What Are the Workers’ Compensation Laws in West Tampa, FL?3705 N Himes Ave,
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What Are the Workers’ Compensation Laws in West Tampa, FL?
Workers’ compensation has its roots planted in a late 19th-century program called Workers’ Accident Insurance, which provided employees with money to cope with non-work-related illnesses and injuries. More than 60 years later, every state had established some form of a safety net program that helped employees pay bills while they mended from a work-related illness injury. At the heart of workers’ compensation is the requirement imposed by every state that private sector employers purchase insurance to address the financial issues that arise after a workplace accident.
If you sustained one or more injuries or became sick because of a workplace incident, you have the right to file a claim that seeks compensation for lost wages and medical bills. Before you file a workers’ comp claim, you should get the answer to the question, “What are the workers’ compensation laws in West Tampa, FL?” Since each state implements different rules for administering workers’ compensation programs, what qualifies you for financial assistance in the Sunshine State might differ from what makes you eligible for financial assistance in Georgia.
What are the workers’ compensation laws in West Tampa, FL? Getting the answer to the question involves working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who has obtained a license to practice law in Florida. A Florida-licensed workers’ comp lawyer explains the workers’ compensation laws on the books in Florida, as well as helps you file the most persuasive claim for financial assistance. Although private sector employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance, some insurance companies deny valid claims that place employees in financial distress.
At Morgan and Morgan, our team of workers’ compensation attorneys helps clients gather and organize the physical evidence required to file the most convincing claims. You can expect the Morgan and Morgan attorney assigned to your case to conduct a detailed investigation to verify an accident that took place at work that caused you harm, whether the harm comes in the form of multiple injuries or a debilitating illness. Our experience has allowed us to develop positive professional relationships with workers’ compensation adjusters across the Tampa Bay region and throughout Florida.
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What Do I Need to Know About Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws?
Florida enacted workers’ compensation laws to help employees handle financial losses that include costly medical bills, as well as lost wages and attorney fees. Private sector employers with at least four employees must enroll in the state’s workers’ compensation program to provide insurance coverage for sick and injured employees. The type of coverage purchased by a Florida-based employer depends on several factors, such as size, type of industry, and the number of workers. Some industries, such as the oil and gas industry, place workers at a much higher risk of getting sick or hurt while on the job. Other high-risk industries that require employers to pay higher premiums in Florida for workers’ compensation insurance include roofing and commercial construction. A large general contractor that develops commercial properties can expect to pay a higher annual fee for workers’ comp coverage than a small, boutique digital marketing agency.
State law defines employees to include business owners that identify as LLC members or corporate officers. Employers listed in Florida require coverage if they employ 12 or more temporary workers that work at least 30 days during a season. Temporary workers filling the labor void at tourist destinations like Disney World that work an entire summer should receive worker’s compensation insurance coverage.
Types of Health Coverage
An important element of the workers’ compensation laws in West Tampa, Florida, concerns the three primary types of health insurance coverage employees can seek when filing claims. Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits pay two-thirds of your standard wages. For example, if you earn $21 an hour and receive approval for TTD benefits, you should get $14 an hour for the hours you typically work that make you eligible for financial assistance. Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) compensates you 80 percent of the difference between 80 percent of your normal wages before you got sick or hurt and the income you now generate. As the third type of workers’ compensation coverage in Florida, impairment benefits compensate employees that live with a permanent disability.
Other Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws
With a few exceptions, Florida employees have 30 days to report a workplace incident that caused injuries or triggered the development of an illness. The deadline for reporting a workplace accident does not include a co-worker explaining what happened to a manager. You must follow the Florida guidelines for completing and submitting an accurate report. The 30-day stipulation for the development of delayed symptoms grants workers extra time to file a claim because delayed symptoms make it impossible to determine when a workplace incident took place that caused an employee harm. For example, a worker who develops symptoms because of prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals does not know which day of the exposure triggered the negative symptoms.
