’s injuries and loss.
Workers’ compensation laws changed all that.
Under the law as it is now, employees who suffer workplace injuries can receive compensation for those injuries—regardless of who was at fault.
But, as always, there is a catch.
First, not all businesses are required to provide workers’ compensation under the law.
Second, in some cases, filing a workers’ compensation claim against an employer means that the worker automatically gives up his or her right to sue the employer for his/her injuries.
In Florida, the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) oversees the writing of workers’ compensation coverage including the rates and necessary forms. The Division of Workers’ Compensation within the Department of Financial Services (DFS), on the other hand, is in charge of making sure that employees receive the proper benefits under the coverage — including benefits for medical expenses, disability, or death.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover and How do You Get Benefits?
For workers who suffer legitimate workplace injuries and are covered by workers’ compensation, things like authorized medical bills and lost wages (if the disability lasts for more than 21 days) will be covered by workers’ compensation.
To receive benefits, injured workers must timely file a workers’ compensation claim. If you do not file a claim, then no matter how justified, you will (obviously) not receive workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are injured in the workplace or in a job-related situation, don’t make the mistake of not filing a claim.
Many people fail to file a claim thinking that they aren’t “really all that injured” only to find out later that they are. Or, sometimes people hesitate to file a claim because they think they were not on the clock at the time. But making the determination of whether your accident qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits is best left to your workers’ compensation attorney.
So, if you are injured on the job, file a claim.
Was the Injury Your Fault? Was it Your Employer’s Fault?
A critical factor to know about workers’ compensation claims is that in Florida, it is a “no-fault” system.
In other words, it does not matter whether you caused or contributed to your accident, or whether it was all your employer’s fault.
A legitimate workplace injury will be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Finally, be aware that your employer cannot legally fire you for filing a legitimate claim. If you suspect you were fired for filing a claim, contact our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers.
Need to Know More? Contact Us. Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Florida.
Our team of personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping those who are injured through the negligence of another. If you have been injured in a workplace accident or have questions, contact us or call the firm at 777-JOHN. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we serve clients throughout Florida. We have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.