Have you ever wondered about your rights and benefits as a part-time employee in Florida, especially regarding workplace injuries? As a part-time worker, you face the same risks and hazards as your full-time colleagues, so it’s essential to know what to do if you’re injured on the job.
At Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A., we receive inquiries from part-time employees injured on the job, only to be told by their employers they are ineligible for workers’ comp benefits. In this blog, our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys set the record straight about what you need to know about workers’ comp for part-time employees.
If you need help with a claim or have questions about a workplace injury, call us at (866) 519-3831 or complete our online form to schedule your FREE consultation with a Florida workers’ compensation attorney.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. The goal is to ensure that workers receive proper medical care and compensation for lost wages while protecting employers from lawsuits filed by injured workers.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation in Florida?
In Florida, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees, including part-time workers. Some exceptions include agricultural employers with fewer than six regular employees and 12 seasonal employees working for less than 30 days.
Workers’ Comp for Part-Time Employees
Eligibility for Part-Time Employees
If you’re a part-time worker and suffer a work-related injury, you’re entitled to the same benefits as a full-time employee, including medical treatment and wage replacement.
You’ll Only Be Eligible for Part-Time Weekly Benefits
While part-time employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, it’s important to note that your weekly benefits will be based on your part-time status. This means the compensation for lost wages will be calculated according to your average weekly wage as a part-time employee, not a full-time worker.
For example, if you worked 20 hours per week before your injury and your full-time counterparts worked 40 hours per week, your weekly benefits will be based on the 20-hour workweek. This may result in lower weekly benefits than a full-time employee with the same job title and pay rate.
In essence, your part-time status will affect the amount of workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits you receive. Understanding this distinction and managing your expectations is crucial when filing a claim as a part-time worker in Florida.
Types of Injuries Covered
Workmans’ comp in Florida covers various work-related injuries, including:
- Slips, trips, and falls: Injuries sustained from slipping on wet surfaces, tripping over obstacles, or falling from heights, such as ladders or scaffolding.
- Overexertion: Injuries resulting from lifting, pushing, or pulling heavy objects, which may lead to strains, sprains, or herniated discs.
- Repetitive strain injuries: Injuries that develop over time due to repetitive tasks or motions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or bursitis.
- Machinery accidents: Injuries sustained from accidents involving machinery or equipment, including amputations, crush injuries, or lacerations.
- Vehicle accidents: Injuries sustained in vehicle accidents while performing work-related duties, such as delivery drivers or traveling salespeople.
- Exposure to hazardous substances: Injuries or illnesses caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, fumes, or other hazardous substances, including chemical burns or respiratory problems.
- Fires and explosions: Injuries resulting from workplace fires or explosions, such as burns or smoke inhalation.
- Electrical accidents: Injuries caused by contact with electrical sources, including electrocution or electrical burns.
- Psychological disorders: High-stress work environments or exposure to traumatic events on the job (such as those experienced by First Responders) can lead to psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression.
Keep in mind that your injury or illness needs to be directly related to your work environment or job duties.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Reporting the Injury
If you’re injured at work, report the incident to your employer immediately. In Florida, you have 30 days from the date of the injury to notify your employer.
Upon receiving notice of your injury, your employer is required to report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier within seven days. The insurance carrier will then file a report with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Once your employer has reported the injury, the insurance carrier accepts or denies your claim. If accepted, they will provide the necessary medical treatment and compensation for lost wages.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Part-Time Employees
Some workers’ comp benefits you may be eligible to receive include:
Part-time employees are entitled to the same medical benefits as full-time employees under workers’ compensation. This includes coverage for all necessary medical care and treatment related to your work-related injury or illness.
As mentioned earlier, while part-time employees are eligible for lost wage benefits, the amount may differ from full-time employees. This is because the benefits are based on your average weekly wage, which is typically lower for part-time employees.
If you cannot work due to your injury, you may be eligible for temporary or permanent disability benefits. The amount you receive will depend on the severity of your injury and your average weekly wage.
Denial of Workers’ Compensation Claim
Your workers’ compensation claim may be denied for various reasons, such as:
- Failure to report the injury within the required time frame
- Insufficient evidence that the injury is work-related
- Pre-existing conditions unrelated to your job
Appealing a Denied Claim
You can appeal the decision if your workers’ compensation claim is denied. In Florida, you must file a Petition for Benefits with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims within two years of the date of your injury.
How a Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help You
Navigating the complex world of workers’ compensation can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with the physical and emotional toll of a work-related injury or illness. A skilled workers’ comp attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim by providing guidance and representation. Here’s how a workers’ comp attorney can help you:
Evaluating your Case
A workers’ comp attorney can assess the specific details of your case to determine if you’re eligible for benefits, ensuring that you’re aware of your rights and the potential compensation available to you as a part-time employee.
Preparing and Filing your Claim
An attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence, complete the required forms, and file your workers’ compensation claim within the appropriate deadlines, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Communicating with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may attempt to minimize or deny your claim. A workers’ comp attorney can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf, advocating for your rights and ensuring that you receive the benefits you deserve.
Representing You in Appeals
If your claim is denied, a workers’ comp attorney can guide you through the appeals process, representing you at hearings and presenting a compelling case on your behalf.
In some cases, it may be beneficial to settle your workers’ compensation claim outside of court. An experienced attorney can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, ensuring you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
Protecting your Rights
Hiring a workers’ comp attorney sends a strong message to your employer and their insurance company that you’re serious about protecting your rights. Your attorney will work tirelessly to ensure your best interests are represented throughout the process.
As a part-time employee in Florida, a workers’ comp attorney can be a valuable ally when facing a work-related injury or illness. Their experience and support can help you navigate the complex workers’ compensation system, secure the benefits you are entitled to receive, so you can focus on your recovery.
You can read more about eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits here.
You can read more about the different benefits available here.
You can read about frequently asked questions here.
Are You an Injured Part-time Worker in Florida Struggling to Get Benefits for Your Work Injuries?
Don’t let the complexities of Florida’s workers’ compensation system leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of your rights as a part-time employee. If you have experienced a work-related injury or illness, it’s crucial to take action immediately due to filing deadlines.
Reach out to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney from Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates for guidance and representation, ensuring that you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to receive. Remember, you have the right to fair compensation and support for your recovery.
Our dedicated Florida workers’ compensation attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure you receive compensation for your work-related injuries or illness. You may be entitled to lost wages, medical care, reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, payment of medical bills, attendant care, or vocational retraining if you have a valid claim.
Our team will go the extra mile for you to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. Contact our office today at (866) 519-3831 for a FREE consultation and take the first step towards securing your workers’ comp benefits. If more convenient, you can also fill out our online form here.
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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.