If you are injured on the job or develop an illness due to your work, you have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Florida (in most cases). At Sternberg Forsythe, P.A., we get a lot of questions about the workers’ compensation law in Florida, which is why we created this helpful FAQ (frequently asked questions) guide. Here you can find answers to some of the most common questions about workers’ compensation in the Sunshine State.
Being informed is the best way to ensure you get the desired outcome for your workers’ compensation claim.
How will workers’ compensation pay you in the state of Florida?
When you are injured on the job, you can receive reimbursement for all medical-related costs, including the mileage you must travel to go to your appointments, parking fees, and public transportation. Along with medical costs, workers’ compensation is paid out in the following ways:
- Wage replacement: If you can’t work after an injury, you can qualify for weekly income replacement. How much you receive depends on your average weekly wage (AWW) or your average total earnings for the prior 13 weeks. Workers’ compensation covers 66.67% of your AWW for workers who can’t work. For workers under medical restrictions that an employer can’t accommodate, you can receive 64% of your AWW.
- Disability benefits: For injuries that reach a point where it won’t get any better and your ability to work is limited, you can continue to receive total or partial disability payments from workers’ compensation insurance indefinitely.
- Vocational rehabilitation: If you cannot go back to your former job, then workers’ compensation may provide benefits for vocational retraining. This is to help you move to another career without additional costs.
How does workers’ comp work in Florida?
If you are injured at work or develop a work-caused illness, you can claim your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. If the insurer approves your claim, you can receive funds to cover medical costs after an injury and even a disability payment plan.
How long can you receive workers’ compensation benefits in Florida?
Based on Florida’s workers’ compensation law, you can receive a maximum of 104 weeks of compensation as an injured worker. You must stay on a “no work” status for this entire time or be under other limitations that your employer cannot accommodate to continue claiming benefits.
What is the statute of limitations for a Florida workers’ compensation claim?
The statute of limitations protects against employees filing a claim a long time after their injury occurred. In Florida, the amount of time you must file a workers’ compensation claim after an injury or illness is two years. After the two years have passed, you lose the right to claim benefits for medical treatment or lost wages.
There are some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. These exceptions include:
- An injured worker who is mentally incompetent
- An injured worker who is under the age of 18 or a minor
- An injured worker who was misled by their employer about their right to workers’ compensation coverage
- An insurance carrier that failed to let the worker know about their rights
- No statute of limitations exists in Florida for care related to prosthetic devices
Is it possible for you to be fired while you are on workers’ compensation in Florida?
The short answer to this question is no. In the state of Florida, it’s not legal to fire an employee because they file a workers’ compensation claim in Florida. Employers are required (by law) to have workers’ compensation insurance to help workers who are injured due to their jobs.
Will you receive your full payment if you are injured on the job?
While you have rights after you are injured on the job, there’s no obligation for your employer to pay your full standard salary if you can’t work due to an injury or illness. This is the case even in a situation where the incident was caused at work or by materials that were used while working.
How long will it take to settle your workers’ compensation case in Florida?
The average amount of time it takes to negotiate a settlement for workers’ compensation cases is 1.5 years. Sometimes, you can receive payment in under six months (in about 20% of cases). While this is true, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process. These things include:
- Recording all the important details related to your case from when the injury occurred until your medical treatment is complete.
- Let your employer know about the accident and injury right away. This will help ensure they file a report with their workers’ compensation insurer quickly, which can help speed up the process.
- Be sure to follow the treatment plan created by your doctor. Also, don’t stop treatment until your doctor clears you to do so.
- Avoid any activities that your doctor has recommended that you don’t engage in (which may include returning to work).
- Hire our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. for help with the process.
Who covers the cost of workers’ compensation in Florida?
Most businesses in Florida (not all) will be required by law to purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The businesses that are required to have this include those with four or more workers, which includes business owners who are LLCs (Limited Liability Companies) or corporate officers.
In Florida, what is the average workers’ compensation settlement?
According to the data, if you pursue compensation after a workplace injury without the help of an attorney, the average workers’ compensation settlement they receive is $10,700. However, if you hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help with your case, the average settlement amount is $23,500. This illustrates the benefits that workers’ compensation attorneys bring to the table and your case.
Who will cover the cost of your health insurance while you are out and receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
You should continue to pay your health insurance premiums (if you have one) that you would normally. Also, your employer should keep paying their portion of your coverage, just like they did prior to your workplace accident.
Can you go to your doctor after a workplace injury?
According to the law in Florida, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider is only required to pay for your medical treatment if you go to the doctor it selects. While there are some exceptions to this rule that will allow you to select your doctor, these are not common. One exception is if you need emergency treatment for the injury you sustained. It’s a good idea to talk to an attorney if you want to know more about why you must see the doctor chosen by the insurance company.
How long do you have to report your work-caused injuries to your employer?
In the state of Florida, it’s required that you report your injuries within 30 days. If you have an illness or condition that develops over a longer period, you must report the situation within 30 days of discovering it is related to your job.
Is your employer required to hold your job for you while you are on workers’ compensation?
Employers are not required to “hold” your job while you recover from a workplace injury. However, Florida law does prevent an employer from firing or terminating a worker who is injured if this action is to retaliate for filing the claim.
What rights do you have after a workplace accident in Florida?
After you are injured at work, you have the right to claim compensation for any injuries that occurred while on the job caused by your employer’s negligence. This also means that it is illegal for your employer to dismiss you after a workplace accident, discipline you, or treat you differently because you filed a claim to receive compensation.
Our attorneys at Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. will help protect your rights through every step of this process. Since we understand the laws and how everything works, we can provide information and advice that will benefit you in the long run.
Work with Our Workers Compensation Attorneys to Get the Benefits You Deserve
It’s not unusual to have questions about Florida’s workers’ compensation in Florida. At Sternberg Forsythe, P.A., we can help you with your claim and ensure you receive a fair amount of benefits.
We understand that each case where a worker is injured on the job or that develops a work-caused illness is unique. Because of this, we treat you and your situation individually and create a custom plan of action to ensure you have the most positive outcome possible.
The first step is to get in touch with our legal team. We can schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case and see what options are available. From this point, we can start helping you and provide advice and guidance related to your case and situation.