Employees in any work environment can suffer injury or illness either through accidents or occupational diseases. When this happens, the injured Florida workers may qualify to seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses resulting from a job-related injury.
Unfortunately, claiming the benefits can be far more confusing and intimidating, especially because of all the myths and misconceptions surrounding workers’ compensation. Consulting with dependable Florida workers’ comp lawyers can help you understand the process and ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.
Here are six common myths about Florida workers’ compensation that employees should know about.
Myth #1: Workers’ compensation covers all employees
Under Florida workers’ comp laws, not every injured employee will qualify to collect benefits. Instead, workers who suffer work-related injuries are covered only if their employer has at least four employees working either part-time or full time.
If you work in the agricultural sector, your employer must have at least six (6) regular employees and /or twelve (12) seasonal workers working for 30 to 45 annually. Those working in the construction industry will qualify for benefits regardless of the number of employees in their company.
Myth #2: You need to be at a job site when you get injured.
To file for workers’ comp benefits, many people think that you must have been at the job site when the accident happened. But the fact is that you do not have to be at a job site when you suffer injuries. If, for instance, driving is part of your job and you happen to sustain injuries in an auto collision, you may be able to collect benefits if you are eligible.
Myth #3: Work comp only covers specific injuries
Majority of employees believe that the Florida workers’ compensation benefits cover only specific injuries. However, the reality is that even those who suffer occupational illnesses and conditions will qualify to collect these benefits. One key thing that you have in such a case is to prove that your injury or illness occurred in the scope of your job.
Myth #4: You cannot get benefits if your injury was your fault
In Florida, injured workers will qualify to receive benefits regardless of who is at fault. That means you can still collect benefits even if your injury happened due to your inexperience or inattentiveness. However, if your injury resulted from influence by alcohol or drugs and a drug test can show that, seeking benefits from your employer may not be possible.
Myth #5: You can get fired for trying to seek benefits
It’s not unusual for employers to terminate or demote injured workers who report an injury or file a workers’ compensation claim. However, Florida Statutes Section 440.205 prohibits any act of retaliation or coercion of employees. If you suspect that your termination resulted from filing a workers’ comp claim, consulting with a Florida workers’ comp attorney can help you understand your legal options and protect your rights.
Myth #6: I do not need an attorney to handle my claim
It is okay to represent yourself in a workers’ comp case. Nevertheless, if your injuries are severe and your employer or their insurer is denying that the injury does not qualify for benefits or is not work-related, retaining reputable Florida workers’ comp attorneys is critical. The right lawyer can help prove that your injury is indeed work-related and guide you through the process to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Let knowledgeable Florida workers’ compensation lawyers handle your claim.
It is not possible to entirely avoid workplace injuries or illness. If you have been injured in the scope of your job, our experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyers can help. Contact Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. today at (561) 529-9569 to schedule a free consultation.