Workers’ compensation coverage is designed to provide workers in FL who suffer an illness or injury while on the job with medical benefits so they are able to receive the necessary care they need to treat their condition. It also pays an injured or ill worker a portion of their income if they are unable to resume their duties given they qualify for it. While most employers in the State of Florida are required to carry workers’ comp insurance in the event one of their employees suffers an injury in an accident, some are exempt from having to carry this type of insurance coverage.
In the State of FL, the following employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance:
- Employers who work in an industry aside from construction who employ four or more employees either full-time or part-time.
- Employers in the construction industry who have one or more employees (including themselves).
- If an “employer is a state or local government, [they are] required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
- If an “employer is a farmer, and has more than five regular employees and/or 12 or more other workers for seasonal agricultural labor lasting 30 days or more, [they are] required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.”
[Source: Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation].
If your employer is one that is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, then you will need to notify them of the accident within 30 days from when it happened. Once they are notified, a claim will be filed with their insurance carrier so that you are able to take advantage of the medical benefits they provide. You can expect your employer’s insurer to do the following:
- Provide you with an authorized physician you can seek treatment from.
- Provide you with a one-time change of physician within five business days after receiving your written request.
- Pay for all the authorized medical care and treatment that is related to your injury or illness. This includes:
- Doctors visits
- Travel expenses you incur when you travel to and from your visits with your authorized physician or to the pharmacy.
- Physical therapy
- Medical tests
- Prescription drugs
Workers’ Compensation Sometimes Provides Wage Replacement Benefits
If your injury or illness has left you disabled for more than seven calendar days resultingin you being unable to work, you may qualify to receive wage replacement benefits. Most employees who qualify to receive these benefits receive an amount that is equal to “two-thirds of [their] pre-injury regular weekly wage, but the benefit will not be higher than Florida’s average weekly wage” [Source: Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation]. Most workers receive their first check “within 21 days after the carrier becomes aware of your injury or illness and bi-weekly thereafter.”
What if my employer’s insurance carrier denies my claim?
There are times when an employee who is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits is denied access to them. When this happens, it is important that you take immediate action. One of the first things you might consider doing is contacting the Employee Assistance Office (EAO) at 1-800-342-1741 to speak with a specialist who can provide you with information pertaining to your rights and responsibilities. While the EAO can provide you with some useful information, it cannot provide you with legal advice so it would be wise to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Miami, FL to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your workers’ compensation benefits or you are having a hard time obtaining them, you can always call Mario Trespalacios P.A. for legal advice and guidance on how to address and resolve the matter.
Mario Trespalacios P.A. can be reached at:
9495 SW 72 Street, Suite B-275
Miami, FL 33173