Workers' Compensation Law
Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws
As every Floridian knows, the Sunshine State spends far more time hard at work than it does lounging on the beach. With all this work, comes the risk of workplace injuries, and the possibility of expensive medical treatment and time away from your job.
Florida’s workers’ compensation rules regulate the protections a worker has when they are injured through their work. It explains the benefits they could receive and the process they must follow to receive compensation. Whether you are a hospitality worker in Orlando or a nurse in St. Petersburg, understanding workers’ compensation is important to protect your rights when the worst happens.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
Florida’s workers’ compensation laws provide compensation when a worker is injured during the course of their employment – whether in a single accident or through continual exposure to a dangerous condition at their work. This includes, for example, a worker that slips from a ladder while stacking shelves in a company warehouse, and a salesperson who injures their back while lifting things for a company’s event in a different city.
Workers’ compensation can cover:
- Medical expenses related to treatment and rehabilitation
- Benefits to cover a proportion of lost wages while injured
- Death benefits
Workers’ compensation can also cover financial support for a worker to retrain when their injury makes it impossible for them to return to their previous livelihood.
Florida law says that mental and nervous injuries are not considered as employment-related injuries unless they are accompanied by a physical injury. Injuries related to regular traveling to or from a place of employment, or an injury during a company social occasion, are also not likely to be covered by workers’ compensation.
What is the process for claiming workers’ compensation in Florida?
There are two workers’ compensation deadlines every worker should be aware of:
- An employee should inform their employer of an injury within 30 days of the incident that caused it. If they have an illness or condition caused by their employment over a period of time, they must inform their employer within 30 days of being given a medical opinion that the condition is linked to their work.
- A worker must submit their claim for workers’ compensation benefits within two years.
Most employers in Florida are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover claims after a worker sustains a workplace injury. The insurance company will specify a doctor to examine the injuries or condition.
If a claim is accepted, compensation is not payable for the first seven days of the injury. However, if the injury results in a disability which last over 21 days, the compensation will be back-dated to when the injury was first reported.
Workers’ compensation claims might be rejected or delayed if the insurance company disputes aspects of your case, or if you believe you have been misdiagnosed. Workers should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney, who will be able to advise you on your options and rights.