What to Do When You Have Been Injured on the Job
If you have been injured on the job, and you did not intentionally cause the injury, there is a good chance you will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can go a long way towards addressing your medical care and lost wages, among other benefits. Receiving workers’ compensation benefits is not exactly a walk in the park, and many carriers are quick to turn claims down for invalid reasons. Read on to learn more about workers’ compensation in Florida, including your possibilities are if you have been injured and are unsure of what to do next.
When Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Apply?
If you suffer from an injury while working, you might be likely to have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the injury must take place while you are performing some work-related duties and while you are acting in the scope of your regular employment.
Suffering an injury while on your way to work or from work does not qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. However, if you are traveling as part of your job, transportation-related injuries might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Most importantly, you might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if you reinjure yourself or exacerbate an injury you suffered elsewhere. However, it can be trickier to prove these types of cases.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation benefits will cover several expenses related to the injury. If you suffer from a work-related injury, you might be eligible for the following:
· A percentage of your lost wages
· Compensation of your medical bills
· Reimbursement for costs of prescription medication
· Some income replacement
· Possible job replacement benefits
If you suffer from an injury at work, it is important to understand the benefits you might be able to access. Depending on the nature of the injury and the accident, you might not qualify for the benefits above. For example, if you suffer from an injury that does not cause you to lose time at work, you could still recover compensation for your medical care and prescriptions. In this situation, you would not receive income replacement.
Are There Restrictions on Workers’ Compensation?
There are some cases in which a work-related injury will not lead to workers’ compensation benefits. Although it is possible to recover for injuries that you caused due to carelessness or negligence, you will not be able to recover benefits if you injured yourself intentionally. While this is a rare situation, it is set up so that individuals do not abuse these systems.
Another restriction would be if the worker was on drugs or intoxicated at work and suffered from injuries. Furthermore, if your employer provides safety equipment and requires you to follow specific safety rules, and you refuse to abide by those rules, you risk not being able to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Can My Employer Retaliate if I File a Claim?
Employers must legally carry workers’ compensation benefits with few exceptions. If your employer tries to prevent you from filing workers’ compensation claims, they are violating your legal rights, and you can file a lawsuit against them. In some instances, you might be able to recover significant damages if your employer tries to pressure you or manipulate you into not filing a claim.
Additionally, if you file a claim and your employer chooses to fire you, harass you at work, or punish you in any other way, you might have a claim against that company. There are a few different forms of retaliation, and unfortunately, some employers do not try to punish workers for filing these claims. If you believe your employer attempted to punish you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should contact an attorney.
Can I Collect for my Pain and Suffering?
A workers’ compensation claim allows you to collect damages even when you are at fault for your injury. This system helps ensures that workers do not suffer from injuries, lost income, and debilitating medical bills because of an issue that took place while performing their jobs. In exchange for the ability to file claims, even in these circumstances, you cannot collect damages for your pain and suffering.
The compensation in workers’ compensation claims is usually to decrease the sums plaintiffs might recover by bringing successful personal injury lawsuits. However, in exchange for the ability to file claims, even in these circumstances, it is not possible to collect damages for your pain and suffering.
The compensation in workers’ compensation claims tends to be lower than the sums plaintiff might recover by bringing successful personal injury lawsuits. Many individuals qualify for workers’ compensation, while fewer will have successful personal injury lawsuits.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim?
In most cases, it is not possible to recover damages in a personal injury claim against an employer when workers’ compensation benefits apply. This restriction holds true even when the employer or co-worker behaves negligently, causing injuries.
However, there are some cases when you might be able to pursue a lawsuit. For example, if a third party causes your injury while at work, you could file a lawsuit against the third party. This might happen as part of your job if another motorist causes your injuries. In that situation, you might have a workers’ compensation claim from performing work-related duties, but you also have an option of filing a personal injury claim against the other driver.
Furthermore, if your employer fails to carry workers’ compensation coverage, you could file a personal injury claim. Another possibility would be if an employer intentionally injures a worker or if the worker does not qualify as an employee and lacks the proper workers’ compensation protections.
If you have been injured on the job, The Watson Firm can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve. Contact The Watson Firm today by calling us at (850) 403-4779 or contacting us online for a free consultation.