Under Florida state law, if you are injured on the job, or if you contract any disease or illness, you will be covered by Worker’s Compensation insurance. This system will even cover someone in the event of their death and it is a no-fault insurance policy, meaning there is no need to prove negligence on the part of the employer in order for you to collect compensation.
However, there are times when things become more complicated, and you may find yourself battling with your employer over filing this claim. When that occurs, you can contact the experienced Spring Hill workers’ compensation lawyers at Florida Lawyers 360. Call (954) 448-7355 today for a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys.
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Overview of Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Workers comp is a type of insurance that is designed to protect business owners, and at the same time, protect employees that are hurt or get sick as a result of their job. Workers’ compensation covers loss of income, medical bills, and subsequent treatments that may be necessary as a result of your condition. However, you can only file a claim if your injury or illness is work-related.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured on the Job?
When you are injured, you must report the incident to your employer within 30 days. Otherwise, you cannot file a claim.
After that, your employer is responsible for the next steps that occur. First, they must connect you with a doctor that is approved by the company that provides Workers Compensation. In some instances, the employer may have you call workers comp, and this may be your responsibility if there is a poster with the name and phone number of that company at the facility.
However, it is still mandated by law in Florida that your employer contact the insurance company within seven days. If that does not happen, you have the option of calling the Worker’s Compensation Florida division hotline for assistance.
You have two years to file a petition for benefits.
What Happens Once the Insurance Company Is Notified?
In 24 hours, the insurance company will contact you directly by phone. They are also obligated to mail you information. That will happen over the next 3 to 5 business days. This will present what your rights are, and what your obligations will be, all of which will be in writing. In this pack, you will have what is called a Notification Letter which comes directly from the Employee Assistance Office Division of the Division of Workers Compensation office.
Your accident report will also be included, and it is imperative that you review what it says to make sure everything that you told your employer or the insurance company, has been included. If not, if you do pursue some form of legal action, this could be problematic toward either getting your job back or receiving some type of settlement.
What Will Worker’s Compensation Pay for in Florida?
According to Florida law, workers comp is going to pay for any and all medical care that is directly related to your illness or injury. It is your responsibility to follow the guidelines of the medical physician that is assigned to work with you. If you have to travel to any appointment, this will also be covered, plus the cost of medications must also be reimbursed. Additionally, any lost wages that you may have will also be covered. This includes people that are designated as being temporarily unavailable for work or those that are deemed permanently disabled.
Is Your Employer in Florida Required To Have Workers Comp?
In Florida, whether your employer is required to have workers’ comp coverage depends on the number of employees. Construction businesses must have workers’ compensation insurance if they have even one employee. Non-construction businesses with four or more employees, including non-exempt business owners, must have coverage.
Employees are not required to contribute to the payment for Worker’s Compensation insurance.
Responsibilities of Employees
Therefore, if you have been injured on the job, or if you are ill as a result of the work that you do, there are several steps that you must take prior to filing the workers’ comp claim.
You must report this injury to their supervisor. As mentioned before, employees have up to 30 days to make this report, but it is simply better to do it right away. One of the reasons is that your condition may become worse which can sometimes cause problems regarding your workers’ compensation claim.
This could lead to your employer claiming you were not injured on the job if you report this week’s after the event happened. Once you have reported this, your employer is then responsible for taking you to a medical facility for treatment. If the physician that treats you deems that you are not capable of returning to work, then the employer will abide by that diagnosis. It is after you have gone to the medical doctor that you will then go through the process of filing the claim.
Can You Sue An Employer As A Result Of Your Injuries Or Illness?
In almost all cases, it is not possible to sue your employer as a result of injuries or accidents at work that have caused you harm. The same is true for illnesses that you may develop. Although it is true that in some extreme cases of negligence on the part of the employer that they can be sued, in Florida, this is very difficult to do.
The reason that you will want to call a workers compensation lawyer in Florida is to make sure that you are doing everything necessary to ensure the claim is valid. Since your employer is responsible for not only providing this coverage but all of the benefits that it can provide, this is why it is very difficult to file any type of lawsuit against them.
What About Rehabilitation Costs or Long-Term Care?
In Florida, your employer will be responsible for any rehabilitation costs that may be necessary. The same is true for long-term care. This is why they have workers’ compensation insurance. It is the insurance company that will pay for all of these costs and why it is made available for full-time employees.
If you are not an employee of that business, but merely an independent contractor, you do not qualify for any type of coverage at all. Worker’s Compensation will also cover Permanent Partial Disability as part of this insurance plan.
What If Your Workers Comp Claim Is Denied in Florida?
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have many avenues for recourse. The most obvious one would be disputing this assessment. You can appeal the decision, but this can become a very convoluted process, especially if numerous formal appeals must be made. It is for this reason that people will hire an attorney that can help them in the case that they are denied workers comp claims.
Prior to contacting an attorney, however, you must first make an effort to speak with the insurer to determine why the claim was denied. You must then ask if they would reconsider this decision, to which they typically ask you to file a formal appeal by the stated timelines. If at that point you are not sure of what to do, or if you have done this and it is denied again, you must speak with a reputable law firm that can help you with this process.
What If You Refuse Recommended Treatments?
The only other reason that your claim will be denied is if you refuse certain treatments. If it was approved, they can discontinue your benefits for noncompliance. You may want to get a second opinion, which is your right, but they can also claim that their physician is correct and the other is not if a different conclusion is made. For all of these reasons, you will need to speak with a reputable law firm in Florida that can handle workers’ compensation cases.
Contact Our Spring Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
If it is time to contact a workers compensation attorney, consider speaking with Florida Lawyers 360. If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, or if they are now refusing to provide you with benefits, you will need legal help with these situations. Even if you need assistance in filing your papers, or if you just need some legal advice, give our Florida Workers’ Compensation firm a call today.