Types of Worker’s Compensation Claims
Certain workplaces can expose employees to more risks than others. Employment that requires heavy lifting, operating machines, driving, or potential exposure to chemicals can be riskier than jobs that do not require this type of work. Specifically, common types of workers’ compensation claims may include:
- Head trauma
- Chemical burns
- Spine and neck fractures
- Broken bones
- Respiratory problems
Common work-related injuries involve parts of the body like the back and neck, hips and legs, rotator cuff, and specific conditions like head injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Falls Under a Worker’s Compensation Claim?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is designed to provide money to employees who have been injured on the job. It is designed to prevent lawsuits from forming since some employees are forbidden from suing their employer as part of their contract. Workers’ compensation cases evaluate an individual’s injuries that took place during the regular course of business.
It can be difficult to meet the requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation assistance, which is why you should consider hiring an attorney who specializes in these types of cases.
What if You Need Surgery?
If your doctor says you need surgery because of a work-related injury, Florida workers’ compensation law requires you to see an independent specialist. This specialist will provide a second opinion on your injuries to determine if surgery is necessary and how much your insurance and benefits will cover.
Failure to cooperate with this requirement can result in the termination of your benefits. Furthermore, if the independent specialist recommends surgery and you deny it, your benefits may be rescinded. So, knowing what to do and not to do when dealing with workers’ compensation law in Florida is crucial to get your coverage.
Questions? Contact iLawyerUp and talk to our workers’ compensation attorneys.
What About Medical Expenses?
When a severe injury requires surgery and other expensive medical costs, it can be overwhelming. You need a skilled workers’ compensation attorney to fight for you so you can get enough money to cover your medical bills, hospital stays, and other costs incurred as a result of your injuries.
When you consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you have the best chances of getting the outcome you want and the money you deserve for your injuries.
Who’s Covered Under Workers’ Compensation in Florida?
Florida requires most employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees, with few exceptions. Unless you work for a very small company or are self-employed, you are likely covered.
- All employers in the construction industry with 1 or more employees must provide workers’ compensation
- Employers in a non-construction industry with 4 or more employees must provide workers’ compensation
- Employers in the agricultural industry with at least 6 regular employees or 12 seasonal workers must provide workers’ compensation
- Out-of-state employers must provide workers’ compensation that is valid in Florida
- Contractors must verify that all sub-contractors have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
What Kinds of Benefits Are Included in Workers’ Compensation?
Workers injured on the job are entitled to 3 categories of benefits: medical benefits, lost wages and other monetary compensation, and death benefits.
Workers’ compensation medical benefits include:
- An authorized primary doctor and specialist(s) when medically necessary. Note that this will NOT be YOUR primary care physician, but one dictated by the workers’ compensation insurance policy.
- All authorized medically necessary care and treatment related to your injury, including hospitalization, doctor’s visit, medical tests, physical therapy, attendant care, prescription drugs, or prostheses.
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from your authorized doctor and the pharmacy.
Lost Wages and Other Monetary Compensation
You may be entitled to lost wages and other compensation depending on the type and severity of your injuries. The benefits you may be entitled to include:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): If the doctor says you can’t work due to your work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for money equaling 66 2/3% of your regular wages at the time you were hurt (subject to a statewide maximum reimbursement amount), except for the first 7 days of disability (unless you are disabled more than 21 days). You can receive up to a total of 104 weeks of temporary disability benefits.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): When the doctor states you can return to work with restrictions, you may be eligible to receive Temporary Partial Disability Benefits if you are unable to earn 80% of the wages you were earning at the time of your accident. You can receive up to a total of 104 weeks of temporary disability benefits.
- Impairment Benefits (IB): When you have reached “Maximum Medical Improvement” and are not expected to improve significantly, you will be evaluated for potential permanent work restrictions and an impairment rating. If you receive a permanent impairment rating greater than 0%, you will receive money based on that rating.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): If, after reaching Maximum Medical Improvement, your injuries are so severe that you are left permanently unable to work, you may receive permanent total disability benefits.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine what benefits you may be eligible for.
