For some reason, people tend to think that minors are not eligible for workers’ compensation. The truth is that most workers, regardless of age, are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It all depends on whether your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa can demonstrate that you qualify for benefits. To do this, they must show that you meet certain criteria.
However, if your claim is denied, or if you didn’t apply for benefits for some reason, call our office. We offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down and explain what happened to a seasoned Tampa workers comp attorney. Let them review your case before you make any final decisions about how to proceed.
Anybody Who Is Injured on the Job Deserves Workers’ Compensation Benefits
For the most part, anybody who is hurt while on the job will be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. However, there are certain groups of people who are not eligible for benefits. These include the following types of workers:
- Farm and agricultural workers
- Federal employees
- Railroad workers
- Domestic servants
- Casual, seasonal, and temporary employees
- Independent contractors
One of the first things your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa will ask is what kind of work you do. This is why they need to ask. If you happen to fall into one of these categories, your Tampa workers comp attorney will have a hard time proving your case. You may have no choice but to sue your employer for damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Tampa Will Have to Prove That You Qualify
In order to qualify for worker’s compensation benefits, your worker’s compensation lawyer in Tampa must show that you meet the criteria. In Florida, as in most states, there are certain requirements you must meet to qualify for workers’ compensation. These include the following:
- Your accident must have taken place on company time and on company property
- You must have been acting within your scope of employment at the time of your injury
- You must report your accident immediately to your manager or Human Resources Director
- You must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your accident
- You must agree to be treated by a state-approved workers’ compensation doctor
- You must comply with your treatment plan
- You cannot work another job while collecting workers’ compensation benefits
If you believe you meet these requirements, then there’s a good chance your workers’ comp claim will be approved. It depends on the facts of your case. If your claim is denied, you need to let your Tampa workers comp attorney know right away. They will have to file an appeal on your behalf rather quickly. This is because you only have a short period in which you can file an appeal.
Were You Working Full-Time or Part-Time?
Your workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa needs to know how many hours you work. If you don’t work full-time, then you won’t be entitled to full-time benefits. The way workers’ compensation works in Florida is that your weekly benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages.
If you normally gross $400 per week, you will only receive about $275 per week. If you work part-time, there’s a good chance you make much less than that. For example, if you’re a student who works part-time, you probably only work about fifteen or twenty hours per week.
Even at the average rate of $15 per hour, that would only be about $300 maximum per week. When you take 2/3 of that, it comes out to be about $200 per week. You don’t want to get your hopes up thinking that you’ll receive thousands of dollars per month when you will only be entitled to a couple of hundred dollars per week.
How Many Employees Does the Company You Work for Have?
Not everybody is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In Florida, most companies with four or more employees must carry this type of insurance. Of course, most companies have well over four employees. However, if you work for a very small company, they may only have a few full-time employees.
Your worker’s compensation lawyer in Tampa must show that your employer has the equivalent of four full-time employees. For example, if they only have one full-time and three part-time employees, they may not be required to carry workers’ comp insurance.
Since a part-time employee doesn’t qualify as a full-time employee, your employer may technically only have 3 or 3.5 employees. If this is the case, you won’t be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, you’ll have to see if you are able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or some other third party.
Your Worker’s Compensation Lawyer in Tampa Needs to Know What Kind of Work You Do
In order for you to apply for workers’ compensation, your Tampa workers comp attorney needs to know what kind of work you did. There are certain categories of workers who aren’t allowed to collect workers comp. If you fall into one of those groups, you may have the ability to sue your employer. It depends on the facts of your case.
For now, the best thing you should do is contact our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with one of our worker’s compensation lawyers in Tampa and tell them your story. They will help you determine if you have a valid claim for benefits. If not, they’ll let you know if you have standing to sue.
Since your initial consultation doesn’t cost you a thing, you have nothing to lose by meeting with one of our Tampa workers comp attorneys.