Nearly all employers in Florida are required by the law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers different kinds of on-the-job injuries suffered by workers. The injured employee can get compensation for medical expenses and lost wages associated with the injury, no matter who was at fault for the accident.
A business can acquire private or state insurance or self-insure to cover its employees. The employees don’t share in the cost of this insurance cover. In exchange, they are prevented from filing a lawsuit against an employer for more compensation to cover the medical expenses associated with the injury after they get the workers’ compensation benefits.
What’s covered by the workers’ compensation insurance?
Approximately 100,000 residents of Florida apply for workers’ compensation benefits every year. This insurance policy covers the following.
- Medical expenses
If you were involved in a workplace accident, all suffered injuries while on official duty, the workers’ compensation benefits cover the costs of your immediate medical care such as emergency room visits and ambulance ride. It also covers expenses linked to medication, hospital stay, necessary surgical procedures, and other medical costs. Ongoing care, such as physical rehabilitation and continuing medication, is also covered.
- Lost wages
Severe injuries can prevent you from returning to work for a few weeks or months. Workers’ compensation benefits cover part of the wages that you lost during the recovery period.
- Fatal injuries
When work-related accidents are fatal, workers’ compensation insurance pays death benefits that are intended to cover funeral costs and support the deceased person’s family.
Keep in mind that workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t cover everything negative that happens at the workplace. Some of the issues that are not covered include independent contractor injuries, wages for a replacement of an employee, injuries caused by drugs, injuries associated with the employer’s policy violations, and OSHA fines.
Changes in workers’ compensation law
Florida’s workers’ compensation law has undergone several changes over the years. For example, some of the changes made in October 2003 curtailed the workers’ right to a subsequent opinion from a doctor of their choosing following a workplace-related injury. Instead, your employer’s insurance carrier will choose the doctor to diagnose and handle your treatment process.
Under this new Florida law, lawyers’ fees are limited. This is the main reason most law firms rarely invest enough time in litigating workers’ compensation claims. That means the insurance companies can try as much as they can to deny a worker’s compensation claim or reduce the compensation amount. Therefore, you shouldn’t handle issues related to workers’ compensation on your own.
Seek legal help
Giant insurance companies offer workers compensation insurance. They will always try to get the claim denied or reduce the amount of compensation. That means that a victim of a workplace injury may not receive the specific amount of compensation they deserve according to the law unless they have an experienced attorney on their side.
The attorney can help you handle the necessary paperwork, ensure that your workers’ compensation claim is accurately valued, and represent your best interests during settlement negotiations. These experts understand the specific tricks that insurance companies use to get a claim denied. They also know all the pitfalls that must be avoided to ensure your claim stays valid.
Having an experienced lawyer on your side is your best chance of getting the amount of workers compensation benefits you deserve.