If you’ve been injured on the job in Florida, you may wonder how workers’ compensation works. This article will answer some of the most common questions we receive at Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates, P.A. about workers’ comp in Florida.
Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive guide to workers’ compensation law. Contact our workers’ compensation attorney team to schedule your free consultation at (866) 519-3831 if you have specific questions. We look forward to helping you with your workers’ comp claim.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance employers hold that offers benefits to employees with a job-related injury or illness. These benefits can help pay for:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Legal fees
Different states have different requirements for workers’ compensation. In Florida, all employers with at least four employees must offer workers’ compensation coverage.
What Are Common Injuries in Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Workers’ compensation can cover almost any illness or injury an employee experiences as a direct result of completing their job duties. In Florida, the Division of Workers’ Compensation offers a breakdown of the most common causes of injuries reported in workers’ compensation claims in 2021:
- Burn/Scald-Heat/Cold Exposure: 1,185 cases
- Caught in or in between (i.e., machinery): 2,277 cases
- Cut/Puncture/Scrape: 2,852 cases
- Fall or slip injury: 16,241 cases
- Strains or sprains: 18,964 cases
- Striking against/stepping on: 1,901 cases
- Struck or injured by (i.e., equipment or object): 7,679 cases
Some workplace injuries can even result in death. In these cases, the victim’s family members can file the claim on the employee’s behalf.
How Can I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
To qualify for a workers’ compensation claim, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be an employee
- Work for an employer who carries workers’ comp insurance
- Have a work-related injury
- Meet the statute of limitation for reporting your injury
Unlike many personal injury cases, your injury or illness does not necessarily need to be your employer’s fault for it to qualify for workers’ compensation. Instead, it must have taken place while doing something for your employer’s benefit.
For example, the injury may have occurred:
- While loading boxes in a warehouse job
- After falling off a scaffold in a construction job
- While driving your work vehicle from job site to job site
Sometimes workers’ compensation eligibility is clear and straightforward, but at other times it can cause some confusion. For example, you may not qualify if your accident occurred while driving to work.
Hiring a qualified workers’ comp attorney can help you determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation, even if your employer refuses to accept your application.
How Long After an Accident Do I Have to Report It to My Employer?
According to Florida statutes, you should report your injury as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury unless other conditions apply or your claim may be denied.
Additionally, Florida has a hard deadline of two years to file petitions for benefits. Our workers’ compensation lawyers can help ensure that you meet all deadlines throughout your workers’ compensation claim process.
Will I Be Paid If I Lose Time from Work?
Under Florida law, you are not paid for the first seven days of disability. However, if you lose time because your disability extends to over 21 days, the insurance company may pay you for the first seven days.
Can My Employer Fire Me If I Am Unable to Work Because of an Injury and Am Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
No, it is against the law to fire you because you have filed or attempted to file a workers’ compensation claim.
How Do I File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?
You must follow specific steps to file for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida. Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can ensure you achieve every step necessary to qualify for and receive your benefits.
Here are the steps to file for workers’ comp:
- Report your injury or illness to your employer within 30 days of the incident.
- Seek medical attention and obtain documentation of your treatment for your claim.
- Wait for your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company to reach out to you. This typically occurs within seven days after informing the employer about the claim.
- Follow the instructions from the insurance company.
You may need to file a petition if any disputes arise with your employer or the insurance company. Our workers’ comp lawyer can help you through this process as well. For more information about Florida’s workers’ compensation system, read our recent article here.
Do I Have to Pay Income Tax on the Money on Workers’ Comp Benefits I Receive?
No taxes need to be paid on your benefits. If you can return to work on light or limited duty, even under a doctor’s supervision, expect to be taxed on the wages earned at work.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help Me?
If you meet any of the following conditions, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney may be beneficial:
- Your employer refuses to acknowledge your claim.
- You think you may be outside the statute of limitations.
- The insurance company has not offered adequate compensation.
- The insurance company has denied your claim.
More Questions? Call Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates Today at (866) 519-3831 to Schedule Your Free Consultation
The workers’ compensation process in Florida can be complicated. Your employer and insurer are adept at navigating this environment, so you need an experienced workers’ comp attorney from Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates on your side.
Contact the Law Offices of Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates today at (866) 519-3831, or fill out our online form, to schedule your free consultation. There are no fees unless we win. Call Lyle, he’ll go the extra mile.
Copyright © 2022. Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.