For the most part, when an employee is injured at work, they are protected under workers compensation. While most businesses in Florida must carry workers comp insurance, some companies are exempt.
In this blog, we’ll discuss which companies do not have to carry workers compensation insurance in Florida. We will also briefly explain what your options are if your employer doesn’t offer workers compensation.
If you need help with your workers compensation claim, contact our lawyers today!
Who Is Exempt from Carrying Workers Comp Insurance?
Most companies in Florida carry workers compensation insurance. Businesses that are exempt include:
- Construction companies with no employees
- Other businesses with three or fewer employees
- Agricultural companies with less than 6 regular employees or less than 12 seasonal workers
In some cases, officers of a corporation or members of a limited liability company can apply for a workers’ compensation exemption. This exemption means they aren’t counted in the number of employees and can’t recover workers comp benefits. Sole proprietors and partners of construction companies are automatically counted as employees. They must meet specific criteria to obtain a workers compensation exemption.
Some Workers Are Not Eligible for Workers Comp in Florida
Most employees in Florida are eligible to collect workers comp benefits. However, there are certain groups of workers who are not entitled to workers compensation benefits.
These groups include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Casual workers
- Independent contractors
- Domestic workers
- Railroad employees
- Federal employees
Railroad workers and federal employees have special programs designed to protect them after a workplace injury. For many of the other groups, the only option they have is to sue the company they worked for.
Checking If Your Employer Has Workers Comp Coverage
If you want to look to see if your employer has coverage, you can do an online search. You would go to the Florida Department of Financial Services website and look for the “Proof of Coverage Database.”
Enter the company name and, if they have insurance, the information should be listed there. If you or your lawyer confirm that they aren’t on the list, you can contact the Bureau of Compliance for more information.
What If Your Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Comp Insurance?
What are you supposed to do if you work for a company that isn’t required to offer workers comp insurance? First, confirm that your employer does not offer this insurance. Just because they aren’t required to doesn’t mean they don’t offer coverage.
If they don’t have insurance, you can hire a personal injury attorney to file suit against your employer. If you do this, you can demand the same damages that you would demand in a personal injury lawsuit.
In a personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer could demand damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
It is rare that the judge would grant punitive damages in this type of case. Your lawyer would have to prove that your employer’s behavior was egregious.
What if an Employer Lacks the Required Coverage?
Chances are, your employer is required to carry workers compensation insurance. If you get hurt at work and learn that they don’t have insurance, you should call a work injury lawyer immediately.
Once your attorney confirms that the company has no insurance, they will do several things. First, they will file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
Second, they’ll notify the State that the company doesn’t carry the requisite insurance. If this is the case, the company can be fined or shut down until they can show proof of coverage.
Contact Our Office Today for a Consultation!
Most injured workers can turn to workers compensation if they get hurt on the job. If your employer is exempt from workers comp, you still have options. The same is true if your employer is supposed to carry insurance but doesn’t. What you should do is call a Clearwater workers comp attorney right away to determine your rights.
Contact our office at 954-833-5226 and schedule your free, initial consultation.