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Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law

WorkersComp2

Construction work is possibly one of the most dangerous vocations around today.  The stakes are always high and injury is always around the corner. Thankfully, Florida has a workers’ compensation mechanism was designed to protect individuals who work around danger conditions. In Florida, most employees are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. As such, most construction workers in the state of Florida are covered. In addition, Florida has a no-employer fault workers’ compensation scheme. This means that the employer is not liable for the injury suffered by her employer, however, the employer must meet certain obligations. Most property owners and general contractors require contractors working on their projects to provide proof of workers’ compensation coverage.

Florida’s Regulations

The workers’ compensation regulations in Florida are spelled out under Chapter 440 of the Florida Statute. An employee must report all work-related injuries to their employer within 30 days of the injury occurring. This is not a general rule as there are exceptions including in the instance where the injury is not knowable (i.e., a latent injury). Florida has a 2-year deadline for filing a petition for workers’ compensation benefits. But as with reporting requirement, there are some exceptions to this general rule. There is a weekly limitation of $863.00 on the benefit and other specified limitations depending on the injury. For example, the benefit for a temporary total disability is 66% of the average weekly benefit. The benefits are paid out on the 8th day for an injury that lasts less than 22 days. However, if the injury lasts for more than 22 days, then the benefit begins on the 1st day of the injury. Benefits for claims that are psychologically related are limited to 104 weeks. Minors who are not lawfully employed are entitled to two times the benefit for any injury stemming from their unlawful employment.

Making an Application

Employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance from private companies or from Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. After reporting the injury to the employer, the employer must then report the injury to the insurance company or state agency within 7 days. At the same time, the employer must send the employee to an occupational doctor to obtain a medical review of the injury.

What to Expect After the Application

After all documentation is received, the insurance company will either approve or deny the application. After approval, the employee will receive workers’ compensation benefits immediately. However, if the application is denied, the employer has the right of appeal. At this stage, the employee is well-served to hire an experienced attorney to handle the appeal.

Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Have you made an application for workers’ compensation due to a construction injury and been denied? Or do you seek to increase your award? Attorney Brendan A. Sweeney has years of experience advising on workers’ compensation claims. He also has extensive experience representing clients during construction-related claim denials. Contact us now for a consultation.

Resource:

law.cornell.edu/wex/workers_compensation

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