While there are safeguards in place to help maintain a safe environment for employees it does not guarantee that you won’t get hurt while on the job. It doesn’t matter if you are working construction, in a warehouse, or even at a desk job. Injuries happen. When injured on the job, employees have to deal with the physical pain of the injury, mounting questions regarding their rights and workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are out of work for a while, you are likely worried if your job will still be available after you return to work? You probably wonder how you will be able to provide for your family until you can go back to work. Some might even worry about getting fired because of the injury.
Firstly, there are laws in place to protect your wellbeing and your money while dealing with the aftermath of a work injury. There are medical leave and workers’ compensation benefits to just name a couple of the programs in place to safeguard workers. While these are in place to protect you, they don’t really answer the question of whether your job can be given away to someone else while you are recovering.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation benefits provide employees with monetary compensation while recovering from an injury. This could include money for missed wages or medical benefits as well as other expenses accrued by your specific injury. The amount is based on the employee’s average weekly wage. In most cases, the employee will receive two-thirds of the weekly wage.
If you are injured on the job, report your injury as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment with a doctor to document your symptoms and to record the details of your accident. Most importantly, speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you will receive fair benefits for your accident.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Many might be concerned about getting fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim but this is not in the company’s best interest. While they certainly can fire you, this would open them up to incredible financial exposure but also to civil lawsuits and punitive damages. Under Florida Statutes Section 440.205, “No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law”.
What Happens to My Workers’ Compensation Benefits If I Am Laid Off After an Injury?
Workers can be laid off while receiving payments. The question is what happens to the workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job and then laid off or fired? Do you still receive them? The answer is yes.
According to the law you still have every right to receive those benefits whether you are fired or laid off. You will still receive your lost wages and medical benefits because you were injured while working.
When Should I Return to Work After Becoming Injured on the Job?
This is determined by your doctor. When you are injured on the job, recovery can take a great deal of time and you must wait until you are healed or physically capable of performing your work duties gain. It is going to take a lot of patience to get back to feeling 100%. Once you are partially recovered, the doctor might notify you that you can go back to work but with restrictions and limitations. The doctor likely will come up with a list of appropriate restrictions based on the type of job and the type of work you do.
It is important to have open communication with your employer about your progress and provide them with any documentation the doctor gives you with regard to returning to work. Once the paperwork is in hand, the employer can decide whether you can return to the job or not. Even if they reject the idea of you returning to work while partially healed, you will still receive your workers’ compensation benefits.
However, if the doctor has cleared you to return to work and your refuse, then your workers’ compensation benefits will stop. If you have questions regarding a workman’s comp case and would like answers, please contact our Work Injury Rights attorneys.