Worker’s Compensation: What’s Not Covered in Florida?

If you are in Florida and looking for general information about Florida worker’s compensation laws, this article would be helpful. For starters, a worker/employee injured while on the job can seek worker’s compensation in Florida.

However, things aren’t as simple as it sounds. To simplify, here is everything you should preliminarily know about worker’s compensation. And if they still seem not your cup of tea, hiring a Florida workers’ compensation attorney is recommended to be safer.

What is worker’s compensation?

Florida worker’s compensation is a type of insurance provided to employers. With the help of worker’s compensation insurance, employers are liable to compensate the employees/workers injured on the job. Florida has a no-fault worker’s compensation law. This means it doesn’t consider the worker’s fault when providing worker’s compensation.

The injured worker’s employer has to compensate for the losses (injuries, medical expenses, etc.) regardless of who was at fault for the injury.

Florida worker’s compensation also protects employers from lawsuits from injured workers.

Which employers need to carry Florida worker’s compensation?

The worker’s compensation laws vary from state to state in Florida. In general, all employers with four or more employees must carry worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance covers both part-time and full-time workers.

However, sole proprietors are not required to carry Florida worker’s compensation. They are, however, free to carry one voluntarily. Also, agricultural businesses with six or more employees and 12 or more seasonal employees must carry one along with construction companies.

Worker’s compensation laws in Florida are strict, and the defaulting business has to pay the penalty and halt their business operations if found not carrying a valid worker’s compensation insurance. Some businesses can also apply for exemption from carrying a worker’s compensation in Florida by complying with the required procedures.

All other businesses are required to mandatorily have Florida worker’s compensation insurance to avoid legal battles.

What is not covered under worker’s compensation in Florida?

Florida law provides 100% coverage for medical expenses and lost wages. However, it does exclude other types of compensation from within its purview like:

  • Pain and suffering

Unlike other personal injury lawsuits, Florida worker’s compensation doesn’t cover pain and suffering. This is to say that lawyers and plaintiffs cannot sue the employer to recover the losses resulting from pain and suffering. They cannot file compensation for recovery of non-monetary damages. Cases where the injuries lead to depression and poor mental health, resulting in pain and suffering, are excluded.

  • Injuries inflicted outside the work

Worker’s compensation in Florida only covers injuries inflicted within the workplace while carrying out employment duties. Injuries inflicted during the working day but not while carrying out the duties are excluded. For instance, workers who met with an accident while driving to work will not be covered under worker’s compensation.

However, if the accident occurred while the worker was on official work will be covered under worker’s compensation.

  • Self-inflicted injuries

Self-inflicted injuries incurred within the workplace do not form part of worker’s compensation. For instance, injuries caused due to behavioral issues like fighting with other co-worker and being drunk does not count.

Apart from these, other special conditions are not covered under worker’s compensation as well, like:

  • Pre-existing injuries (if aggravated by a work injury will be counted)
  • Injuries caused by acts of gods
  • Basic injuries like flu, bruises, or cuts

What to do after being injured at work?

If an injured worker wants to increase his chances of getting fair worker’s compensation, he has to act accordingly. Here is what an employee should do immediately after being injured at the job:

  • Report the injury to the employer

The first thing to do after being injured at a job is to inform the employer (or allow a co-worker to inform the employer) about the injuries. This should be done as soon as possible, within 24 hours.

  • Seek medical attention

Employees can seek preliminary medical attention for the injuries at the workplace dispensary or independently. Remember, when the insurance carrier is informed of the injuries, the injured worker has to get their injuries treated by the authorized doctor to be eligible for compensation.

  • Do as directed by the employer

Once the employer informs them of the work accident to his insurance carrier, the insurance carrier contacts the injured employee.

The insurance carrier specifies all the requirements for getting the worker’s compensation to the injured worker. It specifies the contact details of the authorized doctor. As per the email, the injured employee must also report the accident in detail, specifying how the accident happened, the injuries, and personal details.

There are a few circumstances where an injured worker can change the currently authorized doctor. However, it includes only special circumstances. A worker’s compensation attorney by your side helps better in such situations. As per workers compensation Florida, a worker can only change an authorized doctor once, under the condition that the other authorized doctor will be chosen from the insurance carrier’s authorized doctors list.

How can Florida’s worker’s compensation attorney help you

In many circumstances, an injured worker would need an attorney’s help. Some of these circumstances include:

  • When the estimated compensation hasn’t covered the expenses incurred in injuries
  • When the insurance carrier denies the claim
  • When an injured worker wants to change the authorized doctor
  • When the employer wants the injured worker to join back work
  • When injured workers want to know their rights as part of worker’s compensation

There are many other situations when an injured worker could take the help of a worker’s compensation attorney. Florida worker’s compensation gives full freedom to the injured worker to hire attorneys when it deems fit.

If you are injured at work and aren’t certain if your injuries will be covered under worker’s compensation, consult a worker’s compensation attorney in Florida.

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