Work injuries are prevalent in Tampa, Florida. Generally, there were 275 fatal occupational injuries in Florida in 2020. In addition, several other job-related accidents caused workers significant injuries. Work injuries may limit your capacity to work. Moreover, if you cannot perform your duties appropriately, you may face financial difficulties.
That’s why talking to a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney after a workplace injury is crucial. Such an attorney can guide you through the workers’ compensation process. Thanks to workers’ compensation benefits, you wouldn’t have to suffer financial losses because of your injury.
What Is Workers’ Compensation in Tampa, FL?
Workers’ compensation is a system that protects injured or sick workers. However, it doesn’t cover all wounds and illnesses. Instead, covered conditions must have arisen during employment.
Suppose you can link your injury to a job-related accident. Then, you can recover comp benefits for your wounds. In addition, some jobs expose workers to certain diseases. So if you contract an occupational illness, you can also recover compensation from your employer. Generally, workers’ comp provides medical and wage benefits to employees.
Which Tampa Employers Must Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program. However, you don’t have to pay premiums to benefit from this policy. Instead, your employer pays the premiums to their insurance carrier. This insurer is then responsible for paying compensation.
Florida law provides that the following businesses must have workers’ comp:
- Construction employers with one or more employees
- Non-construction businesses with four or more workers
- Agricultural entities with six regular employees or 12 seasonal workers
- Out-of-state employers with Florida employees
Notably, contractors must ensure that their sub-contractors have workers’ comp coverage. Therefore, any subcontractor without comp coverage becomes the contractor’s responsibility. Such a contractor will thus pay comp benefits if the sub-contractor sustains an injury.
Tampa Workers’ Compensation Attorney Discusses Work Comp Benefits
There are different types of workers’ comp benefits. However, several factors determine the compensation you deserve. Florida law primarily classifies worker’s compensation benefits into three.
Our Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys explain them below.
Medical benefits are the primary goal of workers’ compensation. This is because accidents and occupational diseases require medical treatment. Therefore, your employer will foot these bills. Medical benefits involve:
- Authorized visits to a primary doctor, or
- Official visits to a specialist, where necessary.
Furthermore, your employer will bear the financial consequences of these appointments. They include:
- Hospitalization bills
- Cost of physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Attendant or nursing home care
- Cost of medical equipment, such as prostheses
- Medical tests
- Mileage reimbursement for travel costs to and from your authorized doctor and pharmacy
Finally, medical benefits may be all you need. Not all work-related injuries prevent employees from working. So, you can go to the hospital and back to your duties.
Lost Wages and Other Financial Compensation
Sadly, a workplace injury can affect your ability to work. Therefore, you may need a break to recuperate. Without workers’ comp, most employers will not pay injured employees during this period.
That’s why these four classes of comp benefits exist to protect workers. They include:
Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)
Temporary disability benefits kick in when you cannot work for a short period. For example, you can start receiving TTD benefits after missing work for seven days. However, you must have been disabled for more than 21 days to become eligible for TTD.
TTD benefits are usually equal to two-thirds (66%) of your average wages. Notably, the relevant figure is the wage you received on your injury date. In addition, you’ll be eligible for TTD for about 104 weeks. However, some severe injuries can get you 80% of your wages for six months.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD)
Sometimes, the authorized doctor can permit you to return to work. However, they’ll subject your return to certain restrictions. So, you cannot work as hard as you used to.
Furthermore, your employee may place you on light-duty work. For example, you may only have to perform desk tasks. In this scenario, you can get temporary partial disability benefits.
TPD equals about 80% of your wages. Similarly, your employer will calculate your benefits with your paycheck at the injury date. In addition, you can receive TPD for 104 weeks.
Impairment Income Benefits (IB)
Finally, you can get impairment benefits from Florida workers’ compensation. When the physician declares that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), this becomes necessary. MMI means that you have reached the peak of your medical recovery.
Here, your doctor says that they cannot further improve your condition. Therefore, continuous medical treatment is unnecessary. Your healthcare provider will then examine your capacity to resume work.
After this analysis, they’ll assign you an impairment rating. It shows how much your condition will affect your work capacity. So, suppose you get an impairment rating above zero. Then, you’ll get impairment benefits based on the number.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD)
Permanent total disability benefits are for workers who can never work again due to a significant disability. Your doctor will reach this conclusion when you reach MMI. In addition, the doctor can no longer treat this condition.
Ordinarily, an employer can sack and abandon employees who can no longer work. However, Florida law protects such persons. You can thus get PTD benefits at the same rate as temporary total disability benefits. So, this will be about two-thirds of your wages.
In addition, your employer will continue paying PTD benefits until you reach 75 years. Furthermore, if you don’t qualify for Social Security benefits, the PTD payment may continue until you die.
Finally, a work injury or occupational disease can kill an employee. If this happens, the deceased’s representatives can claim death benefits. Notably, the death must occur within:
- One year of the accident date, or
- Five years of continuous disability.
Suppose a work-related death qualifies under these conditions. Then, the beneficiaries can receive:
- Burial and funeral expenses of up to $7,500
- Compensation to dependents
- Educational benefits for the surviving spouse
However, imagine that the dead worker had no dependents or spouse. Then, their representatives may only get funeral expenses.
Quickly Get Compensation With the Help of a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Have you or a relative suffered an on-the-job accident? Did you sustain any injuries or lose a loved one? If you answer these questions in the affirmative, you may be eligible for compensation. First, however, you’ll need an experienced legal team.
Our attorneys have won several comp benefits for injured Tampa workers. In the process, we’ve dealt with unscrupulous employers and insurers. Therefore, we can handle any workers’ compensation claim. All you have to do is call us today for a FREE consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa, Florida.