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Florida Workers Compensation
If you have been injured on the job in Florida, workers' compensation laws may entitle you to certain benefits. These benefits can include payment of medical bills, compensation while you're unable to work, vocational rehabilitation, permanent partial disability benefits or total disability benefits. Your Florida employer's workers' compensation insurance is responsible for paying these benefits.
Who Is Covered by Florida Workers' Compensation Insurance?
In Florida, workers' compensation coverage begins on your first day of employment, regardless of whether you are a part-time or full-time employee. You may still be eligible for Florida workers' compensation benefits even if you are an independent contractor or a cash employee.
All Florida businesses except those in the construction or farming industry are required to carry workers' compensation insurance if they have four or more employees. Construction companies with one or more employees must carry Florida workers' compensation insurance, and farms with five or more regular employees or 12 or more seasonal employees must also have Florida workers' compensation insurance.
What Types of Injuries Does Florida Workers' Compensation Cover?
Injuries typically covered by Florida workers' comp include:
- Traumatic physical injuries
- Repeated trauma injuries
- Mental injuries
- Occupational diseases
What Types of Florida Workers' Compensation Benefits Can You Receive?
Florida workers' compensation laws can be complicated. A Florida workers' compensation attorney in your area can explain to you the application process and help you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
Although your benefits may vary depending on what state or federal law applies, workers injured on the job--regardless of whether your employer was at fault--may be entitled to benefits that include:
- Medical care
- Temporary disability benefits designed to at least partially replace lost wages if you were unable to work for more than seven days
- Permanent disability benefits designed to at least partially replace lost wages
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Educational assistance
- Death benefits
If you receive Florida workers' compensation following an injury, you cannot sue your Florida employer for additional compensation in connection with your injury. You may, however, be able to file a lawsuit against others involved in your injury. For example, if you were injured in an automobile accident while working and the other driver was at fault, you might be able to sue the other driver. Or, if your injury was the result of a defective machine, you might be able to sue the machine manufacturer. A Florida workers' compensation lawyer can advise you of your legal options.
How Do You File for Florida Workers' Compensation Benefits?
If you're injured while at work or develop a job-related occupational disease in Florida, you should promptly seek medical treatment. Make sure to tell the doctor that your injury occurred on the job or in connection with your job.
Notify your employer of the injury or disease as soon as possible. In Florida, you'll also have to notify your employer of your work-related injury or disease in writing within 30 days.
Your Florida workers' compensation claim will be filed with the Florida Department of Financial Services' Division of Workers' Compensation.
Once you've sought medical treatment for your injury or disease, you should consider contacting a Florida workers' comp lawyer to help guide you through the process of applying for Florida workers' compensation.
Workers' Compensation for Federal Employees & Others
Federal government employees working in Florida, as well as Florida residents who worked on nuclear weapons, are maritime workers, or are coal miners would be covered under one of several federal workers' compensation programs.
- The Federal Employees' Compensation Act covers federal employees and postal workers for job-related injuries and diseases
- The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act covers U.S. Department of Energy employees, predecessor agencies, contractors, and subcontractors who are ill as a result of working with nuclear weapons
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and related acts, including the Defense Base Act, cover maritime workers
- The Black Lung Benefits Act provides compensation to miners totally disabled by black lung disease, as well as their survivors
Additional Florida Workers' Compensation Resources
The U.S. Department of Labor's Workers' Compensation information page for federal government employees