Workers Compensation in Pensacola, FL

You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Florida state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Pensacola, Florida workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Pensacola, Florida?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the two most dangerous jobs in Florida were construction laborers and tractor-trailer truck drivers. Moreover, transportation incidents and falls were the leading causes of workplace fatalities in Florida. According to a Florida Trend article, housing construction is intensifying in Northwest Florida. As well, the over-65 population is projected to be the fastest-growing group in Northwest Florida over the next decade, fueling construction of retirement communities. Consequently, as the largest city in Escambia County, Pensacola could experience a significant increase in workplace injuries.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Pensacola, Florida?

Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim. 

Florida’s Division of Workers’ Compensation has comprehensive coverage requirements. Specifically, non-construction employers with 4 or more employees require coverage. However, construction employers must have coverage with only 1 or more employees. Additionally, agriculture employers with 6 or more regular employees must have coverage. Out-of-state construction employers must have coverage if their employees work in Florida. Consequently, almost all Pensacola employees should be covered, starting on the first day of employment. Benefits of coverage can include medical care, and temporary total disability. However, mental injuries are only covered if accompanied by a physical injury.

For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Pensacola, Florida are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Pensacola, Florida healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report that details the extent of the damage and how it occurs is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.

In Pensacola, you must report your workplace injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. The Pensacola employer must send a First Report of Injury to the insurer within 7 days of your notification. The insurer will then send you a fraud statement, which you must sign immediately. Benefits may be withheld until you do so. You should file A Petition for Benefits  within two years of the date of injury. You will typically file your Petition with the Pensacola District Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims.

Timeline and Other Information

If you cannot work at all, you can receive compensation equal to about two thirds of your regular wages. However, you can only receive pay for the first 7 days lost from work if you lose more than 21 days or more. If your injury is critical, you may receive 80% of your regular wages. In the case that the insurer has issues with paying your claim, you can first try to resolve the dispute informally. However if you need help, you can call the Workers’ Compensation Employee Assistance Office located in Pensacola.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point. Typically about the incident and to any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.

Why You Should Hire a Pensacola, Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Pensacola, Florida, in others, it may be more difficult. Your employer might ask if you suffer an injury on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Pensacolaworkers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Pensacola, Florida

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Pensacola, Florida you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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