When people get hurt at work, it only seems fair that their employer should provide them with free medical care. And, if an injured worker has to miss time from work to recover, they should be paid for that time. Thankfully, under Florida workers comp laws, most workers are eligible for benefits that cover both of those things. However, just because you got hurt at work, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to receive benefits. Your Florida workers compensation attorney can help to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve.
One of the biggest questions our new clients ask us is what kind of benefits they’ll receive under Florida workers comp laws. Here, we’ll discuss exactly what benefits you’re entitled to if your workers comp claim is approved. We’ll also discuss how you can qualify for these benefits. If you still have questions, feel free to contact our firm directly.
One of our experienced Florida workers compensation laws experts will sit down with you and answer any questions you may have. They can also deal with the insurance company on your behalf. This way, you can focus on what’s important – getting better and getting back to work.
Do Florida Workers Comp Laws Require All Employers to Carry Insurance?
For the most part, companies that do business in Florida have to carry workers compensation insurance. There is nothing optional about it. However, if a company has less than four employees, they are exempt from this requirement, according to Florida workers comp laws. Furthermore, certain categories of workers are not eligible for workers comp benefits.
Under Florida workers comp laws, these excluded workers include the following:
- Agricultural workers (companies with less than 6 regular employees or 12 seasonal workers)
- Seasonal and casual workers
- Independent contractors
- Railroad employees
- Federal employees
- Domestic servants such as au pairs, housekeepers, and valets
If you happen to fall into any of these categories, your Florida personal injury lawyer may still be able to help. For example, if you work for the federal government, you can file a claim under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. There is a similar program for railroad workers. Your attorney can help you file a claim under one of these programs if need be.
What Are the Requirements for Collecting Workers Comp Benefits in Florida?
If you aren’t part of an excluded class, then there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for benefits under Florida workers comp laws. As long as you meet the basic requirements, you shouldn’t have a problem with your claim.
The general requirements for workers compensation in Florida include the following:
- Your injury must have taken place on the clock and on company property. Of course, if you’re a remote worker, your injury could take place anywhere. The same is true for salaried workers. As long as you’re acting within the scope of your employment at the time of your accident, your claim should be approved.
- You must report your injury to your manager or Human Resources right away.
- You will have to submit to a drug test. Most employers today require their employees to take a drug test prior to receiving medical treatment.
- You must not have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time you suffered your work-related injury.
- You are only to be treated by a state-approved doctor. If you ignore this rule and see your own primary care physician, your benefits will be terminated. In addition, you’ll be responsible for any medical bills that result from seeing your doctor.
- You cannot work anywhere else while collecting workers comp benefits.
After reading this list, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. That’s why we recommend that you meet with a Florida workers compensation attorney as soon as possible after your workplace injury. They can make sure your claim is handled properly from the start and in accordance with Florida workers comp laws.
Florida Workers Comp Laws Dictate that You Receive Certain Benefits
Many of our clients ask the same thing when they first meet with us. They want to know how much they’re going to receive per week through workers comp. They also wonder how long they can receive benefits before they’re ordered to return to work, according to Florida workers comp laws.
In Florida, you are entitled to two main types of benefits. Obviously, your medical care will be covered. Any medical expenses related to your workplace injury should be covered and paid for by the insurance company.
The second type of benefits, under Florida workers comp laws, is replacement wages. While you’re out of work, you’ll be entitled to receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages. There is a cap on how much you can receive. In Florida, this limit is $971.
This means that somebody who usually earns about $1,500 per week will only collect the maximum amount of $971. If they were to receive 2/3 of their average weekly wages, they would receive about $980. But, since that is higher than the cap, they would not receive the higher amount. For example, if you usually make $2,500 per week, you will naturally assume you’d receive $1,666 per week. However, because of Florida workers comp laws, you’re only entitled to the $971.
The other thing you need to know is that you can only collect replacement wages for a period of 104 weeks. This comes out to be two years. Once you exhaust your benefits, your Florida personal injury lawyer will need to move toward settling your claim.
Contact a Seasoned Florida Personal Injury Attorney if You’ve Been Injured at Work
If you’ve been hurt on the job, you may assume that your employer will do the right thing. You may have no reason to think they would deny your workers compensation claim. After all, you’ve seen other workers get hurt on the job and they made out just fine. You can’t imagine why your case would be any different. However, if your claim is denied, it’s a good idea to call Florida personal injury lawyers sooner rather than later.
Our associates specialize in Florida workers comp laws and cases. They know the Florida workers comp laws inside and out. Chances are, they’ve handled plenty of cases just like yours. Why try to handle things on your own when you can have a professional by your side?
All you have to do is call and schedule your free initial consultation. Since you don’t have to pay anything upfront, you have nothing to lose. And, knowing your employer will have a team of lawyers working for them, you need to have somebody in your corner as well.