The purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is to provide injured or sick employees with funds to cover basic and injury-related expenses while they are unable to work. Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation system is complex, and while many cases can be handled without any issues, there are some valid claims that end up being denied. There are several reasons this can happen. Getting to know some of the most common reasons your workers’ compensation claim may be denied can be helpful.
What would happen if you were injured on the job? If this happened, you would file a workers’ compensation claim, right? While this seems easy, what if your worst fear is realized and you are fired? You may wonder, will you be able to collect workers’ compensation after you are fired? Keep reading to learn what the law says about this in the state of Florida.
Injuries can happen anywhere, but the workplace is a particularly common setting. In fact, there are over 4.5 million workplace injuries per year nationwide that result in a loss of over 104 million production days annually.
Under Florida workers’ compensation laws, all workers are entitled to lost wages and medical benefits after an on-the-job injury. Unfortunately, if you have been injured at work, having a pre-existing illness or injury can significantly complicate your ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits. This is especially true if your pre-existing injury happens to be medically related to your current on-the-job illness or injury.
Recently, a West Palm Beach worker sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell 30 feet from a business rooftop onto asphalt. The worker was taken to a local medical center as a trauma patient and investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were called in to investigate the accident and determine how it occurred.
Medical care under the Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act (LHWCA) includes all medical, surgical and hospital treatment. Medical supplies and services related the employee’s injury and travel and mileage costs related to medical care are also covered.
Depending on the nature of your illness and your prognosis for recovery, Florida Worker compensation may not provide the benefits you need, regardless of when you file a claim. However, assuming you are still employed with the same company but cannot work until you heal, your workplace illness may qualify for Worker compensation, even if you do not discover your condition until years after the toxic exposure.
The Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act (LHWCA) offers disability compensation and medical care to employees who suffer injuries on the navigable waters of the United States or in adjoining areas related to the vessel. The LHWCA also provides vocational rehabilitation and support for the dependents of an employee in the event of an employee’s death.
People who perform temporary services and work through a licensed Professional Employer Organization (PEO) or Employee Leasing Company receive their paychecks directly from the licensed organization, rather than from the company that temporarily employs them. Under Florida law, these licensed organizations are required to provide Worker compensation for their employees, regardless of where they work. Failure to do so can leave temporary workers without coverage when they suffer on-the-job injuries.
For those who are out on workers comp, the easiest way to have job security is to file paperwork under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA provides injured workers with compensatory benefits for up to 12 weeks per year without risk of losing your job while you recover. Federal law requires all employers to comply with this. Even if state law allows companies to fire someone while on workers comp, federal laws carry more weight. The employer is required to at least try to find a position for someone after he or she returns from disability leave. The only way a company can deny the person a position is if they cannot afford to pay the person to work in any position for the company.
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