Workers Compensation Benefits in Florida: Who Pays?

Years ago, before Florida had implemented the workers compensation program, employees had little recourse if they got hurt on the job. Of course, they could sue their employer for damages. However, if they did this, they knew there was no chance they’d ever go back to work there. Their employer would fire them the minute they complained that they were hurt. Plus, since most workers couldn’t afford a Florida personal injury lawyer, they had no chance of winning in court.

Then, in 1908, Florida implemented their workers compensation system. Once this happened, workers no longer had standing to sue their employers. Instead, if they got hurt at work, they had to file a claim under workers compensation.

If you’ve filed your claim and are wondering where the money is coming from to pay your benefits, you’re not alone. We suggest you give us a call so you can sit down with an employment lawyer for a free consultation. They can answer any questions you may have about workers compensation in general. They can also answer any questions you have about your own workplace injury.

Is the State of Florida Paying My Workers Compensation Benefits?

Ironically, even though workers compensation is overseen by the state, it isn’t the state who pays out workers comp benefits. It isn’t like unemployment, where the state manages payments and determines how much you qualify for.

With workers comp, it is your employer’s workers compensation insurance company who pays your benefits. They also pay for any medical care you need. This may seem like your employer gets out of having to pay anything at all.

One would think that, since you were hurt on their property, they would be responsible for paying any damages. However, this is why they have insurance. They can’t afford to pay workers compensation benefits out of pocket, so they pay for insurance instead. Besides, the State of Florida requires that all non-exempt employers carry this type of insurance.

The reason they have this insurance is to cover your medical expenses. It will also cover your weekly replacement wages.

Workers Compensation

Your Employer is Legally Required to Carry Workers Compensation Insurance

In Florida, any company that employs more than three people is required to carry workers compensation insurance. If the State learns that they don’t have the requisite insurance, they will be fined. These fines are quite heavy.

Most companies realize that it’s in their best interest to have this insurance. If they were to have to pay for an employee’s medical care out of pocket, it could put them out of business. Not to mention how expensive it would be to pay their wages while they are home recovering.

Of course, not all employees are eligible for workers compensation. There are certain categories of workers who are not covered by workers comp. In Florida, the following groups are not entitled to receive workers compensation benefits:

  • Farm and agricultural workers
  • Seasonal workers
  • Casual employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Railroad employees
  • Federal employees
  • Domestic servants

If you happen to work in one of these sectors, then you will not be able to count on workers comp to take care of you while you recover. But that doesn’t mean your Florida personal injury lawyer won’t be able to help.

What Kind of Benefits Does Your Employer Pay Under Workers Compensation in Florida?

If your workers compensation claim is approved, you will receive certain benefits. These benefits are paid out by your employer and their insurance company. There are two main benefits that you’ll receive. The first is medical coverage. All your medical care related to your workplace accident will be covered.

The second type of benefit you’ll receive are replacement wages. While you’re out of work, you will receive biweekly checks. The amount you’ll receive every week is equal to 2/3 your average weekly wages. If you were used to making $1,000 per week, you’ll receive $666 per week. This money isn’t taxed by either the federal or state. Your benefits will continue until you are able to return to work.

Like every other state, there is a cap on how much you can receive per week. In Florida, this amount is $917. What this means is that if you make more than approximately $1,400 per week, you’ll be capped out at $917 per week. This can be frustrating for somebody who earns well over $1,400 per week. However, it is better than receiving no income while you are waiting to recover.

Contact an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer As Soon as Possible

If you were involved in a workplace accident, you should be covered by workers compensation. While you are certainly able to handle your claim by yourself, it may be a good idea to hire a Florida personal injury lawyer. They can make sure your claim is handled properly from the start. They can also help you appeal your claim if it happens to be denied.

If your claim was approved but you don’t feel you are receiving the benefits you deserve, let us know. We can reach out to the insurance company and find out what the issue is. Once the insurance company and your employer realize you’re represented by a Florida personal injury lawyer, they may be more inclined to do the right thing.

We suggest that you call our office as soon as possible after your workplace accident. This gives us a chance to review your claim and find out what the status of your claim is. When you call, we can schedule your free, initial consultation. You get to meet with a skilled attorney and ask them any questions you may have. They can also explain how the workers compensation process works.

Since the consultation is free, you have nothing to lose. Your employer will have a team of lawyers working for them. You need to have someone in your corner as well.

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Pre-Existing Condition: Workers Comp Qualification

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