Every state in the United States handles workers’ compensation a bit differently. This means that covered benefits and benefit levels will differ from state to state, and Florida is no exception. Workers’ compensation is intended to reduce litigation between workers and employers while guaranteeing employees receive adequate medical care. It also ensures that employees are reimbursed for some of their lost wages while they are recovering from an injury.
In the state of Florida, workers’ compensation covers all medical care that is necessary to treat a work-related injury. The medical care must be prescribed by the treating physician and authorized by the workers’ compensation insurance company. Medical care is an umbrella term which covers the following:
- Visits to an approved doctor
- Medical tests and x-rays
- Dental care
- Braces or crutches
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative therapies
- Prescription drug costs
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to the doctor and pharmacy (in some cases)
Available benefits can include:
- Temporary total disability – these benefits may kick in when the treating doctor determines you are unable to work because of a work-related injury or illness, paying two-thirds of your average weekly wages. You will not receive these benefits for the first seven days unless your disability lasts more than 21 days. If your workplace injury was particularly severe, you could be entitled to 80 percent of your average weekly wages for up to six months.
- Temporary partial disability – these benefits may be paid if your physician says you can return to work, but with restrictions. If you are unable to earn 80 percent of the weekly wages you were earning at the time of your accident, you will be paid 80 percent of the difference between 80 percent of your current earnings and your prior earnings. The maximum amount of time to receive temporary partial disability is 104 weeks.
- Permanent total disability benefits – these benefits are only applicable if you have reached maximum medical improvement, and your condition is not expected to improve. Your permanent total disability benefits are based on the severity of your disability.
The intent of Florida workers’ compensation laws is to ensure that you return to work as quickly as the doctor says you are able. If your workplace currently has more than 50 employees, your employer must make a good faith effort to return you to work with restrictions after you have reached maximum medical improvement. To ensure that you receive the Florida workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to, report your job-related injury or illness to your supervisor as quickly as possible and see the doctor chosen by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Work with An Experienced Florida Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve been injured at work, you need an experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer on your side from the start. A Florida workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the workers’ compensation claims process so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re making any critical mistakes.
Contact Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. online or at (561) 687-5660 today for a free consultation. We offer evening and weekend appointments in our offices in Palm Beach County, Martin County, and Orlando.