Understanding Florida's Workers' Compensation
Many people are injured on the job each day, and in Florida, employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance. This keeps employees from suing their employer for the injuries they sustained while working.
When it comes to workers' compensation, though, many aren't actually aware of what exactly this insurance covers and if the employer is actually liable for the injuries in a capacity that falls outside of the requirements of workers' compensation in Florida.
Workplace Injury and Compensation
Since it is a type of insurance, it typically covers what other insurance policies cover in the case of an accident. This includes medical bills, lost wages, prescription medications, medical equipment, income replacement, and other job benefits that may have been lost due to the injury.
The benefits you receive will depend on the injury and if any kind of disability occurred due to that injury. You may have injured yourself at work one day, but you were able to return a day or two later. In this case, you may find that the medical bills are covered, but you will receive no income replacement benefits because you were able to return to work.
If you end up with a disability, however, that means you can no longer work in your field, then workers' compensation may be required to help you find a different career or job. If you become paralyzed, then this is considered total disability, so you may qualify for income replacement through this insurance.
Now, we should discuss what qualifies a person to receive workers' compensation benefits. For this kind of insurance to go through, the person needs to have sustained at least 50 percent of their injuries while on the job.
You will not likely receive any benefits if the injury was self-inflicted, caused while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the injury was intentional, or you failed to follow the safety rules and failed to use the right safety equipment while on the job.
In addition, if you fall under any of those possibilities listed above, you also won't be able to sue your employer for negligence either because the injury would have been sustained due to your own negligence on the job.
Pain and Suffering
We have already mentioned that workers' compensation may cover medical bills and lost wages as a result of the injury, but what about pain and suffering? Workers' compensation in Florida does not cover pain and suffering like a personal injury claim that isn't related to the workplace may.
A Few Exceptions
When it comes to these claims, it only covers injuries that fall within the scope of work. For example, if your employer rear-ends you on the street on your way to work, this wouldn't qualify as a workers' compensation claim. Instead, you can sue him for any personal injuries you sustain as a result of the accident.
Also direct liability for the employer may be faced if the injury was caused by the negligence of another employee in the workplace, if the employees assumed the risk of the injury, and if the injury was caused by the comparative negligence of another employee within the workplace.
You can sue your employer for your injuries if they failed to carry the proper workers' compensation insurance, or if they refused to process your claim.
Not sure about your rights or what may be covered under workers' compensation in Florida? Don't hesitate to reach out and discuss your injuries and claim with an experienced attorney.
They will be able to litigate your claim and help you get the compensation you need and deserve for your workplace injury.