Florida, like other states, has a workers’ compensation system that requires most employers to carry insurance to provide financial benefits to employees injured on the job. Those benefits include reimbursement for medical treatment and for wages lost due to missing work. If you are employed in Florida, it is essential to make sure you are covered by workers’ compensation and to take the necessary steps to obtain the benefits you deserve.
To begin with, be aware that not all Florida employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Employers must do so only if one of the following applies:
The inclusion of all construction companies in the law’s mandate is due to the inherently dangerous nature of the work.
If you’re covered by workers’ comp insurance and are injured or suffer an illness on the job, you must notify your employer within 30 days of the injury or within 30 days of your learning of the illness from a doctor, if it was not apparent otherwise. If possible, you should report your injury before you seek treatment, if possible, because your employer’s insurer must authorize payment to your treating doctors.
Florida recognizes some exceptions to the 30-day notice requirement, including these situations:
However, relying on an exception makes proving your eligibility more difficult. You might have to go through a difficult appeals process to get any benefits.
There are legal time limits for claiming workers’ comp benefits. You must file a claim within two years of your injury. However, the sooner you report your injury and file a claim, the sooner you are likely to get the benefits to which you are entitled.
If your employer disputes your right to workers’ compensation coverage or contests the validity of a claim, be sure to consult with a skilled and knowledgeable Florida workers’ compensation attorney. The lawyer can review your case, determine if you qualify and make sure that you meet all the required time limits. If you are already past the 30-day notice deadline, your attorney may be able to qualify you under one of the exceptions to that deadline.
Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis assists injured Florida workers in all aspects of workers’ compensation, including appeals from denial of claims. Please call 561-471-2800 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at one of our offices, located in West Palm Beach and Stuart.