On-the-job injuries can happen at any time and in any occupation. Lost wages, medical bills, and the impacts of either temporary or permanent disabilities can create an enormous hardship for both injured workers and their families. Fortunately, if you have been injured on the job, workers’ compensation is there to help. Understanding your rights concerning workers’ compensation benefits, as well as what these benefits cover, can help to ease the stress and anxiety that go along with these types of injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Are You Covered?
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job. In exchange for receiving these benefits, workers generally waive the right to sue their employers for damages that result from their injuries. Under Florida law, employers who are required to carry workers’ compensation include:
- State and local governments;
- Construction industry employers with more than one employee;
- General industry employers with more than four employees; and
- Farms with more than five regular employees or 12 seasonal workers employed for 30 days or more.
Under the workers’ compensation program, employers agree to cover injuries an employee suffers at work. Workers are covered regardless of the cause of their injury, including accidents that occurred due to a worker’s carelessness. An employer does have the right to deny benefits, though, if a worker was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when injured, if the injuries were self-inflicted, or if the injuries resulted from a violation of company policy.
Types of Benefits
Through workers’ compensation, employers contract with various insurance carriers in order to provide both medical and financial benefits to their injured employees. Medical benefits are provided through an authorized doctor or specialist, and include all services that are deemed medically necessary to treat the injury. Medical treatments may include doctor visits, hospital visits, x-rays and other diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, and physical therapy. Additionally, workers’ compensation benefits will provide reimbursement for transportation costs to and from medical providers.
In addition to medical benefits, workers’ compensation insurance provides valuable financial help to workers who are seriously injured. There are several types of financial benefits offered by workers’ compensation which are dependent on the type and extent of your injury:
- Temporary partial disability covers situations in which you can return to work, but are unable to perform the work you did prior to the injury;
- Temporary total disability covers injuries that prevent you from working for a period of time;
- Impairment benefits covers injuries that result in permanent impairment;
- Permanent total disability benefits is provided for injuries that leave you permanently disabled and unable to work; and
- Death benefits provide financial benefits for families of workers killed on the job, or who died as the result of their injuries.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you or a loved one suffers an on-the-job injury, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys immediately. At Hogan Frick, we understand how devastating on-the-job injuries can be on both the injured person as well as their loved ones. Our attorneys will fight for your rights to get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.