If You’re Injured at Work, Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation provides partial pay for the time an employee injured on the job is out of work, as well as, reimbursement for medical bills and other expenses. When an employee is injured on the job, he or she may contemplate filing a workers’ compensation claim. But how do you file for workers’ compensation, and what are the qualifications to ensure a successful claim? If you’re considering whether you have a case for workers’ compensation, read on to have some of your questions answered.
What Are the Basics of Qualifying?
Clearly, the basis of workers’ compensation is to provide coverage for injuries that occur in connection with one’s work or in the course and scope of employment. In fact, even employees injured playing on company-affiliated sports teams have qualified for workers’ compensation. It is also a no-fault system, so it doesn’t matter whether the employee or the employer was at fault for the injury. There are basic requirements that must be met in order to qualify for workers’ compensation; specifically, that a) the company the injured person was working for had workers’ compensation insurance or was required to have it; b) the injured person was an employee of the company; and c) the injury or illness was work-related.
That Sounds Too Easy. What’s the Catch?
It really is this simple. But, there are special rules for workers in certain industries. For instance, if you are working in construction in Florida all employers must have workers compensation regardless of the number of employees. Employers who are not engaged in construction only need to carry the WC coverage if they have 4 or more employees.
I Think I Qualify. How Do I File for Benefits?
First, prioritize getting immediate medical care if that’s what your injury requires. Then, inform your employer as quickly as possible; in Florida, the time limit for doing so is only thirty (30) days. Your employer will typically cooperate with you in filing your claim (it’s in their best interests to do so) but if they don’t, reach out to the state workers’ compensation office. The next step is to fill out the paperwork given to you by your employer, who is then required to submit it to their insurance carrier. Finally, your claim will either be approved, or the insurance company or your employer will attempt to dispute your claim. The best way to avoid these obstacles is to timely report your accident and obtain immediate medical care.
Could You Be Affected?
Nobody ever wants to be involved in a workplace accident. But if you do sustain an injury while at work, consider seeking out legal counsel. At our firm, we have experiencing advising in all manner of workers’ compensation issues. If you’ve been affected by a workplace injury or have been injured and would like to discuss and explore your options, contact Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian at any of our offices in Tampa, Sarasota, and Land O’Lakes. Call toll-free at 1 (800) 227-2275 for a consultation today.