What is Florida Worker’s Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that reimburses workers for lost wages and medical bills if they are injured while working for their employer. Often times, these benefits are in exchange for the employee giving up their right to sue their employer for negligence, but not always. Workers’ compensation coverage is purchased by the employer or business in order to protect their employees, and themselves, from job-related injuries and illnesses. Florida law requires almost all employers to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. Workers’ compensation in Florida compensates employees for work-related injuries regardless of fault.
What does Florida workers’ comp cover?
In Florida, the Division of Workers’ Compensation within the Department of Financial Services is tasked with ensuring employees receive the proper worker’s comp benefits which includes:
- benefits for medical expenses
- disability payments
- and compensation for work-related death.
How much compensation does Florida worker’s comp cover?
The amount of compensation is dependent on the type of injury, severity, and other relating factors as determined by Florida law.
Florida workers’ compensation covers:
- Injury caused by a sudden accident
- Injuries due to repeated physical
- Physical conditions that are aggravated by workplace conditions
Which Clearwater injuries are work-related?
Employees are protected by workers’ compensation as long as the injury happened “in the course of employment.” The legal definition of when you are working, for workers’ compensation purposes, has expanded in recent years to cover a greater number of injuries. For example, employees who were injured playing baseball or football on a company-affiliated team have been allowed to collect workers’ compensation benefits for those injuries.
Pinellas County Repetitive Motion Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation
In a typical year, more than six million work-related injuries and illnesses occur in the United States. The most rapidly growing category of workplace injuries is caused by repetitive motions of the body. These occupational pains go by many names and acronyms, including repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs), and repeated motion injuries (RMIs). Fortunately, work-related cumulative motion injuries are typically covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
The most common form of repetitive stress injury, which primarily afflicts the wrists, hands, and forearms, is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Other parts of the body are also susceptible to injury when used repeatedly to perform motions beyond the specifications for which nature designed them. If detected early, injuries caused by repeated motions can often be cured by a short period of rest, light medication, and rehabilitative exercise. The most serious cases, however, can escalate to lifelong physical disabilities.
Clearwater Stress-Related Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
Illnesses that are the gradual result of work conditions such as emotional illness and stress-related digestive problems are increasingly recognized by the courts in some states as covered by workers’ compensation insurance. According to the American Institute for Preventative Medicine, stress is at the root of nearly two-thirds of all office visits and plays a major role in heart disease and cancer. Unfortunately, Florida is not among the list of states that includes stress related injuries.
Florida’s Division of Workers’ Compensation provides:
“The law does not provide compensation for the following conditions:
- a mental or nervous injury due to stress, fright, or excitement;
- a work related condition that causes an employee to have fear or dislike for another individual because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap;
- “pain and suffering” has never been compensable in Florida, nor is it compensable in any other state. The employer may not sue an injured worker for causing a catastrophe nor can the injured worker sue the employer for their injury. This trade-off makes it possible for injured workers to receive immediate medical care, at no cost to the injured worker, without any consideration for who was at fault, the employer or the In civil law, negligence must be established through litigation before any compensation is awarded.”
Section 440.02(1), Florida Statutes
Clearwater Deaths related to or caused by Work
Dependents of a worker who was killed on the job or who dies as a result of a work related injury or illness are almost always eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Those dependents include a spouse, children, or other family members. 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 the surviving spouse
Florida law requires employers to pay the deceased worker’s dependents a percentage of the worker’s average weekly wages. Dependents are often the spouse, children, parents, siblings and grandchildren left behind. The percentage of death benefits paid depends on the particular family relationship of the dependent, whether a spouse, child, parent or sibling
Contact a Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Because of the complexity of the laws applicable to workmen’s compensation, if you, or someone that you know, 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 you to receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. 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 3375