You’ve no doubt heard about the workers’ compensation scheme in Florida. Most employers are required to have insurance coverage in the event that one of their workers suffers a job-related injury. However, if you’ve never suffered a job-related illness or injury, you may not be sure about how it works. You can’t always rely on anecdotes from friends and relatives to give you a clear picture of such a system. That’s why we’ve put together this article in which we’ll share some of the basic things employees in Lakeland and elsewhere in Florida need to know. For advice on your particular situation, you should reach out to one of our attorneys at the earliest opportunity.
Employees get injured on the job more frequently than you may think. In the absence of a workers’ compensation system, many workers would sue their employers via personal injury lawsuits. While the workers’ comp system generally bars you from taking legal action against your employer, it’s a simpler system that allows you to get benefits faster. You don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent or at fault for your injuries. However, since it’s an insurance-based system, claims aren’t automatically approved. Both employers and their insurance can challenge claims. That’s why workers often find it useful to work with a Florida workers’ comp lawyer.
Compensation You May Get Following a Workplace Injury
Workplace injuries vary widely in nature, severity and impact. Therefore, you may not be eligible for the same benefits as a co-worker. However, you can typically receive compensation for medical expenses and lost income or lost ability to earn. Covered medical expenses include:
- Doctor’s visits
- Physical therapy
- Cost of travel to doctor and pharmacy
Monetary compensation may also be provided in response to:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Impairment income benefits
- Permanent total disability
Your benefits will depend on the type of work you do and if your injury prevents you from performing your duties. Let’s say you’re a receptionist. If you slipped and fractured your ankle but you can return to work in a day or two, your medical bills would be covered. However, you wouldn’t be eligible for income replacement benefits. You can still do your job despite your injuries.
On the other hand, if you’re a nurse and you suffered a similar injury, you may be eligible for partial disability benefits. Your job requires you to be on your feet and you wouldn’t be able to carry out your usual functions for some time. You may, therefore, be entitled to get compensation for the wages you lost. If your disability isn’t permanent, but you can’t continue working in the same role, workers’ compensation may pay for you to be trained for other duties.
Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Lakeland
To get workers’ comp benefits in Florida, you must have received at least 50 percent of the injury while on the job. If you hurt your back in a car accident and then fell at work and made it slightly worse, you may not get benefits.
You may also be ineligible for benefits if:
- You intentional injured yourself
- You were drunk or on drugs and that caused your injury
- You intentionally caused the injury to get workers’ comp benefits
- You refused to follow safety rules or use available safety gear
If any of these is true, not only can’t you get workers’ comp, but you’re unlikely to successfully sue your employer or anyone else for negligence. You would, therefore, have to bear all the expenses and losses on your own.
Contact the Florida Workers Comp Attorneys at Burnetti P.A. Today
Workers’ compensation can be a bit of a challenge. While the system offers many benefits, there are also disadvantages. If you suffer a work-related injury, you’ll get help with your medical bills and the fast compensation will assist you in providing for your family. However, if your injuries are serious, the benefits may not be enough. You’re also more likely to get pushback from your employer or their insurer.
While there are certain circumstances in which you can sue your employer or a third party, lawsuits take time. In addition, you can never be sure how a jury will decide
If you were injured at work, you need to seek prompt advice from a Florida workers’ comp attorney. At Burnetti, PA, we will do everything possible to ensure you get all the benefits to which you’re entitled. Call us today to schedule a consultation.