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As a Florida worker, if you are hurt on the job and unable to work, you may qualify to receive workers' compensation benefits. The following information is designed to help people identify who is and who isn’t entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
If you still have questions, please contact a Florida workers' compensation attorney at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter for clarification: (855) 880-4741.
Know the Law
Florida law requires that every employer with four or more employees carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, in the construction industry, even if there is only one employee, the employer still needs to carry workers' compensation coverage.
Only employees are eligible for benefits. This includes anyone who is:
- Under appointment or contract, whether it be oral or written
- Full-time workers
- Part-time workers
- An alien (lawfully or unlawfully employed)
- A minor
- A prisoner on a work-release program
You are not considered an employee and will not qualify for benefits unless your employer voluntarily provides workers' compensation coverage if you are:
- An independent contractor (hired for a limited time and/or not under the employers direction and control)
- A professional athlete
- A domestic worker or nanny in a private home
- A volunteer
- A casual laborer, hired for a specific job that does not last more than 10 days
As an employee, your injury must arise “out of and in the course of employment” in order for it to be covered by workers’ compensation. What this means is that your injury must take place while you are involved in an activity that is directly related your job.
For instance, if you are working at a job site such as a construction site and you are performing duties under the direction of your employer and get hurt, you will be covered.
If you are hurt during a business trip, as long as you were performing job-related tasks, your injury will be covered. You will not be covered if you are traveling to or leaving the workplace, unless you are asked to execute a specific duty en route. If you were hurt during lunch or while on break, unfortunately, this is not covered.
If you are injured on the job, it is your responsibility to notify the employer of the injury within 30 days of either:
- The date you were injured
- The date when the effects of your injury became apparent
- The date that a medical professional first diagnoses or discovered your injury
If you do not meet this deadline, you could be denied benefits indefinitely. However, failure to meet these requirements does not mean automatically you are not covered in these instances.
What Benefits Are You Entitled to Receive?
The benefits for which you are eligible depend heavily on the severity, circumstances and date of your accident. Generally speaking, you are entitled to any necessary medical and related treatment. You may also be eligible for any lost wages while you are unable to work, typically at a reduced rate.
Also, depending on your age, education, work history, and permanent work restrictions, or if you can no longer work at all, you may be eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits.
If you live in the Orlando area and were injured on the job, you have the right to be fairly compensated. Serving Daytona, Melbourne and Orlando, the Florida workers compensation attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter will fight to get you the benefits you deserve. Please contact us by phone at (855) 880-4741 or online today to schedule a workers’ compensation consultation.