Workers’ compensation is a crucial safety net for employees who get injured on the job. It provides medical benefits and wage replacement to workers who sustain work-related injuries. However, navigating the complex landscape of Florida workers compensation laws can be challenging.
In this article, our Coral Springs workers comp lawyers share essential information you should know.
1. Not All Injuries are Covered
Workers’ compensation covers injuries that occur in the course of employment. However, the law does not cover all injuries. For example, injuries that occur during a lunch break, while commuting to and from work, or due to horseplay at work may not be covered.
It’s also important to note that the injury must be caused by the work itself, not just happen while you’re at work. For instance, if you have a heart attack at work, but it’s not related to your job duties, it may not be covered.
2. Pre-Existing Conditions Can Complicate Your Claim
If you have a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by a work-related injury, your claim can become complicated. Insurance companies often deny such claims, arguing that the injury is not work-related.
However, under Florida law, if a pre-existing condition is permanently aggravated or accelerated by a work accident, the worker may be entitled to benefits. It’s crucial to disclose any pre-existing conditions to your doctor and your lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
3. You Can Change Workers Comp Doctors
In Florida, the workers’ compensation insurance company typically provides a list of approved doctors for you to see. However, if you’re not happy with the doctor they provide, you have the right to request a change of doctor. It’s important to remember that you have a right to quality medical care. If you feel that your doctor is not providing the care you need, don’t hesitate to speak up.
4. The Claim Process Can Be Complex
To file a workers’ compensation claim in Florida, you need to follow several steps. These include reporting the injury to your employer, seeking medical treatment, and completing the First Report of Injury or Illness Form.
If the insurance company does not agree to pay your benefits, you’ll need to file a claim with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC). You also need to serve copies of the claim to your employer and the workers’ compensation carrier. The process can be complex and time-consuming, and making a mistake can jeopardize your claim.
5. Don’t Miss Deadlines
You must notify your employer of your workplace injuries within thirty days. If you fail to do this, your worker’s compensation claim may be denied. Once you fill out the First Report of Injury or Illness Form, the employer should submit it to the insurance company within 7 days.
If you file a claim and it is denied, you have the option to appeal by filing a petition for benefits. According to Florida’s statute of limitations, you must file a petition for benefits within two years of the injury or one year of your last wage or medical payment.
6. Common Disputes in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Typical hurdles in securing workers’ compensation in Florida encompass issues such as claim denials, disagreements regarding the origin of the injury or illness, and disputes concerning the amount of benefits due.
Employers and insurance companies may dispute the severity of your injuries, whether your injuries are work-related, or whether you’re entitled to certain benefits. It’s important to be prepared for these disputes and to have evidence to support your claim.
7. Rights of Injured Workers in Florida
If you have been injured while on the job in Florida, you are entitled to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. The benefits that you may obtain include payment of medical bills, payments for missed wages due to inability to work, and other losses.
Call Our Coral Springs Workers Comp Lawyers
Navigating the Florida workers compensation system can be complex. While this article provides a general overview, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional if you have specific questions or concerns about your case. Contact the WorkInjuryRights.com team at 954-833-5226 to schedule your free consultation.