Workers Compensation in West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beach, Florida workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in West Palm Beach, Florida?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the two most dangerous occupations 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 Herald-Tribune article, West Palm Beach is quickly transforming into South Florida’s next big city, with massive construction projects in the works. Consequently, as the largest city in Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach could experience a significant increase in workplace injuries
How Does Workers Comp Work in West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beach employees should be covered, starting on the first day of employment. Benefits of coverage can include medical care, and temporary total or partial 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 West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beach, you must report your workplace injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. Your West Palm Beach 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. A Petition for Benefits must be filed within two years from the date of injury. You will typically file your Petition with the West Palm Beach 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, the first 7 days lost from work are only paid if you lose more than 21 days or more. If your injury is critical, you may receive 80% of your regular wages for up to 6 months. If the insurer has issues with paying your claim, you can first try to resolve the dispute informally. Residents of West Palm Beach can call the Workers’ Compensation Employee Assistance Office, located in West Palm Beach.
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 West Palm Beach, Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beachworkers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In West Palm Beach, Florida
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in West Palm Beach, 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!