What happens if you get injured while at work? Can you get workers’ comp in Florida? You might be wondering how you will take care of the medical bills resulting from the accident. That’s where a workers’ compensation lawyer in Orlando enters the picture.
Although most employers are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, some employees are excluded from this rule. Determining if your employer is among those exempted from having workers’ compensation coverage could be confusing.
This article explains who isn’t covered by workers’ comp in Florida. We’ll also discuss the type of coverage under workers’ comp.
Who Is Exempted From Workers’ Comp in Florida?
According to Florida law, any employer with four or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This involves both full-time and part-time workers. Therefore, an employer is exempt from buying a workers’ comp policy if they have less than four employees.
However, if your employer has up to four employees working for them, you’re entitled to benefits in a workplace illness or injury. The rules are pretty different for the construction industry.
In the construction industry, a subcontractor is responsible for buying out workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. If they don’t, then the employees are automatically under the primary contractor. Therefore, the contractor is responsible for paying benefits to an injured worker if an accident occurs.
Florida workers’ comp law also states that a business owner is considered an employee as a member of a limited liability company. If the business owner is also a corporate officer, they are considered employees.
The case is different for sole proprietors as they’re not considered employees by the law. An Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get your deserved benefits.
Employers Can Exclude Certain Employees from Workers’ Comp in Florida
There are specific steps that employers in Florida could take to exclude some workers or job positions from the workers’ compensation coverage. Therefore, there are occasions when your employer has four or more employees but still isn’t obligated to pay you workers’ comp. This occurs when they apply to exempt a position for coverage.
This is most common in the construction industry. For example, a company could file to exclude independent contractors from their workers’ comp coverage. If an employer takes steps to remove an employee from their workers’ compensation overage, they’re required by law to inform the person from the start about their exclusion.
It is common for workers to discover that they’re not included in the coverage after a work-related injury or illness. In such a case, a workers’ compensation lawyer Orlando can help you explore avenues for a financial settlement from your employer.
Does Workers’ Compensation Coverage Cover Independent Contractors?
Generally, independent contractors aren’t considered employees. Therefore, they don’t qualify for workers’ compensation coverage in Florida. You are considered an independent contractor if you pass the ‘Right to Control’ test.
Under Florida Statutes, an independent contractor is someone who:
- Maintains a separate business with their work facility, truck, equipment, materials, or similar accommodations
- Holds or has applied for a federal employer identification number unless the independent contractor is a sole proprietor who is not required to obtain a federal employer identification number under state or federal regulations
- Receives compensation for services rendered or work performed; such payment goes to a business rather than an individual.
- The independent contractor holds one or more bank accounts in the business entity’s name for paying business expenses or other expenses related to services rendered or work performed for compensation.
It is pretty standard for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors to reduce payroll, cut costs and minimize the number of people they pay workers’ comp benefits. That’s why it’s always best to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer in Orlando when you find out you do not have coverage.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Florida?
Florida Law states that an employer’s workers’ compensation insurer must provide an authorized physician and pay for the medically necessary treatment after a work-related illness or injury. Below are some of the workers’ comp in Florida you can receive.
Workers’ comp insurance covers the medical expenses of injured or ill workers. The cost of drug prescriptions, surgeries, ER visits, and many more are included. For example, an employee who sustained an injury due to a slip and fall would be covered for every medical care they receive. It could also include long-term medical expenses like rehabilitation or therapy.
Suppose an employee can’t be at work during the duration of their injury. In that case, workers’ compensation insurance ensures the employee is paid their lost wages for the period they’re absent from work.
Short and Long-Term Disabilities
Sometimes, injuries can cause permanent disability or, in some cases, partial disability. If this happens, your workers’ compensation lawyer in Florida will ensure that you receive compensation for the ongoing medical expenses of the disability.
This also includes a portion of lost wages due to the disability. Suppose an employee loses a part of the body to a workplace illness, like an arm, a leg, or a finger. They will receive an impairment rating, determining how much they will get as disability benefits.
In 2020, the US Bureau of Labor reported that over 275 people were victims of fatal work injuries in Florida. The number is even higher nationwide. If an employee dies from work injuries, then the workers’ compensation coverage includes their funeral expenses and some death benefits to their family.
When a work injury keeps employees from earning the salary they had before the accident; they are entitled to vocational rehabilitation. The employer will provide the worker with the training and education required to find employment. A suitable job in this context is work the person can reasonably perform in light of their age, education, and disability.
Contact Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Orlando Today!
Many benefits come from workers’ comp in Florida. It could cover your medical bills and lost wages to keep your family afloat while recovering. However, there are occasions when you don’t know how to proceed or if you’re exempted from workers’ compensation coverage. The initial step to take is speaking to your employer.
After, seek the assistance of injury attorneys in Orlando. Legal representation remarkably increases your chances of getting compensation for injuries. In addition, our experienced team of workers’ comp attorneys will help you learn your rights and options.
So, were you or a loved one injured in a workplace accident, or did you contract an occupational disease? Reach out to injury attorneys in Orlando at Florida Lawyers 360 today to schedule a free consultation.