One of the greatest benefits behind workers’ compensation is that it is a no-fault system. That means that as long as you meet certain qualifications, adhere to all requirements, then applying for benefits will be easier.
The employer’s primary concern is that the injury did, in fact, happen while you were at work. There are only a few exceptions to this general rule.
Preliminary Workers’ Compensation Requirements
Keep in mind that in order to qualify for workers’ compensation, your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
In addition, you must also be an employee to qualify for workers’ compensation. You may think that this goes without saying, but some cases might not be as clear as you might think.
For example, independent contractors usually aren’t covered by workers’ compensation. This generally includes contracted employees as well. Other exceptions for very specific employees may also apply. Talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for more specific information about what constitutes an employee.
What are the Requirements for a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Florida?
Once you know that your employer has workers’ compensation insurance and that you are a covered employee, there are just a few basic requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation in the state of Florida.
1. You must have actually been injured
This requirement usually goes without saying. You must have an actual injury in order to be compensated. This injury does not have to be the result of an accident, however.
It can be the result of years of repetitive motions, for example. It can also be the result of exposure to chemicals or other toxic substances. Either way, you must be able to show that you were actually harmed by something in the workplace.
2. The injury must have occurred at work or at a work-related function
In most situations, as long as the injury occurred at work, it will be compensable. There are other situations where you can be away from work and your injury will also be covered.
For example, if you often travel for work and are involved in a car accident during this travel, then your injuries will likely come under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. The injury must be connected to work in some way for it to be compensable.
The No-Fault System
That’s it! In most situations, you only need to meet those two requirements to qualify. Notice that “fault” is not mentioned anywhere in those requirements. In most cases, if you were performing some act on behalf of your employer and you were injured, then your injury will involve workers’ compensation. That is the beauty of the no-fault system.
There are a few exceptions to these general rules. First, in some situations you may not be compensated if you were engaging in “horseplay” on the job, or if you were performing an action that is specifically forbidden by your employer.
In many situations, however, these actions need to be extreme.
For example, if you were carrying a work tool, like a hammer, and chasing another employee and you trip, injuring yourself – then workers’ compensation may not cover you. Short of something extreme, however, fault will not be considered in a workers’ compensation case.
Don’t Let Fault Stop Your Claim
Even if you did contribute to your injury, you should not let that stop your workers’ compensation claim. Many cases involve employees who may be, at least partially, at fault for their injuries. The workers’ compensation system is designed to protect employees like you, so fault is specifically left out of the analysis for your benefit.
Consult a Trusted Workers Compensation Attorney Florida
If you have been injured at work, speak with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney Florida who will help you through your claim. They can work with your employer and the insurance company to get you the compensation that you deserve.