Florida workers’ compensation statutes require an employee to receive medical care from a healthcare provider authorized by the worker’s employer. You have the right to seek a second opinion from a properly credentialed healthcare provider. However, the employer’s healthcare provider administers diagnostic tests, treatment regimens, and any necessary physical therapy sessions. If you missed work because of an accident in the workplace, your employer does not have to offer you the same position when you are ready to return to the workforce.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When you meet with one of the highly-rated lawyers at Morgan and Morgan for a free case evaluation, one of the most important interactions concerns learning how to file a successful workers’ compensation claim in Florida.
Get Immediate Medical Care
Regardless of the severity of your illness or injuries, receiving medical attention after a workplace accident ensures you create a paper trail that documents the extent of your healthcare issues, as well as how much money you pay out-of-pocket for medical care. The results of diagnostic tests determine the extent of your illness or injuries, as well as a formal written statement submitted by your employer’s healthcare provider that describes the prognosis of you making a full or partial recovery.
Inform Your Employer
Although 30 days represents plenty of time to inform your employer about the workplace incident that caused you harm, you should act with a sense of urgency and explain what happened as quickly as possible after the workplace accident. According to Florida law, your employer must complete a formal incident report that goes to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. Your employer has up to seven days to inform its insurance company about your claim. The insurance company must send you an informational brochure that explains the workers’ compensation process within three days of learning about the workplace incident that caused you harm.
Submit the Florida Workers’ Compensation Form
Your employer hands you the claim form that you must complete by submitting accurate information. Just one minor mistake in the contact section of the workers’ comp form can prompt your employer’s insurance company to deny your claim for financial assistance. Florida law stipulates that workers must submit an accurate claim form within two years of the workplace incident that caused an illness or injury.
Working with one of the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Morgan and Morgan ensures you submit an accurate workers’ compensation claim form long before the deadline.
Insurance Company Issues a Decision
Although Florida law requires private sector employers with at least four employees to purchase workers’ compensation coverage, that does not mean you receive automatic approval of your claim for financial assistance. Workers’ comp insurance is similar to other types of insurance policies in that an approved claim can increase the premiums paid by employers. The insurance company conducts an investigation into the workplace accident not to prove you should assume some of the blame for causing the accident. Instead, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company wants to know whether you are submitting a legitimate claim backed by physical evidence and corroborating witness statements.
Return to Work
The purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is not to provide a long-term solution to assist employees that require financial assistance, unless the financial assistance is for a permanent or long-term disability. Workers’ compensation typically represents a program that helps employees transition back into the workplace. Although your employer does not have to give back your old job, Florida law mandates employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees returning to work after receiving workers' compensation healthcare coverage.
If your employer’s insurance company denies your workers’ compensation claim, you have the right to file an appeal with the legal support of your Morgan and Morgan workers’ comp attorney.
How Do I Find the Right Attorney for My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You should consider several factors before choosing the right workers’ comp lawyer.
First, the legal support you receive should come from an attorney who specializes in handling Florida workers’ compensation cases. You do not want to hire a lawyer who treats workers’ compensation cases as a source of secondary income. At Morgan and Morgan, our workers’ compensation attorneys do one thing very well.
We represent employees that want to file a workers’ compensation claim for financial assistance.
Second, the lawyer that you select should represent employees. An attorney who also represents employers might have a conflict of interest when it comes to filing a claim for financial assistance. Morgan and Morgan assigns attorneys to clients that represent just workers. An attorney who sometimes represents employers might not have your best financial interests in mind when handling your claim.
Third, your workers’ compensation attorney must provide legal support from the day of the free case evaluation to the day when you receive compensation for a work-related illness or injury. At Morgan and Morgan, our more than 30 years of experience are highlighted by the unwavering support our lawyers provide clients throughout the workers’ compensation claim process.
What are the workers’ compensation laws in West Tampa, Florida? Find out more by scheduling a free case evaluation today with one of the attorneys at Morgan and Morgan.
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