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Florida Workers Compensation After Workplace Injury

  • Synopsis: Published: 2011-03-31 - Florida law allows injured workers to seek compensation for injuries or illnesses they suffer while on the job. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Friedman Rodman & Frank PA.

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Florida law allows injured workers to seek compensation for injuries or illnesses they suffer while on the job.

Managed through by the Workers' Compensation Division of the Florida Department of Financial Services, scores of injured employees can receive benefits to compensate them for the income they would have received if they were able to work. This article highlights the basics of workers' compensation, as well as an employee's rights and obligations in processing a claim

State law requires that any on-the-job injury be reported to an employer within 30 days. You can ask about whether you may see a doctor approved by your employer or one authorized by their insurance company. After reporting the injury, many insurance companies will have an adjuster contact you to explain your rights and obligations during the process. Once informed of an employee's injury, an employer has seven days to report it to their insurer.

Some of benefits injured workers are eligible for include:

Temporary partial disability - Payments to compensate those who can return to work, but cannot earn the same wages that they earned before their injury. These benefits amount to 80 percent of the difference between what was earned before the injury and what is earned afterwards.

Temporary total disability - Payments to compensate injured workers who cannot work at all. These benefits commonly amount to 66 2/3 percent of the worker's wages at the time of the injury. In some cases, these benefits can be 80 percent of the regular wage at the time of injury.

Impairment benefits - Some injured workers never reach the activity level they had before the accident, so they are given a maximum medical improvement rating. Impairment benefits are payments based on future work restrictions and impairment ratings.

Injured workers can receive up to 104 weeks of temporary total disability or temporary partial disability payments.

You may also apply for Social Security Disability benefits while receiving workers' compensation. However, your work comp benefits could be reduced since the total income from both sources cannot exceed 80 percent of your gross income. As you convalesce, your employer must keep your job available for you until you return. State law also prohibits employers from terminating your employment for reporting an injury or pursuing a workers' compensation claim.

While most workers' compensation cases are routine, it is important to have your claim reviewed by a lawyer. An experienced workers' comp attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and can also identify potential civil claims outside of your workers' comp claim. In some circumstances, your employer (or a third party) could be liable for the negligent acts that led or contributed to your injury. An attorney can help you understand how these remedies work, and can help you maximize your recovery.

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