What Are the Workers' Compensation Laws in Daytona Beach?444 Seabreeze Boulevard, Suite 100
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What Are the Workers' Compensation Laws in Daytona Beach?
While construction workers and transportation employees in Daytona Beach can be particularly at risk of work-related injuries, accidents can potentially occur at all types of workplaces. If you got injured at work, you might wonder, “What are the workers’ compensation laws in Daytona Beach?”
Put simply, workers’ compensation should provide you with medical and financial benefits when you get hurt at work. Unfortunately, in some cases, employers and insurance companies sabotage valid claims, leaving employees without the help they desperately need to recover from their injuries and get their lives back on track.
If you have trouble getting what you deserve with a workers’ compensation claim or have already had a claim denied, Morgan & Morgan could be here for you. We know how stressful it is to see the bills stacking up without having any money coming in. Contact us today for a free case review to determine how we can help.
Daytona Beach Workers’ Compensation Laws
According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, most employers in the state must, by law, purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Daytona Beach employees have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits when they suffer a work-related injury or condition, regardless of fault. In return, employees generally cannot sue a covered employer when they suffer an occupational injury or disease.
Workers’ compensation laws generally apply to all Daytona Beach businesses with four or more employees, regardless of whether employees work part or full-time. Companies with fewer than four employees are usually exempt from purchasing workers’ comp coverage in Florida.
Benefits Available for Daytona Beach Workers
Experiencing a significant injury at work in Daytona Beach can change your entire life. Thankfully, Florida’s workers’ compensation laws provide help for injured workers. Benefits you could qualify for include:
Florida workers’ comp covers your medical bills when you experience an injury at work or a work-related condition such as a repetitive strain injury. Medical benefits can pay for the following and other healthcare needs:
- Medical devices such as a wheelchair or crutches
- Diagnostic tests
- Specialist appointments
- Hospital stays
- Rehabilitation therapies
- Ongoing care
Wage Replacement Benefits
You could be entitled to income benefits for a temporary or permanent disability until you can return to your job. However, if you suffer from a total and permanent disability due to a work accident, you could qualify for benefits for the rest of your life. Daytona Beach workers’ comp benefits can include payments for:
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
- Impairment Benefits (IB)
The maximum weekly compensation for impairment, according to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation, was 1,099 in 2022.
Employees returning to work after recovery may be unable to work in their former positions. Claimants could qualify for vocational benefits enabling them to find alternative employment, such as:
- Placement services
- Additional training or education
- Vocational counseling
- Help with finding another job
If a Daytona Beach employee passes away due to an occupational injury or condition, the family could be entitled to death benefits up to a maximum of $150,000, including:
- Burial and funeral cost up to $7,500
- Maintenance payments for dependents
- Education benefits for the surviving spouse
Filing for workers’ compensation in Daytona Beach can be riddled with red tape. In many cases, claimants benefit from having a trusted and determined workers’ compensation lawyer in their corner.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Daytona Beach
If you are injured at work in Daytona Beach, you should act as soon as possible and report the injury to your employer. You only have thirty days from the day of the accident to report your injury, according to Florida law. Your employer will most likely ask you to make an appointment with an occupational doctor of their choice.
Your employer has to report your injury to their insurance company within seven days. The insurer will then start an investigation to determine whether you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, which can include:
- Ordering an independent medical examination
- Sending you to a functional capacity evaluation
- Reviewing your medical records
Under Florida workers’ compensation laws, the insurer must approve or deny your workers’ comp benefits within a reasonable timeframe. Once the insurance company approves your claim, you will receive wage replacement benefits and others, depending on your claim. However, insurance companies sometimes deny workers the benefits they deserve. If this has happened to you or a loved one, a workers’ compensation attorney at Morgan & Morgan could help.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied
Receiving a denial notice can be upsetting and frustrating. Knowing what the workers’ compensation laws are in Daytona Beach when your claim is denied can be confusing. However, do not despair, as you could still receive the benefits you deserve. After a denial, you could file a petition for benefits with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. You may have to provide the following information:
- Details of how the accident and injury occurred
- Medical proof and a description of your injuries
- Details of your financial losses as a result of the injury
- Details of the benefits you seek
Claimants generally have two years to file an initial appeal in Florida. However, it is crucial to note that there is a one-year deadline for appeals for medical treatment, starting on the date of your last benefit payment or last treatment.
