In Florida, most employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance. According to Florida law, any company that has 4 or more employees is required to provide their workers with this coverage. If anybody suffers a work-related injury, they’re entitled to file for and receive workers compensation benefits. Many of these workers choose to approach employment lawyers in Coral Springs for a free consultation. There’s too much at risk to try to handle this on your own.
A lot of our clients have no idea who is paying their workers compensation benefits. They assume their employer is putting out the money to cover their medical care and replacement wages. The truth is that it’s your employer’s insurance carrier that is covering your expenses.
If your employer were required to pay out of pocket for any work-related injuries, they’d likely go bankrupt in no time at all. It’s difficult for some employers to pay the workers compensation insurance premiums every month. It’s hard to imagine how they’d pay for medical care outright.
What if Your Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Compensation Insurance?
As indicated above, employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance. If they don’t, they can be assessed heavy fines. However, their being fined doesn’t help you if you get hurt and they don’t have insurance. There’s no reason why you should have to pay for out-of-pocket medical bills just because your employer violated the law.
One option you do have is to seek coverage under your private health insurance. When you go to the hospital or doctor for treatment, they’re going to ask if your injuries are the result of a workplace accident. When you fill out your paperwork, there’ll be a space for you to enter this information.
When your insurance company realizes that your injuries were due to a workplace accident, they’re going to pursue your employer for reimbursement. This means your employer could be sued. That shouldn’t be your primary concern. In fact, your Florida personal injury lawyer may have to sue your employer on your behalf too.
If Your Claim is Approved, What Workers Comp Benefits Will You Receive?
In a perfect world, your workers compensation claim would be approved, and you’d receive your workers compensation benefits within a couple of weeks. When you file your workers compensation claim, you have to wait until you’ve been out of work for at least 7 days. You won’t receive workers comp benefits prior to that time.
After these 7 days have passed, you’ll start receiving weekly replacement wages. These benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. For example, if you were making $1,000 per week before your accident, you’ll receive $666 per week in workers compensation benefits.
There is a limit to how much you can receive per week. In Florida, the law limits your weekly replacement wagers to $1,099 per week. This is more than most people would expect to receive. Since you only get 2/3 of your average weekly wages, you’d have to make close to $1,700 per week normally to qualify for this maximum amount.
The law also caps the number of weeks you’re able to receive replacement wages. Under state law, you can only collect workers compensation for 130 weeks. If your injuries last longer than that, your employment lawyer in Coral Springs, Florida will have no choice but to demand permanent disability.
How Can You Prove Permanent Disability Under Workers Comp?
Most states allow their workers to collect workers compensation benefits for up to 400-500 weeks. The fact that Florida only offers 130 weeks’ worth of workers comp benefits can be frustrating. A lot of our clients complain that, if they lived anywhere else, they wouldn’t run out of benefits after just two years.
At least for now, the law in Florida isn’t changing anytime soon. If your injuries are serious and you aren’t ready to return to work when the 130 weeks are over, you can petition the workers compensation board for permanent disability benefits. Depending on the body part you injured and the severity of your injuries, this may work.
In order to collect permanent total or partial disability benefits, your doctor will have to confirm that you are disabled. Each body part is assigned a different value according to the American Medical Association. A back injury is worth a lot more than a wrist injury. The same is true for issues like hearing loss or blindness. If you end up blind or deaf, your attorney will demand that you be compensated fairly. Your lawyer can show you the guidelines so you can get an idea of what you’re entitled to.
If Your Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied, Who Do You Sue?
There’s always the chance that your workers compensation claim could be denied. If this happens, you can always file an appeal. If the appeal doesn’t work, you can schedule your employment lawyer in Coral Springs, Florida free consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with someone who knows the law in your state. They can also help you file suit against your employer.
When you file suit, you’re going to have to name two defendants. Obviously, you’ll need to file suit against your employer. But you’ll also have to sue their insurance company. Ultimately, workers comp benefits are approved and issued by the insurance company. If they refuse to pay your claim, they should expect you to pursue legal action.
Contact a Skilled Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident and aren’t sure who’s supposed to pay your workers comp benefits, don’t panic. You can always call and schedule your free consultation with one of our associates. Florida personal injury lawyers have decades of combined experience handling cases like yours.
You’re much better off with a legal professional by your side. Chances are, you don’t even know why your claim was denied. There’s also the chance your employer wanted to pay your claim, but the insurance company refused to pay. Even in these cases, you’ll have to name both your employer and the insurance company in your workers compensation lawsuit.