Virtually every employer in Florida is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employers have the choice to either self-insure or to obtain workers’ compensation insurance through a private insurer or the State.
As you may know, workers’ compensation insurance is meant to cover compensation for lost wages and medical expenses, regardless of fault, for employees who are injured on the job. The tradeoff with workers’ compensation insurance is that the employee does not need to pay into the cost of the insurance but is prevented from suing his or her employer for additional compensation when injured.
In this article, we are going to talk about what you need to know about the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act, which covers most of Florida’s employees. If, after reading this article, you have additional questions pertaining to your own personal circumstances, then we invite you to contact the Florida Workers’ Compensation lawyers in Jacksonville, FL – RITE Law. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. Remember, we provide a free case evaluation, so call today.
The Basics of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law
Enacted in 1935, the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act must be offered to all full-time employees in any business that has four or more employees. If the business is a construction company, however, then the employer must offer workers’ compensation to all of its employees.
The Act covers temporary total disability, permanent disability, critical injuries, retraining benefits, and death benefits. If you are injured on the job, and you are covered by the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act, then you should consider consulting with an experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer in Jacksonville. When big insurance companies administer a workers’ compensation plan, you might run into challenges in getting all of the compensation you deserve.
Do I Need to Prove the Employer Was at Fault for My Injury?
The amount you receive in benefits under Florida law depends upon the extent of your injury and how much your ability to work has been curtailed by the injury. Importantly, you do not need to prove that the employer was at fault for your injury. The only proof needed is that the injury occurred when you were on duty for your job.
Is Mental Illness Covered?
While virtually all accidental injuries and occupational diseases occurring during the course of your employment are covered, the Florida law does not mandate that mental illness be covered by an employer’s workers’ compensation plan. In fact, the only time you can get coverage for a mental illness or mental injury if the illness or injury is the direct result of a physical injury sustained at work.
Is Workers’ Compensation the Same as My Regular Wage?
Typically, no. Florida’s workers’ compensation law limits disability compensation to 100% of the statewide average weekly wage. That means that the maximum benefit you could receive is somewhere around $863 per week.
Also, under Florida’s workers’ comp laws, disability benefits are paid in percentages based on your disability. In addition to medical coverage for an injury (and all medical bills should be paid in full by workers’ compensation), there are three types of workers’ compensation benefits are available:
1. Temporary total disability – These benefits are equal to approximatley 66% of your regular wage in most cases
2. Temporary partial disability – If you are not totally disabled but cannot do the job that you were doing prior to the injury, you will likely receive 80% of the difference between 80% of your wages before the injury and what you are currently able to earn.
3. Impairment benefits – These benefits pay you for a permanent disability that flows from your injury.
When Do I Need to Report a Work-Related Injury?
Florida’s workers’ compensation law requires you to report a work injury to your employer within 30 days of the date of injury. With injuries that take a long time to discover (such as lung damage from long-term exposure to some type of pollutant), you have 30 days from the date of discovery of the injury to report it to your employer.
Also, within two years of the date of the injury, or discovery of the injury, you must file a petition for benefits. An experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer in Jacksonville can help you with these reporting requirements.
To be sure, do not wait to report an injury to your employer or to the State of Florida. If you do, you may lose the ability to obtain benefits entirely, even though you have a legitimate work-related injury.
Talk to a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer In Jacksonville
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 workers’ compensation 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.
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not decide whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.