The appeals process for workers’ compensation benefits can be challenging and involve many steps. If your claim was denied, consider hiring a workers' compensation attorney to handle your appeal. Morgan & Morgan’s lawyers can help you navigate the appeals process, protect your rights, and fight for the benefits you need.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help injured workers get the benefits to which they are entitled. We can:
- Offer legal advice regarding your situation
- Prove that your injury or illness is occupational
- Show that you are unable to work
- Ensure your impairment is rated fairly
- Helping you pursue benefits
- Liaise with medical professionals to obtain medical records
- Appeal against a claim denial and represent you in hearings
- Communicating with the insurance company
- Work for you on a “no-win-no-fee” basis
- Providing you with the personal attention you deserve
You do not have to go it alone. Our workers’ compensation lawyers know the issues you are facing and can fight tirelessly for your best interests. They could maximize your benefits and determine other sources of financial help, such as Social Security disability.
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Which Injuries Are Not Covered by Workers’ Comp in Daytona Beach?
Under Florida workers’ compensation laws, workers’ comp insurance generally does not cover the following:
- Non-work-related pre-existing conditions or illnesses
- Conditions due to the normal aging process
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Injuries during the commute to and from work
- Conditions resulting from alcohol or drug abuse
- Injuries due to fighting and aggressive behavior at work
- Self-inflicted injuries
What Should I Do After Getting Injured at Work?
Knowing your next best steps after a work injury can be crucial for the success of your workers’ comp claim.
- Immediately report your injury to your supervisor or employer
- Seek medical assistance as soon as possible
- File a workers’ compensation claim
Failing to report your accident or file a workers’ comp claim in time could jeopardize your benefits. If you are unsure about your next best steps after suffering a work injury, Morgan & Morgan has your back.
Can My Daytona Beach Employer Fire Me While I Am on Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Firing someone who is collecting workers’ comp benefits is not illegal in Florida. However, retaliating against employees who file workers’ comp claims is unlawful.
Therefore, if your employer terminated you due to filing a claim, they could be on the hook for wrongful termination.
In an at-will state such as Florida, proving an employer’s real motivation for firing you can be challenging. Therefore, if you were fired while collecting workers’ comp benefits, speak to Morgan & Morgan as soon as possible, as you may have a legal case and could pursue compensation.
When Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Daytona Beach Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you suffered minor injuries and received your benefits without problems, you are all set. However, if you experienced a significant or disabling work injury, a workers’ comp attorney from Morgan & Morgan can help you recover the true value of your claim. Some circumstances make working with an attorney essential, such as:
- You are permanently disabled due to a work injury
- Your employer or insurance company denied or minimized your claim
- You may not be able to return to work
- Your employer fired you after you filed a claim
- You have a significant pre-existing condition
- A third-party (such as another contractor) caused your injury
What Types of Injuries Are Covered?
Workers’ compensation should cover any work-related injury or condition, including common occupational illnesses such as back conditions and over-exertion. Injuries covered include but are not limited to:
- Repetitive strain
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Injuries from toxic substance exposure
- Hearing loss
- Head injuries
- Dislocations and fractures
- Loss of a limb
- Burn injuries
In some cases, you could receive benefits for psychological disorders caused by your work, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and others.
Do Pre-Existing Conditions Complicate My Workers’ Comp Claim?
Workers’ compensation provides benefits for a specific work-related injury or condition. Daytona Beach workers cannot normally claim benefits for a condition that predates their work injury. However, if your pre-existing condition worsens due to a work injury, you are potentially entitled to damages for the aggravation of your injury. Since a workers’ comp claim could get complicated with a pre-existing condition, consider consulting an attorney to ensure you are not leaving money on the table.
How Do I Determine Whether I Am Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Most employers in Florida must have workers’ compensation coverage. However, if you are not classified as an employee, you are most likely not entitled to workers’ comp benefits. Professions usually not covered by workers’ compensation include:
- Freelancers and independent contractors
- Business owners
- Federal employees
However, in some cases, workers have been misclassified as independent contractors. Some employers avoid payroll taxes by misclassifying employees and denying them their rightful benefits, such as workers’ compensation. Morgan & Morgan knows that this is wrong. We could help you hold an unethical employer to account and recover the benefits you deserve.
Does Workers’ Comp Pay a Full Salary in Daytona Beach?
The thought of losing all or part of your income after a work accident in Daytona Beach can be frightening, especially if you have dependents that rely on you. The maximum wage-replacement benefit you can receive under the workers’ compensation laws in Daytona Beach is about two-thirds of your average weekly income. Losing around a third of your salary can be tough when trying to make ends meet.
However, working with an attorney could help you discover additional avenues for pursuing compensation for your injuries. For example, if you suffered injuries due to third-party negligence, such as a company or property owner, you could have a personal injury claim. Filing a lawsuit could allow you to pursue damages such as pain and suffering, reduced life quality, and more.
Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Want to Hear From You
Morgan & Morgan knows the emotional, physical, and financial effects a work injury can have on your life and the lives of your loved ones. If you were hurt on the job in Daytona Beach, you deserve the benefits you need to recover, pay your bills, and get your life back on track.
We have helped countless Florida workers receive what they deserve after suffering a work injury. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to find out if we could help you too.