Were you injured while at a job in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Are you confused about whether you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation or not? To get the facts straight, we explain who is and is not covered by workers’ comp in Florida.
If you have been hurt at work, contact us today for a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Am I Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Fort Lauderdale?
To know if you are covered under the worker’s compensation in Fort Lauderdale, here are a few things to consider:
- Your employer should be covered under worker’s compensation
- Your employer should carry a valid worker’s compensation insurance
- Your employer should not have applied for exemption from worker’s compensation law
If all three conditions are fulfilled, you are entitled to receive worker’s compensation in Fort Lauderdale. You may contact worker’s compensation lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to get professional assistance.
How to Know if Your Employer Is Covered Under Workers’ Comp in Florida?
In Fort Lauderdale, most employers must carry worker’s compensation insurance. Here are the requirements for what businesses must have workers’ comp coverage in Florida.
Non-Construction Industry Employers
Workers’ compensation covers all employees working in a non-construction industry with four or more full-time or part-time employees. Employers of such companies should provide coverage to all their employees irrespective of whether they work remotely or in a physical location.
This means even work-from-home employees are granted worker’s compensation in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Construction Industry Employers
All construction industry employers that have one or more full-time or part-time employees should carry worker’s compensation coverage for all its employees. Even the sub-contract employees should have valid workers’ compensation coverage or carry a valid exception if not.
If the subcontractors don’t have the worker’s compensation insurance, the subcontracts’ employees become the contractor’s employees. Thus, the contractors must provide workers’ compensation if the subcontractor’s employees are injured while at work.
Farmers with six or more regular employees or 12 or more seasonal employees should also be provided with the coverage.
If an out-of-state employer has employees working in Florida, such an employer should notify their insurance carrier first.
Employees working in Florida should carry Florida’s worker’s compensation or endorsement.
This means sole proprietors or partners in a partnership are not covered under the worker’s compensation insurance policy unless they want to be included. Some employers can voluntarily choose to carry workers’ compensation in Fort Lauderdale.
Some Employees Can Be Exempt From Workers’ Compensation
An exemption allows certain employees to exempt themselves from being covered under worker’s compensation laws in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Only an officer of a corporation or a member of limited liability corporation has the right to exclude themselves from such overage.
Getting an exemption from worker’s compensation would mean:
- Obtaining a certificate of election to be exempt
- Securing coverage through an employee leasing agreement
- Self-insuring worker compensation liabilities
An officer or member of limited liability corporation can be exempt from worker’s compensation if they follow the below criteria:
- He/she must be registered and active under the Florida Department of State, Division, or Corporation.
- The applicant must carry a valid Florida identification card or driving license.
- He/she should not be affiliated with an active stop-work order or working in violation of an SWO.
There are also other requirements for the same depending on:
- Non-construction industry requirements
- Construction industry requirements
Once you have applied for an exemption, you can also get it revoked or renewed.
What Happens if an Employer Does Not Provide Workers’ Comp in Florida?
The compliance inspectors conduct on-site inspections on The Florida Department of Financial Services and Division of Workers’ Compensation orders. If an employer fails to comply with worker’s compensation laws, a stop-work order is issued against the employer. As per the business, operations are ceased, and no employee is required to work during SWO. In addition, a penalty of 2 times the premium that the employer should have paid is levied.
- A stop-work order is also issued in various other situations.
- The employer has to provide evidence that the compliance has been fulfilled to get the stop-work order released. The employer also had to make a minimum down payment of $1000 as a penalty.
- Also, if your employer isn’t providing you worker’s compensation even after the coverage, you can file a case against the employer in a court of law. You can also take the help of a worker’s compensation attorney for the same.
The attorney will guide you through the process and will charge based on pay as you go.
What Is Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Fort Lauderdale?
The workers’ compensation in Florida does not cover expenses for everything. Some states provide 100% coverage. In Florida, you only get coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and death benefits.
You cannot receive the coverage for:
Pain and Suffering
Unlike in other personal injury cases, you cannot claim compensation for pain and suffering in worker’s compensation. The estimation of emotional damage, pain and suffering are not considered.
Though workers can file the case for the same, there is minimal to no chance of getting them recovered even through the lawsuit.
Only a certain level of injuries is compensated under worker’s compensation. Minor injuries like cuts, bruises, etc are not covered under WC. Also, self-inflicted injuries sustained due to personal fights and getting drunk are not covered.
Injuries Not Resulting From Work
Workers consider that any injury or disability inflicted from accidents outside the workplace may be compensated through worker’s compensation. That is not true. Only injuries that result while at the workplace are covered under WC. It doesn’t cover injuries from a car accident when driving to work.
The four benefits covered under worker’s compensation include:
- Temporary total disability (cannot return to work),
- Temporary partial disability (work under a restricted duty),
- Impairment income benefits (at maximum medical improvement and rating assigned)
- Permanent total disability (cannot work at all even after maximum medical improvement).
That said, understanding worker’s compensation can be tricky. Contact injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale for more information.