Workers Compensation in Sarasota, 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 Sarasota, Florida workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Sarasota, Florida?
Sprains and strains, slip and fall accidents, and auto accidents make up the bulk of workers compensation claims in Sarasota, Florida. Workers compensation rates vary due to medical bills and that rate of pay for the employee. If you have been injured in a work related accident, The Sarasota County Human Resource Center urges you to take the proper steps in filing claims and seeking treatment.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Sarasota, 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 law states that all businesses with four or more employees must carry workers compensation insurance. This includes both full and part-time employees. In addition, construction businesses are required to insure everyone, even independent contractors. The Florida Department of Financial Services states that if you are receiving benefits, your benefit check is to be paid bi-weekly in the amount of 66 and 2/3rds of your average weekly wage.
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 Sarasota, 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 Sarasota, 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 detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured 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 Florida, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim for Workers Compensation. However, that can be extended by a year every time that you receive a medical or indemnity benefit. If an injury occurs, or symptoms of an illness appear. Here are some examples of actions you might take:
- Seek medical attention
- Report the injury or illness to your employer
- Try to resolve any disputes before filing a petition
- Contact an attorney to help you file your petition
- File and serve your petition.
Timeline and Other Information
Florida law allows a worker to receive a maximum of 104 weeks of temporary compensation. However, the individual must remain on a “no work” status in order for benefits to be claimed for the week.
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 Sarasota, Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Sarasota, Florida, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether you were hurt on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Sarasota workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Sarasota, Florida
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Sarasota, 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!