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Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Basics

Workers’ compensation laws first made an appearance in the United States in the early 1900s in response to concerns that employees injured at work were not being treated fairly especially in light of the fact that workers had little bargaining power and seldom prevailed in court against employers, which generally had the law on their side.

Cornell University Law School [1] provides that workers’ compensation laws protect people who are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation is designed to protect workers and their dependents against the hardships from injury or death arising out of the work environment. It is intended to benefit the employee and employer alike. The employee receives money and medical benefits in exchange for forfeiting the common law right to sue the employer. The employer benefits by receiving immunity from court actions against them by the employee in exchange for accepting liability that is limited and determined and the question of negligence or fault is not usually an issue. Some laws also protect employers and fellow workers by limiting the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer and by eliminating the liability of co-workers in most accidents.

State statutes, like Title XXXI, Chapter 40 [2], in the state of Florida, establish this framework for most types of employment, while federal statutes are limited to federal employees or those workers employed in some significant aspect of interstate commerce.  In Florida, the Division of Workers’ Compensation, within the Department of Financial Services, is the primary regulator for ensuring employees receive the proper benefits under this coverage, which includes benefits for medical expenses, disability, or death.  Section 440.015 [3] of the statute provides, in part, as follows:

“It is the intent of the Legislature that the Workers’ Compensation Law be interpreted so as to assure the quick and efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to an injured worker and to facilitate the worker’s return to gainful reemployment at a reasonable cost to the employer. It is the specific intent of the Legislature that workers’ compensation cases shall be decided on their merits. The workers’ compensation system in Florida is based on a mutual renunciation of common-law rights and defenses by employers and employees alike. In addition, it is the intent of the Legislature that the facts in a workers’ compensation case are not to be interpreted liberally in favor of either the rights of the injured worker or the rights of the employer…”

Benefits for Employees

The State of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer [4] provides that an injured employee may be entitled to some or all of the following:

  • Medical bills –
  • An authorized primary doctor and specialist when medically necessary.
  • Medically necessary care and treatment related to the injury such as doctor’s visits, hospitalization, physical therapy, medical tests, prescription drugs and prostheses.
  • Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from the doctor and pharmacy.
  • Lost wages
  • Death benefits —    If a work-related death occurs within one year of the date of accident or     five years of continuous disability, the following benefits may be due and    payable up to a maximum total of $150,000.

–      Funeral expenses up to $7,500.
–      Compensation to dependents, as defined by law.
–      Educational benefits to a surviving spouse.

    • Ambulance/hospital services
    • Compensation for permanent impairment
    • Reeducation and training

Contact a Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Because of the complexity of the laws 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 employment attorneys can assist with the filing of a complaint with the employer’s human resources department, if applicable, or to file a complaint with an outside agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Not having a job is stressful, especially if you were wrongfully terminated. Contact our workers’ compensation 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 3375
(727) 451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/workers-compensation-attorneys/

References:

[1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/Workers_compensation
[2] https://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0440/0440.html
[3] https://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0440/Sections/0440.015.html
[4] https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/wc/employee/benefits.htm