You may be familiar with the words “workers’ compensation” in general terms, but perhaps never gave it much thought. Until you suffer a workplace injury. Then it is critical that you understand this insurance system. Workers’ compensation benefits can provide much needed financial assistance if you have been injured as a direct result of your employment.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation law requires that employers pay, or provide the insurance to pay, an employee’s lost wages and medical expenses if they are injured or disabled in connection with their employment. The key point to recognize regarding these benefits is that, because workers’ compensation is a type of insurance, an employee cannot sue his or her employer for any work-related injuries that have been covered by this insurance. Every state has its own workers’ compensation insurance program and specific guidelines regarding who must provide this insurance and under what circumstances benefits can be received.
Florida Workers’ Compensation
In the state of Florida, all employers with four or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. There are exceptions to this rule. Employers in the construction industry who employ only one or more employees are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance. Florida farmers with a minimum of five regular employees and an additional twelve or more seasonal employees must also carry coverage.
What if I am at fault?
Blame is not an issue when it comes to workers’ compensation. Under the law, employees have a right to receive workers’ compensation benefits even if they are at fault. Unless, however, the employee is intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics at the time of the work-related accident, then that employee is not entitled to benefits.
Under what circumstances can I receive benefits?
To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, the employee must show that the injury was a major contributing cause of any resulting injuries.
What medical benefits am I entitled to?
Injured employees are entitled to receive medical benefits and any necessary medical treatment to help them recover from the injuries sustained as a result of the work-related injury. Only treatments that assist with the employee’s recovery or helps to improve their condition is covered under workers’ compensation. This may include a wide range of treatments, from medicine to physical therapy, chiropractic care, or having custodial care. The employee must select a physician from the employer’s list of authorized providers or the employer may designate a provider. Only medical providers approved by the employer are authorized to treat injuries suffered in work-related accidents.
What about loss of income?
Workers’ compensation includes repayment of lost wages due to the work-related injury. Florida laws provide four types of wage benefits: temporary partial disability (TPD), temporary total disability (TTD), permanent total disability (PTD) and impairment benefits (IB’s).
Are There any Other Benefits?
Death benefits are available if an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury. In this circumstance, the employee’s dependents are entitled to a percentage of the employee’s wages, subject to certain limits. A burial allowance is also available.
Contact a skilled New Port Richey workers’ comp lawyer for a free consultation
Worker’s compensation laws are complex. If you have suffered a workplace injury, consult with an experienced attorney who can determine if you are eligible to receive benefits. Skilled Florida workers’ comp attorney Joseph M. Rooth is experienced in workers’ compensation law and fights for you to ensure you receive the benefits and wage compensation you deserve. With offices in New Port Richey, Spring Hill, Seminole and Clearwater, attorney Rooth helps clients in New Port Richey and throughout the Tampa Bay area. To schedule a free consultation, contact attorney Rooth at 727-849-3400 or online.