An Experienced West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Shares 7 Facts About Workers’ Compensation

Being injured on the job can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. Aside from the physical pain, you may be worried about managing your medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, workers’ compensation can provide financial assistance and help cover costs like medical bills and lost wages.

However, navigating the Florida workers’ compensation system can be challenging, especially when facing it for the first time. For example, missing important deadlines can cost you your benefits, so being well-informed is crucial.

At DiBiaggio Law, we understand you may have questions. In this blog, our West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer shares seven facts about Florida workers’ compensation you may not know.

If you, unfortunately, suffer an injury on the job and have questions about your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (561) 473-9800 to schedule a FREE consultation with an experienced and compassionate West Palm Beach workers’ comp attorney. Let us guide you through the process and help secure the benefits you’re entitled to receive. You don’t need to suffer alone!

The Basics of Workers’ Compensation

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Before reviewing some facts about workers’ compensation, it’s helpful to understand some basics. Workers’ compensation in Florida is a state-mandated insurance program that provides financial assistance and medical benefits to employees who have suffered work-related injuries or illnesses.

The program is designed to protect both employees and employers, as it helps injured workers receive the care and support they need while also protecting employers from potential lawsuits related to workplace injuries.

This insurance is paid for by employers to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with work-related injuries and illnesses.

Who Is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

Most employees in West Palm Beach and across Florida are covered under workers’ compensation. This includes full-time, part-time, and temporary workers.

Independent contractors and some other categories of workers may not be covered. It’s important to verify your eligibility for workers’ compensation based on your specific employment status and occupation.

Types of Benefits Available

Workers’ compensation benefits include the following:

  • Medical care for work-related injury or illness
  • Temporary disability benefits for lost wages
  • Permanent disability benefits for long-term impairments
  • Reemployment Services to help you return to work or find a new job
  • Death benefits for the family of a worker who has died due to a work-related injury or illness

You can read more about workers’ compensation here. Next, let’s go over seven facts about workers’ compensation in Florida.

Fact 1: Not All Injuries Are Covered

Criteria for Eligibility

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, the injury must have occurred during employment and be directly related to the job. The injury must also be severe enough to require medical treatment and prevent the employee from working for a certain period.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are exceptions to the rule, such as self-inflicted injuries, injuries sustained under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or those resulting from horseplay or intentional misconduct.

Fact 2: Missing Important Deadlines Can Cost You Your Benefits

Reporting the Injury

You must report your work-related injury or illness to your employer within 30 days of the incident or within 30 days of becoming aware that your condition is work-related. Failure to report within this timeframe may result in the denial of your workers’ compensation benefits.

Statute of Limitations

In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim is typically two years from the date of the injury or the date you became aware that your injury or illness was work-related.

Failing to file a claim within this period may lead to the denial of your benefits.. We recommend consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights.

Fact 3: Workers’ Compensation Is Not the Same as a Lawsuit

No-Fault System

Florida workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning employees can receive benefits regardless of who caused the injury. There is no need to prove negligence on the part of the employer.

Benefits and Limitations

Workers’ compensation provides medical coverage, wage replacement, and other benefits but does not provide compensation for pain and suffering. In most cases, employees cannot sue their employer for additional damages.

However, there are certain situations in which an employee might be able to sue their employer, such as when the employer intentionally caused harm, engaged in gross negligence, or failed to provide workers’ compensation coverage as required by law.

Fact 4: Pre-existing Conditions Can Affect Your Claim

Aggravation of a Pre-existing Condition

If a work-related injury aggravates or exacerbates a pre-existing condition, the injured employee may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the employee must prove that the work-related injury is a major contributing cause to their current condition.

Impact on Benefits

A pre-existing condition could affect the amount and duration of benefits you receive. Insurance carriers may attempt to attribute a portion of your disability to the pre-existing condition, potentially reducing the benefits you’re entitled to receive.

Fact 5: Workers’ Compensation Settlements Are Possible

Negotiating a Settlement

In some cases, an injured employee and the insurance carrier may agree to settle a workers’ compensation claim. A settlement can be negotiated at any time during the claims process.

It typically involves a lump-sum payment or structured payments in exchange for the employee relinquishing their right to future benefits related to the injury.

Seeking Legal Advice

Before accepting a settlement, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney. They can help you determine if the settlement offer is fair and in your best interest, considering your current and future medical needs and potential wage loss.

Fact 6: Receiving Benefits Doesn’t Mean You’re Set for Life

Types of Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to provide financial support while an employee recovers from a work-related injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, employees may receive temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, or permanent total disability benefits.

Reevaluating Eligibility

Benefits are not guaranteed for life. The employee’s eligibility may be reevaluated at any time, and benefits can be modified, suspended, or terminated based on changes in their medical condition, work status, or other factors.

Fact 7: Returning to Work Isn’t Always the End of Your Benefits

Light Duty Work

In some cases, an injured employee may return to work on light duty or with modified job responsibilities. If the employee earns less than before the injury, they may still be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits to help make up the difference.

Continued Benefits

Even after returning to work, an employee may continue to receive medical benefits related to their injury. These benefits can continue as long as the treatment is deemed medically necessary and authorized by the employer or insurance carrier.

Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

A: Florida law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. If you believe you have been unfairly terminated, consult with an attorney.

Q: What happens if my employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance?

A: If your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance but fails to do so, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against them for damages.

Q: Can I receive workers’ compensation benefits if I am at fault for my injury?

A: In most cases, yes. Florida’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, meaning employees can receive benefits regardless of who caused the injury unless exceptions apply.

Q: Are emotional or psychological injuries covered by workers’ compensation?

A: In Florida, mental or nervous injuries may be covered if they are directly related to a physical injury. Standalone emotional or psychological injuries are generally not covered.

Q: How long do I have to work for my employer before I am eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

A: No minimum length of employment is required to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida. As long as your injury occurred during your employment and met the necessary criteria, you may be entitled to benefits regardless of how long you have been employed.

Injured on the Job? Call DiBiaggio Law – Your Experienced West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Don’t let the complexities of the workers’ compensation system hold you back from getting the support you need. Were you injured on the job and have questions about your rights and benefits? No need to spend time searching online for a “workers’ compensation attorney near me,” reach out to our experienced team at DiBiaggio Law instead.

We’ll help you navigate the legal process with confidence and work diligently to ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to receive. Let DiBiaggio Law be your advocate and guide during this challenging time if you’ve been injured on the job. You don’t need to suffer alone!

DiBiaggio Law is based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and has served clients in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties for nearly 30 years. Call us at (561) 473-9800 or complete our online form to schedule your FREE consultation with a knowledgeable and empathetic West Palm Beach workers’ comp attorney.

Copyright © 2023. DiBiaggio Law. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

DiBiaggio Law
605 Belvedere Road, Suite 17
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
(561) 473-9800
https://www.dibiaggiolaw.com

Posted in

Deirdre DiBiaggio

Scroll To Top