Florida Workers’ Compensation Claims
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UPDATED: Mar 10, 2020
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Florida workers’ compensation claims are designed to provide a financial safety net to Florida workers who are injured or become ill on the job. Florida workers’ compensation can include income replacement benefits, permanent disability benefits, and reimbursement for medical treatment and other expenses. Florida workers’ compensation claims must be submitted to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation within a strict time period or else the worker may lose the right to receive benefits.
Note that in Florida, workers’ compensation insurance must be carried by any employer who has four or more employees, which means that most workers will be covered without a problem. However, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for independent contractors. The Florida workers’ compensation system exists outside of the traditional legal system, theoretically making the workers’ compensation process more manageable. In practice, however, the success and ease of filing your claim will depend on a number of factors, including whether or not your employer had workers’ compensation insurance at the time of your injury or illness.
Process for Florida Workers’ Compensation Claims
The following steps must be followed in Florida by those wishing to file a Florida workers’ compensation claim.
Notify Your Boss of the Injury or Illness as Soon as Possible
You must notify your manager, supervisor, or employer that you have become ill or have been injured within 30 days of the date the accident occurred or from the first signs of your illness appearing. Failure to notify your boss may result in your becoming ineligible to receive Florida workers’ compensation benefits, or at least a delay in the receipt of your benefits.
Seek Medical Attention without Delay
The medical provider treating you for your work-related injury should be notified that your illness or injury is connected to your job in some way. Evidence provided by the treating doctor can hold great significance if you later need to prove that your injury is work-related in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Submit Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
You should file your workers’ compensation claim with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation as soon as possible after you are injured or become ill. In any case, you must file your claim for Florida workers’ compensation within 2 years of your injury or illness, or you will risk losing income replacement benefits and healthcare benefits, among other workers’ compensation benefits.
If you have further questions or concerns about filing a Florida workers’ compensation claim, or if your Florida workers’ compensation claim has been disputed or denied, consider consulting an experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer.
Reasons to Hire a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Florida workers’ compensation attorneys are experts at recovering benefits for employees injured at work or who develop diseases because of workplace conditions. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you in proving the extent of your injury, fighting an uncooperative, underinsured or uninsured employer, and/or meeting filing deadlines for your claim. An experienced attorney also has the skills to argue your claim in front of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Division if your workers’ compensation claim is contested or denied. If your injury is serious and potentially long-term, it’s especially important to hire a Florida workers’ compensation attorney to fight for your rights, as the stakes are high and the consequences can be far-reaching.