There are many things that we don’t know the first thing about, until we need them. Then we become experts in the subject in a hurry. Workers’ compensation is a bit like that. We never expect to get in a workplace accident. Yet, when it happens you may be lost as to what to do immediately after.
In this article, we are going to answer some of the most important questions related to workers’ compensation. It is actually not as difficult a subject as you might think, and hopefully you will never need to use this information. However, if you have recently been in a workplace accident, then you should read on to understand the vital basics about what workers’ compensation is, and how it can help you after an accident.
If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own circumstances, then the Jacksonville workers’ compensation lawyers at RITE Law are here to help. At RITE Law, we have a group of personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville who have your best interests at heart, and who have the training and resources to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.
What Exactly is Workers’ Compensation?
You may have heard the term “workers’ compensation” frequently, but never really thought it about it enough to conceptualize what it is all about. In a nutshell, workers’ compensation is insurance that an employer must obtain to protect itself from the costs that result from workplace injuries.
As its name suggests, workers’ compensation is meant to be compensation for workers who get hurt on the job. Rather than having to sue the employer to get reimbursement for medical bills, the workers’ compensation insurance kicks in automatically to cover those expenses. There is no requirement that a party must be found to be at fault. The only requirement for workers’ compensation insurance to kick in is that the injury must occur on the job.
What are the Origins of Workers’ Compensation?
The concept of workers’ compensation insurance came about to establish fairness surrounding the issue of workplace injury. Prior to its creation, workers who were seriously injured on the job, or family members of workers who were killed on the job, were unable to have their medical bills (and other damages) covered by the employer until the worker (or his family) would sue the employer to establish liability.
Such a process was cumbersome, took a long time, and sometimes unfairly favored employers who had more legal resources than injured workers. Overall, the process made it very hard for workers to recover, even when the employer allowed dangerous workplace conditions to exist.
Thus, the advent of workers’ compensation was a way in which employees could get immediate medical coverage (and compensation for other damages) following a workplace injury.
Employers also benefit from the workers’ compensation system. Prior to workers’ compensation, one employee injury could result in a lawsuit that could bankrupt the entire company. Thus, workers’ compensation is beneficial to employers because they can predict their costs related to a workplace injury, which would be the premium for the workers’ compensation insurance. Thus, rather than worry about a single, potentially devasting workplace accident, employers know that they are protected.
How Long After a Workplace Accident to You Have to Report it to Your Employer?
Under Florida law, you must report a workplace accident within 30 days or your workers’ compensation claim may be denied. Yet, anytime you are involved in a workplace accident, you should report it as soon as possible.
How Long Does Your Employer Have to Report the Injury to Its Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company?
Your employer should report the injury as soon as possible, but it has seven days to report it to the insurance company. Further, the insurance company must send you information about your workers’ compensation rights and responsibilities within three days of receiving notice from the employer.
What Happens if My Employer Does Not Report the Workplace Injury to the Insurance Company?
There are some unscrupulous employers who may try to play games with a workers’ compensation claim. That is why you need a Jacksonville workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you. If your employer fails to report the injury to insurance, then you (with the help of your attorney) can notify the workers’ compensation insurance company directly.
Do I Have to Pay My Medical Bills?
No. If you are legitimately injured on the job then all authorized medical bills should be submitted to your employer’s insurance company for payment.
Am I Compensated for Lost Time at Work?
Under Florida law, your first seven days of disability are not covered by workers’ compensation. You then receive compensation following those first seven days. If your disability lasts for more than 21 days.
Call the Jacksonville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at RITE Law.
At RITE Law, we started the firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was “big enough to fight but small enough to care.” At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.
Expect lots of attention, passionate representation, and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that leads to the best result possible. Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or assistant to do the heavy lifting. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way.
We also take pride in creating an atmosphere where every client is treated like family. Family members stick up for one another no matter what. You should expect nothing less from the RITE Law personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville.
Without help from the RITE team, making your own personal injury claims can be very difficult. When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure that every detail of your claim is addressed. Call us for help. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.