If you work for somebody, you should be able to count on them to take care of you if you get hurt. A workers comp claim is how you usually do that. It’s one thing if you get hurt on personal time. The same is true if you were injured while roughhousing on the job. However, if your injuries are work-related, it seems only fair that your employer would offer you medical care and financial assistance.
Unfortunately, for a lot of workers in Tampa, Florida, this isn’t the case. Some people aren’t eligible to file a worker’s comp claim because they work in certain industries. Others are not able to file a claim because their employer doesn’t carry the requisite insurance.
Regardless of the reason, it can be extremely frustrating to learn that you are on your own after a workplace accident. This is why it’s a good idea to call and talk to a Tampa workers comp attorney. Not only can we help you pursue benefits, but we can help you file suit if need be.
Here, we will discuss what to do if you aren’t able to file a workers comp claim in Florida. We will also explain what options are available to certain classes of workers. If you have been hurt at work, contact us for help. We will schedule a free, initial consultation with one of our Tampa workers comp attorneys.
Certain Categories of Workers Are Not Eligible for Workers Comp Benefits
Depending on what you do for a living, you may not be eligible to file a worker’s comp claim. For example, if you are an agricultural worker, these benefits aren’t available to you. The same is true if you work as a nanny or au pair. Unfortunately for workers in these industries and positions, they must find some other way to seek compensation and medical coverage for their workplace injuries.
Some of the more common categories of workers who aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida include the following:
- Domestic workers employed by a household (less than 4 workers)
- Railroad employees
- Federal employees
- Some agricultural workers (depending on the number of employees)
- Casual workers
- Independent contractors
If you happen to fall into any of these categories, you will not be able to file a worker’s comp claim. However, there may be other options open to you.
Government Workers Are Eligible for Benefits Under the FECA
For some of the people not eligible for workers comp, there are other programs that can help them. For example, if you work for the federal government and get hurt on the job, you won’t be able to file a workers comp claim. Instead, your Tampa workers comp attorney would have to file a claim under the Federal Employee Compensation Act.
This act, FECA, offers federal employees medical care for their work-related injuries. It also offers them nominal compensation for the time they miss from work. One of the unique benefits of FECA is that employees who qualify for benefits are guaranteed to have their job waiting for them when they are fully recovered. This isn’t the case with an ordinary worker’s comp claim.
In Rare Cases, You May Be Able to Sue Your Employer
If you aren’t able to file a workers comp claim in Florida, that doesn’t mean you don’t have other options. Florida law only allows workers to sue employers for on-the-job injuries in very rare situations. Employers can be sued if they intentionally harm a worker or puts an employee in a situation where an injured is virtually guaranteed to happen.
In some situations, you can seek compensation from other liable parties. For example, if you were injured because of a piece of faulty equipment, you might be able to sue the company that manufactured the equipment. If you suffer a fall in the parking lot at work, you may be able to demand damages from the company responsible for maintaining the parking lot.
What if You Can’t File a Workers Comp Claim Because Your Employer Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Every now and then, our Tampa workers comp attorneys meet with a client whose employer didn’t carry the required workers compensation insurance. On the one hand, you can report them to the workers compensation commission.
However, that won’t help you as far as your medical bills and lost wages are concerned. Since you won’t be able to file a workers comp claim, your only option is to sue your employer. Our Tampa workers comp attorneys have plenty of experience handling these sorts of cases. We can review your case and see what information you have available to help prove your case.
In Florida, most companies with four or more employees are required to maintain a certain amount of workers compensation insurance. If they fail to do so, they may be in violation of the law. They will be fined by the state and will also be required to prove that they have acquired the necessary coverage by a certain date.
This won’t help you, but it does serve as a deterrent to other companies who are considering going without the necessary insurance.
Trust That Your Tampa Workers Comp Attorney Will Fight to Make Sure You’re Taken Care Of
If you have suffered a workplace accident and aren’t sure if you are able to file a workers comp claim, contact our office directly. You can schedule a free, initial consultation with one of our Tampa workers comp attorneys over the phone.
Take the time to sit down with a legal expert who can let you know how best to proceed. At least this will give you peace of mind in knowing that someone has your best interests in mind.