Due to the high rate of workplace injuries, Florida requires employers to buy workers’ compensation insurance. Employees are to claim from the insurance policy if they suffer an injury while performing their work duties.
However, most employees do not know what the workers’ compensation covers and to what extent they can claim. This article looks at this and more. Also, it would be wise to speak with a workers’ comp lawyer to know more about your rights.
What Are the Benefits Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida?
In Florida, workers’ compensation insurance covers all workplace injuries and occupational illnesses. It means that as long as your wound or your disease can be traced to your job, you’re entitled to a settlement.
There are four types of workers’ compensation benefits. They include:
- Wage Replacement Benefits: It amounts to 2/3 of your average wage up to $939 per week in Florida as of January 2019. If you’re receiving this benefit, you don’t have to pay tax. The aim is to match the weekly amount an employee received before the injury. You can start collecting this benefit after missing work for a few days because of an injury or work-related illness.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: It is beneficial to a person who suffers a permanent disability. However, the disability does not prevent you from working. A good example is Carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, the amount of benefit depends on the affected body part.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits: It is for those who cannot return to their previous employment because of an injury. They will receive help finding new jobs through counseling, retraining, job development, vocational monitoring, and job placement.
- Medical Benefits: Here, you’ll get all necessary and reasonable medical care provided for injured employees. You can choose your doctor unless there is a managed care plan for everyone. If you decide not to use the physician supplied by your employer, you may copay for doctor and hospital visits.
What Type of Injury Does Not Fall Under Florida’s Workers’ Comp Insurance?
There are instances when you will not benefit from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Some of them include the following:
- You inflicted the injury on yourself.
- The injury occurred because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work.
- You intentionally caused the injury to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.
- You refused to observe safety rules or use readily available safety pieces of equipment.
If your claim falls under any of the above, not only will you not get workers’ compensation, you’ll be unable to sue for damages successfully. Furthermore, you must have sustained at least 50% of your injury on the job to be eligible for work comp insurance benefits. Thus, if you broke your arm at home, and a fall at work only affected it minorly, you won’t get any settlement.
Is Florida’s Workers’ Comp Claim Limited to Employers?
While the law is clear that employers must have workers’ compensation, there are instances where they won’t pay you benefits. One of such cases is when a piece of faulty equipment caused your injury.
When this happens, you can name a third party, possibly the manufacturer, as a party to your lawsuit. What’s essential is locating the primary cause of your injuries and filing a claim against them.
What Happens If an Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Comp Insurance in Florida?
Business owners in Florida will face civil lawsuits and criminal charges if they fail to have workers’ compensation benefits for their staff. This applies if:
- The law requires the business to have workers’ compensation, and they fail to.
- The employer keeps the business open after getting a “Stop Work” order.
- The business owner conceals workers’ comp violations.
- The employer fails to report an injury.
- The business owner tries to ensure that the insurance company denies your claim.
- The employer fires, threatens to fire, or intimidates you to stop you from filing a claim.
- The business owner deducts the workers’ comp cost from your paycheck.
- The employer tries to pass you off as an independent contractor.
If your employer tries to deny your right as an injured Florida worker, you can sue them with the help of a workers’ comp attorney. In this situation, you will be able to recover the cost of medical expenses and lost wages. If there’s evidence of gross negligence, you’ll get punitive damages.
Do You Need Help With Your Workers’ Comp Claim? Consult Miami Lawyers 360
Ordinarily, getting your workers’ comp benefits should not be a difficult task. But because insurance companies are always looking to save money, they look for loopholes to avoid payment. With a workers’ comp attorney from Miami Lawyers 360, you’ll be able to get your benefits timeously. Contact us for a free case review today!