Are you aware of what you’re entitled to with workers’ Compensation in Florida? Millions of workers around the country suffer work-related injuries and illnesses each year. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that private employers reported an estimated 2.8 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses. No one wants to be counted among these numbers. However, anyone can find themselves ill or injured whether they work in a hospital, in an office or on a construction site. It is, therefore, a good idea to know what is and isn’t covered under workers’ compensation in Florida.
Most businesses in Florida are required to have workers’ comp coverage in the event that they suffer an injury while on the job or develop an occupation disease. Even some companies that have just one employee must have insurance. Workers’ comp covers many of the costs resulting from injury or illness including medical expenses, medication, and lost income. A lot depends on the nature of the employee’s condition and how long it lasts.
If you are still able to perform your regular duties, your medical expenses and medication will likely be covered. However, you probably wouldn’t qualify for income benefits. However, if you are diagnosed with a partial or total disability that’s either temporary or permanent, you could be entitled to income replacement benefits. Workers who are diagnosed with disabilities that prevent them from working again tend to have much larger claims than those who can return to full duty. Contact our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys for assistance today.
Who Can File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
In order to claim workers’ compensation in Florida, your injury must have occurred while you were at work or carrying out a work-related task. However, that’s not the only requirement and even if you meet these criteria, you may not be eligible for benefits. Your claim may be denied if:
- You weren’t following the safety procedures set out by your employer
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You intentionally injured yourself
If your claim is valid, you should report it to your employer and submit your claim at the earliest opportunity. If your injuries are serious or the matter is complex, you should consult a Florida workers’ comp lawyer. You should do so promptly since your claim could be denied if you wait more than 30 days to report your injury.
What’s Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Florida
It may seem like workers’ comp benefits are quite similar to damages associated with personal injury lawsuits. However, this isn’t quite the case. While you can claim the full amount of your losses in a personal injury case, workers’ comp generally only pays a set fraction of your lost wages. Furthermore, you can’t claim compensation for pain and suffering or other non-economic losses.
The workers’ comp system generally precludes you from suing your employer. However, if a third party like an equipment manufacturer or driver was responsible for your injuries, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. Your attorney may recommend this if there are substantial losses that won’t be covered by Florida’s workers’ comp system.
You should also note that you typically can’t claim compensation for injuries you suffered while making your way to and from work.
When Employers Reject Claims or Don’t Have Insurance
Some companies opt not to get workers’ compensation insurance because they want to save money. This is illegal and if an employer doesn’t have the required policy, they could face serious consequences. Still, many employers take chances. You may not find out that the company doesn’t have insurance until it is time to file a claim.
In some cases, companies have the necessary insurance, but they deny that the injury or illness was work-related. They may also threaten to fire you if you go ahead with your claim or refuse to deal with your claim in a timely manner. If you find yourself in one of these situations, an attorney may still be able to help you to get the workers’ compensation in Florida you deserve.
Contact Burnetti P.A. To Get Help with Your Case
If you’ve suffered injuries in any type of work-related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation in Florida. However, these cases can be complex. If you have serious injuries and you’ll have to spend a lot of time away from work, you shouldn’t attempt to handle your claim on your own. It’s best to work with an experienced attorney who has handled similar cases before. Call the Florida workers comp attorneys at Burnetti P.A. today to schedule a free consultation.