If you’ve been injured at work, you may be wondering what kind of compensation you can receive. Some people have a misconception about how workers’ compensation works. Our workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa will explain why you are limited to the benefits offered through workers’ comp.
Workers’ Compensation is Your Only Recourse if You Get Hurt on the Job
While some of our clients complain that it is unfair, you cannot sue your employer if you get hurt on the job. For the most part, your only recourse is to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa will not be able to demand damages on your behalf. You can’t demand more money simply because you experienced more pain than another worker.
What is the Purpose of the Workers’ Compensation System in Florida?
The reason the Florida legislature implemented the workers’ compensation system in 1938 was to help both employers and employees. Prior to that time, the only option an injured employee had was to sue their employer.
Since most employees realized this was not wise, they would end up working and aggravating their workplace injuries. When they did sue, their employer had to spend thousands of dollars to defend the lawsuit.
Your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Tampa Will Explain the Benefits You May Receive
If you are unfamiliar with how the workers’ compensation system works, just ask your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa for help. They will explain the process to you so you understand the benefits you will receive.
In Florida, workers’ compensation provides injured employees with the following benefits:
- Medical care for any work-related injuries
- Weekly benefits equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages
- Occupational rehabilitation if you are no longer able to do the same kind of work
Beyond this, you will not receive damages, per se. You certainly will not receive damages for pain and suffering.
Workers’ Compensation Will Cover the Costs of Your Medical Treatment
The most important thing is that workers’ compensation will cover the costs of your medical care. Even if your injuries are relatively minor, it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical treatment.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa understands this. Just the diagnostic tests alone can cost over twenty or thirty thousand dollars. To put this in perspective, a CT scan can cost as much as $6,750.
You Will Also Be Entitled to Weekly Replacement Wages
In addition to medical care, your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa will make sure you receive weekly benefits. As long as you miss more than seven days from work, you’ll be entitled to replacement wages.
Your weekly benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. For example, if you normally earn $1,000 per week, you’ll receive $666 per week. These benefits will continue until you return to work.
Your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Tampa May Also Arrange for Occupational Rehabilitation
If you become permanently disabled as a result of your workplace accident, you may be entitled to occupational training. If you can no longer do the same kind of work you did before your injury, you can be trained to do something else.
In addition to potential training, you may also be provided with skills training. You will learn how to search for a new position and how to adapt to the workforce given your new situation.
You Are Not Entitled to the Same Damages You’d Receive in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When you sue someone for personal injury, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. This typically includes:
- Medical bills and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (these are rarely granted but are possible)
With a personal injury lawsuit, damages for pain and suffering often make up a lion’s share of your settlement. Not being eligible for these under workers’ compensation will be disappointing.
Your Tampa Workers’ Comp Attorney Cannot Demand Pain and Suffering
When your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa files your claim, they aren’t allowed to make a claim for damages. Unless you can prove that your employer was negligent or acted recklessly, you will be limited to the benefits described above.
There are unique situations where your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa can file suit against your employer. These cases are few and far between. Some of these cases are based on the following:
- Your employer was aware of a known safety risk or hazard and chose not to address the condition.
- Your employer refused to provide employees with safety equipment.
- The company you work for was told, in writing, that certain pieces of equipment were defective or not working properly and they did nothing to fix them.
- Your employer intentionally created a situation in which an employee could get hurt.
As you can imagine, it is rare that our Tampa workers comp attorneys run into situations like this.
You Must Suffer a Permanent Disability to Receive Benefits for Lost Future Income
It may seem unfair that you can’t receive compensation for pain and suffering. However, you can receive long-term benefits under workers’ compensation.
If your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa can demonstrate that you’re permanently disabled, they can demand long-term benefits.
Usually, they will negotiate a settlement so that you don’t have to sit back and collect weekly benefits. The goal is to get you back to work.
Your Workers’ Compensation in Tampa Will Make Sure Your Claim is Handled Properly
From the outset, your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa will make it clear that you won’t be entitled to ordinary damages. Regardless of how serious your injuries are, you will not receive compensation for pain and suffering.
With workers’ compensation, your employer is required to take care of you while you are recovering from your injuries. They aren’t required to compensate you the same way a defendant in a personal injury case is.
We recommend you call and speak with one of our Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers. They will help you get your claim filed and ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.
We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. You should take full advantage of this opportunity.