Filing workers’ comp claims in Fort Lauderdale is a simple affair with the right knowledge of the whole procedure. You are eligible for compensation for workplace injuries if the place where you work has at least four employees, including you. This compensation covers your medical expenses and lost wages while you were away recovering.
As an average worker, you may not know what to do or what you are eligible for when you get injured in a workplace accident. Some employers and insurance companies do not act in your favor by either settling for a smaller amount or denying your claim completely. Denying you your compensation can be greatly beneficial for them after all.
When you get injured at work, you may not be able to tell whether you have a compensable injury case. This is when workers’ compensation attorneys in Fort Lauderdale can help. He is the best person who can guide you through the whole process of filing a claim.
It does good to know what makes you eligible for workers’ comp insurance. Here is a guide that can help you.
What Is Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance is a legal policy that covers the medical expenses and the lost salaries of employees who sustained an injury at the workplace. Purchasing a policy means that the employer files a claim when a worker gets injured while on the job, and the employee gets compensation for the expenses.
Businesses with four employees or more are liable to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This can be full-time, part-time, sole proprietors, corporate officers, and LLC members. Unfortunately, small businesses with workers less than four do not have the privilege of claiming workers’ compensation. Workers who get injured in such places may have to find other ways to cover their damages.
There are some exceptions to this rule in Florida. If it is a construction business, then the presence of at least one part-time or full-time employee makes it mandatory to carry coverage. Many trades in Florida come under construction. In the agriculture sector, businesses with at least six employees need to have coverage.
Will Your Employer Provide Workers’ Comp Insurance?
There are several injury cases that get covered under workers’ compensation insurance. Take a look at some of them.
Not many of us know that vehicle accidents are a common cause of workplace deaths. The vehicles involved in such accidents are delivery trucks, garbage trucks, emergency response vehicles, etc. Any person involved in such an accident can get their lost wages and medical benefits.
This involves injuries caused by falling objects like hand tools, roof trusses, steel beams, and many other things that can lead to fractures, strains, bruises, sprains, and even deaths. Whether the injury happened in dangerous work conditions or on a normal desk job, you can claim compensation.
Remember that you may not get the claim in the following cases:
- Your injury happened while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- It happened while in a fight
- It happened because you were not following safety rules
- You were not wearing the safety clothes and tools
- You lied to get compensation
Slips and Falls
This is a common accident when you trip over something or fall due to wet floors. This can either happen during a routine cleaning or when something spills. As long as you are not responsible for the accident and it did not occur due to your negligence, you are eligible for compensation.
Repetitive Motion and Over-Exertion
Some works demand workers to make the same motion over and over again. Involving in such tasks can lead to permanent or temporary injuries to ligaments, nerves, muscles, and tendons.
These types of injuries are the results of faulty equipment or accidental situations. Accidents like lacerations, crushed limbs, broken bones, etc. are common in accidents that involve heavy equipment and power tools.
Fires and collapsing buildings at the workplace come under industrial accidents, and these can cause injuries like burns, cuts, broken limbs, etc, making you eligible for claims.
When Should You Initiate a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Florida’s Workers’ Comp Act says that you have to initiate a claim within two years of your workplace injury. If you fail to do this, the statute of limitations expires, and your insurance company or the employer may deny the claim backed by legal rights.
Luckily, there is a second statute of limitations that states that if you received financial benefits and medical treatments after an injury. Still, they remained incomplete in terms of employer obligations or required treatments. You can file a claim within one year after the final payment.
It is mandatory to notify your employer, preferably a written one, about the accident and your injury within 30 days after the incident occurred. Our lawyers in Fort Lauderdale can help you with workers’ compensation claims.
Filing the Workers’ Comp Claim
Initiating the workers’ comp claim is done by filing the WC-14 Form and submitting it to the State’s Board of Workers’ Compensation. A copy of the same has to be submitted to your employer and their insurance company too. The form is available on Florida’s State’s Board of Workers’ Compensation website.
If you require medical treatment due to the injury, your boss can give you the details of authorized medical care personnel for you to consult. Whatever amount is spent on your treatment has to be paid by your insurance company.
Filing the workers’ comp insurance is simple if you know the step-by-step procedure. But some insurance companies and employers don’t stand by your side when you are going through a difficult situation. So it is always better to hire a workers’ comp attorney to advise you on legal matters related to the whole incident.
Workers’ comp insurance is a boon to employees during work-related emergencies as most of the damages get covered if you follow the right procedure. The only requirement is to file it within the specified time limit to enjoy the full benefits. Our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys can help you file the claim and be with you during the legal proceedings, making it easy to focus on your recovery.