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Is My Work-Related Injury Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

worker helping injured co-worker after accident on duty

Workers’ compensation is designed to protect employees who are injured on the job by allowing them to receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages. In Florida, all employers with four or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance with some—but few—exceptions. Additionally, all construction companies in the state that employ at least one person and all public employers must provide workers’ compensation.

Most work-related injuries are covered under Florida workers’ compensation laws. Unlike with other types of personal injury claims, in order to file a workers’ comp claim, you do not need to show that your employer was negligent. Instead, you need only prove that your injury occurred while you were working.

Some types of work-related accidents and injuries commonly covered by workers’ compensation include:

  • Commercial vehicle accidents, such as delivery truck or big rig collisions
  • Occupational illnesses, including asbestosis and mesothelioma
  • Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Injuries caused by defective tools, machinery, or equipment
  • Slip and fall injuries that occur in the workplace
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals and/or toxic substances
  • Burns and other injuries caused by workplace fires or explosions
  • Injuries that result from improper safety procedures, training, supervision, etc.

What Benefits Are Available?

In Florida, workers’ compensation essentially works as a form of wage replacement. A workers’ compensation claim allows you to recover for medical bills and lost wages, but it does not allow you to seek compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or other noneconomic damages.

Depending on the severity of your injuries and your ability to work, you may be able to receive the following benefits:

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): Equal to 66 2/3% of your average weekly wages, up to 80% for “critical injuries”
  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): Equal to 80% of the difference between 80% of your pre-injury and post-injury wages
  • Impairment Benefits: Payments determined based on your “impairment rating,” which can be calculated with the Impairment Income Benefit Calculator

It is important to note that, if you make more than $20 a week, there is a maximum weekly compensation of $863, regardless of how much you earn. In other words, you cannot get more than $863 a week with workers’ compensation.

If you were severely injured on the job that you are now unable to work at all, you will likely qualify for TTD benefits. If, however, you are able to return to work at partial capacity, you may still be able to obtain TPD benefits.

Filing for Workers’ Compensation in Florida

In order to get your workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to act fairly quickly. In most cases, you only have 30 days from the date of the accident or the date you knew you were injured (or reasonably should have known you were injured) to report your injuries to your employer. In any case, you have a maximum of two years to file for workers’ compensation in Florida, but the sooner you report your injuries and file a claim, the sooner you can begin receiving your benefits.

Typically, workers’ compensation benefits will begin on the eighth day of missed work. If, however, your injuries cause you to be unable to work for more than 21 days, you can petition to receive benefits for that first week of disability.

If you need help filing for workers’ compensation, or if your claim has been denied, Politis & Matovina, P.A. can help. We encourage you to reach out to us for a consultation with one of our Daytona Beach workers’ compensation lawyers.

Call us at (386) 333-6613 or submit an online contact form today.