Florida Statute Title XXXI, Section 440.185 provides that an individual can seek workers’ compensation only where the injury was work-related. The statute specifically provides that to qualify for workers’ compensation, the individual must suffer an “injury arising out of and in the course of employment.” The definition of “in the course of employment” can be more difficult to define in some work-related contexts or in connection with some types of injuries:
- Company Events: Injuries sustained at company events or parties are usually covered by workers’ compensation.
- Diseases: If an employee acquires a disease or illness that was caused as a result of the employment, then the individual is likely entitled to workers’ compensation.
- Lunch Breaks: Injuries or illnesses that occur while an employee is taking a lunch break are not usually covered under workers’ compensation. If an employee was traveling to pick up lunch, including that of a supervisor, then an argument could be made that the injury should be covered under workers’ compensation.
- Hearing Loss: When individuals work in noisy environments they oftentimes suffer hearing loss over time. Unless there is another medical reason or basis for the hearing loss, such an injury is generally covered by workers’ compensation.
- Travel: If a person is injured on their commute to or from work, the injury is not likely covered by workers’ compensation as it is not work related nor did the injury occur during the hours of employment. However, if an individual is traveling as a requirement of their employment, the injuries will likely be covered.
Employee Requirements After a Clearwater Work Related Injury
The State of Florida Workers’ Compensation Guide sets forth several guidelines that must be followed by a Florida employee after work-related injury:
If you have an accident or are injured on the job you must:
- Tell the employer that an injury has occurred as soon as possible. The law requires that the employee report the accident or the knowledge of a job-related injury within 30 days of the knowledge of the accident or injury.
- Ask the employer what doctor can be seen because an employee must see a doctor authorized by the employer or the insurance company.
- If it is an emergency and the employer is not available to confirm eligible doctors and medical facilities, go to the nearest emergency room and let the employer know as soon as possible what has happened.
- Within 3-5 business days after the accident is reported, the employee should receive an informational brochure explaining rights and obligations.
Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If a workers’ compensation claim is allowed, the employee will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include medical benefits, compensation for lost wages, and compensation for permanent, partial or total disability. The employer is required to pay for medical treatment necessary to treat the employee’s conditions related to the workplace injury or occupational disease. This includes doctor’s visits, physical therapy, hospital visits, prescription medication, and diagnostic tests.
When an employee is unable to return to work at their previous job, working the same hours as before the workers’ compensation claim, the employee is entitled to temporary disability benefits. The amount of these benefits depends on how long the individual is disabled and the severity of the injuries. Alternatively, if the doctor says that the employee can return to work with restrictions, they may receive temporary partial disability benefits.
Contact a Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Insurance companies and employers will frequently try to deny and minimize the benefits paid out to employees who were injured on the job. They will often claim that workers’ injuries developed outside the realm of employment or that their injuries are not serious. To ensure that you are treated fairly in this situation and are offered the benefits you deserve, it is important to obtain legal counsel.
Because of the complex nature of the rules and regulations applicable to workmen’s compensation, if you sustain an injury while working, it is important to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your rights and legal remedies. At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled workers’ compensation attorneys can assist after you have sustained a work-related injury. Being injured on the job is stressful enough. Contact our workers’ compensation attorneys to discuss your legal options and to receive your rightful compensation. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765