Workers Compensation in Tampa, 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 Tampa, Florida workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Tampa, Florida?
Employers in Tampa do not report injuries to the state, but data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that over 1.36 million workers worked full-time in and around Tampa last year. Over 217,000 of those hard-working individuals found employment in education and health services. National data shows an average of 4.3 out of 100 reporting nonfatal occupational injuries to the U.S. Department of Labor. If that trend applies to Tampa, almost 10,000 people in this one industry possibly needed workers’ compensation benefits every year.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Tampa, 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.
The Florida Department of Financial Services states any organization with four or more employees has to buy coverage. If approved, you should start receiving bi-weekly payments of up to ⅔ of your salary for the last year. If you have concerns about paying your bills on that income, the state provides a benefit calculator so you can start to plan accordingly. Other benefits may include medical coverage for your injuries and vocational rehabilitation services.
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 Tampa, 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 Tampa, 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.
Florida’s Division of Workers’ Compensation states that you should report a work-related injury within 30 days of the incident. If you fail to submit your information on-time, that may result in a denial of your claim. You can call the Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman to ask for free advice, but a Tampa workers compensation attorney will protect and fight for your rights most efficiently.
Timeline and Other Information
The Division of Human Resource Management says that the waiting period is seven days. If your disability lasts longer than three weeks, you should receive compensation for that time in a subsequent payment. According to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, temporary benefits can last for up to 104 weeks.
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 about the incident and 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 Tampa, Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Tampa, 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 Tampaworkers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Tampa, Florida
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Tampa, 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!