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17 Common Workers' Comp Questions

If you get injured on the job, you may wonder what that means for your career, your finances and your family. Being unable to work can cause serious financial burdens, but workers' compensation can serve as a lifeline during this difficult chapter. There are many common misconceptions about workers' compensation and the process of filing for benefits.

We answer 17 common questions about workers' comp. See our Workers' Comp FAQ for more background information and frequently asked questions.

How does Florida workers' compensation work?

Workers' comp covers you for If you are injured while on the job. It could be a forklift accident. Or a back injury from lifting a box. Or simply falling in the breakroom. You must report the injury to your employer and seek medical treatment. To file a workers' compensation claim, you do not have to prove the employer was negligent, only that the injury was work-related.

Can I sue my employer instead of filing workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy for Florida workers injured on the job. Employees generally cannot sue their employers for negligence, per Florida Statute 440.11. Subcontractors and other parties on a worksite are also insulated from lawsuits. Only in rare cases of gross negligence or intentional acts can employers be sued outside of workers' compensation.

What are the benefits under workers' comp?

The initial benefits are medical care and temporary disability (wage loss) benefits. If you suffer a permanent injury to part of your body, you may qualify for ongoing impairment benefits. If you cannot work at all, you may qualify for permanent total disability payments.

Does workers' comp pay your full salary?

Workers' compensation pays two-thirds (66.6%) of your average weekly wages, up to a maximum amount. Workers' comp benefits are not taxed.

When do workers' comp benefits kick in?

You are eligible for medical care immediately. Wage benefits begin after you miss work for seven calendar days. If your disability lasts more than 21 days, you can get lost wages dating back to the first day.

How long can I collect workers' compensation?

You are entitled to lifetime medical care arising from a work-related injury, as long as it solely related to your work accident.

Can I work while on workers' compensation?

With appropriate accommodations, your doctor may clear you for light duty or restricted duty while you are still recovering from your injuries. Working will not affect your medical benefits. But your benefit checks will stop once you are back at work, or may be reduced.

Can I work another job while on workers' compensation?

It depends what the second job is. This is a complicated issue, and you need to speak to an attorney to guide you through this.

Do I have to return to work after workers' comp?

Your doctor will determine when you are sufficiently recovered. If you are cleared to resume work, you must report to your job.

Can workers' compensation be denied?

Yes, your claim can be denied for a variety of legal reasons, such as failing to report a workplace accident or claiming benefits for an injury that occurred outside of work. A pre-existing medical condition can be grounds for denial, but not if a work accident aggravated an old injury or pre-existing condition.

What pays more: workers' comp or disability?

It depends on your circumstances and your income. Workers' comp benefits are capped, but disability policies often pay a lower percentage of your income.

Who pays for workers' compensation?

Florida law requires all employers with four or more employees to carry workers' compensation insurance.

How are workers' compensation settlements calculated?

A doctor will determine an impairment rating, expressed as a percentage of disability. Your compensation is a factor of your impairment level and your weekly earnings before the injury. You have the option to receive regular payments or negotiate one lump sum settlement.

Do all workers' comp cases end in a settlement?

In our experience, 90 percent of workers' compensation claims result in a lump sum payment. One important consideration is whether you will continue to need medical treatment. You should always consult an attorney before agreeing to a settle a claim.

What is the difference between State and Federal Workers' compensation?

Federal workers' comp is a different system that only applies to Federal Government employees. If you work for a federal agency, you cannot file for Florida workers' comp. If you are unsure of what system applies to you, seek the assistance of an attorney.

How long do I have to file for benefits?

It is advisable to file sooner than later. You must report the accident within 30 days or less to your employer.

The workers' compensation attorneys of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa are happy to answer specific questions if you have been injured on the job.

What should I do if my accident occurred on the water?

If your accident occurred on a ship or water, there are special circumstances that apply to the case. Please call for assistance.

The workers' compensation attorneys of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa are happy to answer specific questions if you have been injured on the job. Call today 866.640.7117.

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