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Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Rules and How it Affects Your Construction Project

ConstLiti

Workers’ compensation is a financial support system implemented by states and the federal governments to provide income, medical care and rehabilitative services to employees who become sick or injured during the performance of their employment duties.  The benefits of workers’ compensation are normally provided even if the employee was at fault. Therefore, these services and monies are due to the claimant as a matter of right. There exist workers’ compensation entities on the state and federal level.  Federal employees make their claim with federal workers’ compensation agencies, state government employees make their claims with the respective state government agency and private employees go through the city and county entities for the locale in which they are employed.

Florida’s Workers’ Compensation

Given the dangers associated with construction work, it is one of the vocations most associated with workers’ compensation claims.  The employer provides workers’ compensation.  The employer signs on the plan and when a worker is injured, the plan is paid out to the worker after a successful claim.  Fortunately, the state of Florida requires the majority of employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Each state has different mechanisms to support injured employers. In Florida, workers’ compensation is structured as a wage replacement. Therefore, an injured construction worker who is unable to perform his or her normal employment duties will receive an income replacement even while they recover at home.

Claim Requirements

What are the requirements claimants must meet to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Florida?  In Florida, the more injured you are the more likely you will receive benefits. The test is to prove the extent of the injury as it related to your ability to perform work.  For example, a forklift operator who only uses his or her hands to perform construction work may find it hard to make a full claim. The more impacted the worker the more income replacement they receive.  Further, the Florida workers’ compensation rules do not require that the employer was at fault. Fault is a non-issue in the claim process. What matters is that the injury occurred during the course of the scope of employment. Nevertheless, mental and nervous systems injuries are not covered under Florida’s workers’ compensation if they do not arise from a physical injury.

Timing Considerations

There are reporting requirements for a successful claim under Florida law. Claimants must report work-related injuries within 30 days of its occurrence or the initial manifestation. There are some exceptions to this rule where the injury is not discoverable within those 30 days. At the most, a claimant must formally file for workers’ compensation within 2 years of the injury. But as with medical conditions, an exception can apply beyond the 2 years for special circumstances.

Your Florida Construction Law Attorney

Are you thinking of commencing a construction project? A vital step is to obtain workers’ compensation for your employees. Attorney Brendan A. Sweeney is an experienced construction law attorney with years of experience advising on workers’ compensation issues.  Contact us for a consultation.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0440/0440.html

https://www.sweeneylawpa.com/negotiating-a-construction-contract-as-a-general-contractor/

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