Florida’s workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that benefits employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. It covers medical expenses, lost wages, and disability payments.
Florida Workers’ Compensation: Degree of Impairment
The degree of impairment refers to the severity of a person’s physical or mental limitations resulting from an injury or illness. In the context of workers’ compensation, it is used to determine the disability benefits that an injured worker may receive.
Impairment ratings are assigned by medical professionals using various standardized evaluation methods, and they can range from partial to total disability. The degree of impairment is crucial in determining the settlement amount for workers’ comp claims.
In Florida, impairment ratings are assigned using the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to evaluate Permanent Impairment. These guides provide a standardized approach to evaluate and assign impairment ratings based on various medical factors, such as the severity of the injury, the impact on the worker’s ability to perform daily tasks, and any residual functional limitations.
Impairment ratings can range from 0% to 100%, with higher ratings indicating more severe impairments. The impairment rating is then used to calculate the disability benefits the injured worker may receive. It is important to note that impairment ratings are just one of several factors considered when determining a workers’ comp settlement in Florida.
Maximum Medical Improvement
In Florida workers’ compensation, MMA refers to the Maximum Medical Improvement. It is the point at which an injured worker’s medical condition has stabilized, and further medical treatment is unlikely to improve their condition significantly.
At this point, the worker may be evaluated to determine if they have any permanent disabilities resulting from their injury or illness. If the worker has a permanent disability, an impairment rating may be assigned, and their compensation benefits may be adjusted accordingly. If the worker has no permanent disability, they may be cleared to return to work without any restrictions.
Once workers reach the MMA, their compensation benefits may change. If they have a permanent disability, they may receive ongoing disability payments, vocational rehabilitation, or other benefits.
If they are cleared to return to work without restrictions, their temporary total disability benefits may end, and they may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits if they can work but at a lower wage than their pre-injury job. The specific benefits and how they are adjusted will depend on the individual circumstances of the worker’s case.
Florida Workers’ Compensation for a Lost Body Part
In Florida workers’ compensation, the value of a lost body part is determined based on the lost body part, the employee’s average weekly wage, and the compensation rate for the employee’s injury.
Florida law sets out specific compensation rates for different body parts, expressed as a number of weeks of compensation.
Here are the compensation rates for some common lost body parts in Florida workers’ compensation:
- Arm: 249 weeks of compensation
- Hand: 185 weeks of compensation
- Fingers (index, middle, ring): 20-35 weeks of compensation each
- Thumb: 75 weeks of compensation
- Leg: 275 weeks of compensation
- Foot: 144 weeks of compensation
- Toes (big, other): 10-20 weeks of compensation each
- Eye: 275 weeks of compensation
- Ear: 75 weeks of compensation
- Hearing (one ear): 52 weeks of compensation
- Hearing (both ears): 200 weeks of compensation
It’s important to note that these compensation rates may change over time and may not apply in all situations. The specific compensation that an injured worker may receive for a lost body part will depend on the specific details of their case.
As of 2021, the maximum compensation rate in Florida is $1,011 per week. Based on this maximum compensation rate, here are the potential maximum compensation amounts for some common lost body parts in Florida workers’ compensation:
- Arm: $249,249
- Hand: $187,035
- Leg: $278,025
- Foot: $139,013
- Eye: $278,025
- Ear: $75,825
- Hearing (both ears): $200,220
It’s important to note that these are only the potential maximum compensation amounts, and the actual compensation amount for a lost body part will depend on the case’s specific circumstances, such as the employee’s average weekly wage and the nature and extent of the injury. Other benefits, such as medical and vocational rehabilitation, may also be available to the employee.
The Importance of Knowing What You Are Entitled To After a Workplace Injury
Knowing the compensation rates for lost body parts under Florida workers’ compensation is important because it can help injured workers understand their potential benefits and the financial support they may be entitled to receive after a work-related injury.
Knowing the potential compensation amount can also help injured workers and their families plan for their future and make informed decisions about their medical treatment and rehabilitation.
In addition, understanding the compensation rates for lost body parts can also help injured workers navigate the workers’ compensation process and advocate for their rights. By being aware of the potential compensation amounts, injured workers can ensure that they receive fair and just compensation for their injuries and that their rights under the law are protected.
Contact Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, for Help with Your Florida Workers’ Compensation Case
If you’ve been injured on the job in Florida and are struggling to navigate the complicated and often frustrating workers’ compensation system, you don’t have to go through it alone. We understand how daunting it can be to try and handle everything yourself while also trying to recover from your injuries.
Our legal team at Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, provides the help and expertise needed to handle workers’ compensation cases in Florida. We can provide the guidance and representation needed to secure fair compensation for your injuries.
After an on-the-job injury, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the paperwork, medical appointments, and seemingly endless phone calls with insurance adjusters. The workers’ compensation lawyers at our law firm can handle these tasks for you and know how to communicate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Working with a qualified attorney can significantly impact your workers’ compensation case. Not only can we help you navigate the legal process, but we can also provide invaluable guidance on issues like medical treatment and rehabilitation. We will also ensure you understand the value of your case and what you may be entitled to in terms of compensation.
When you work with our experienced and compassionate workers’ compensation attorneys at Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, you can have peace of mind knowing that your rights are protected and that you have someone in your corner fighting for your best interests. Don’t hesitate to contact us for help with your Florida workers’ compensation case.