If a work-related death occurs within 1 year of the date of the accident or five years of continuous disability, the following benefits may be due and payable up to a maximum of $150,000:
- Educational benefits to the surviving spouse
- Compensation to dependents, as defined by law
- Funeral expenses up to $7,500
What to Do When You Are Injured at Work
If you get injured at work, you must take certain steps to ensure you can get workers’ compensation benefits. Missing a single step can result in your benefits being revoked.
Report Your Injury or Illness to Your Employer ASAP
Your employer will send you to a specific doctor known to work with the company’s workers’ compensation insurance company. After that, the insurance carrier must authorize any follow-up treatment and will dictate who can provide the treatments.
If you go to your own doctor instead of the one assigned to you, your injury will not be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Tell the ER or Doctor You Were Injured at Work
Whether you go to a clinic or directly to the hospital (for severe injuries), tell the staff you hurt yourself on the job and provide your employer’s contact name and phone number (or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, if you know that information).
Do Not Go to Your Own Doctor
We can’t stress this enough: workers’ compensation will not pay your medical bills if you go to your own doctor. You must see providers through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance plan.
Don’t Skip Appointments
Even if you feel like rehab (or any other treatment) isn’t helping, you must go to every single appointment or your benefits may stop.
Contact a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation insurance companies will do anything they can to pay as little as possible for your injuries. If you’re struggling to get the care you need or the lost wages you deserve, contact the expert workers’ compensation lawyers at iLawyerUp today for a free consultation.
Why Do You Need an Attorney?
When you experience a work-related injury, you may be forced to take time from work to recover. This means you will need money to pay for bills to compensate for the loss of earnings during your recuperation.
If you are offered a settlement amount for your workers’ compensation claim, you must know that when you agree to it, you receive a lump sum. However, you forfeit your right to receive any future benefits for your claim.
How Our Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You
Before you move forward with a workers’ compensation claim, you should seek advice from an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate these complicated legal issues and ensure you are not denied any benefits.
Our Florida lawyers are knowledgeable on workers’ compensation laws. When you hire our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys, they can help you achieve the highest settlement amount your situation deserves. Schedule a free consultation today.
Worker’s Compensation FAQs
How Long Do I Have to Report My Workplace Injury?
You should report your workplace injury to your employer as soon as possible, but it must be no later than 30 days from when the accident occurred or the doctor said you are suffering from a work-related injury. If you don’t report your injury or illness within 30 days, your claim may be denied.
Even if your employer refuses to report your work-related injury or illness to their insurance carrier, they are supposed to have their workers’ compensation insurance carrier information posted in the workplace, so you can contact them and report the claim yourself. If all else fails, contact the Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office or a reputable workers’ compensation lawyer.
How Does Workers’ Comp Work in Florida?
The general steps you need to take for a workers’ compensation claim in Florida are:
- Report the injury or illness to your employer
- Go to the clinic, doctor, or emergency room they refer you to
- Tell the clinic or hospital staff you were injured at work and provide your employer’s info (or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier info, if you have it)
- You won’t be paid for the first 7 days of your injury (unless your disability lasts longer than 21 days). After that, you will receive bi-weekly benefit checks for 66 ⅔% of your average weekly wage.
- Attend every single scheduled appointment
- Contact a Florida workers’ compensation attorney if you have any problems
How Much Does an Employer Pay for Workers’ Compensation in Florida?
Florida employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance for all their employees, even part-time employees, with few exceptions. That insurance coverage then pays the cost of workers’ compensation claims made by employees. Estimated employer rates for workers’ compensation in Florida are $1.24 per $100 covered in payroll.
If you’re having trouble getting your full workers’ compensation benefits, contact the trusted Florida workers’ compensation lawyers at iLawyerUp. Whether your employer doesn’t want to submit the claim to their insurance carrier or the insurance company is reluctant to approve your benefits, the attorneys at iLawyerUp may be able to help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
How Long Does Workers’ Comp Last in Florida?
You can receive Temporary Total, Temporary Partial Disability payments, or a combination of the two benefits during the continuance of your disability for no more than a maximum of 104 weeks (2 years).
After 2 years, or when your doctor states you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (whichever comes first), you will be evaluated for possible permanent work restrictions and an impairment rating. If your injuries are so severe that you are left permanently unable to work, you may receive permanent total disability benefits.
Questions? Schedule an appointment with the professional workers’ compensation attorneys at iLawyerUp today. We may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
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