Due to the rate at which people are injured while on the job and the conflicts that come with employees having to sue employers for their injuries, Florida requires employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, better known as workers’ comp. Florida Workers’ Compensation laws require employees to avail themselves of workers’ comp if they were injured on the job. By doing so, employees are generally prevented from suing their employers. So if you were injured on the job, what does workers’ compensation cover? And is your employer ever liable for your injuries in a court of law outside of the workers’ compensation requirements?
Obtaining Compensation for Your Workplace Injury
Because workers’ compensation is a type of insurance, it generally covers what you would expect your car insurance policy to cover if you were injured in an automobile accident. This includes, but may not be limited to:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment
- Income replacement
- Certain job replacement benefits
The nature and extent of your benefits depend on whether your injury created no disability, a partial disability, or a permanent disability.
For example, an accountant who slipped at work and broke an ankle may have medical bills but return to work the next day. In this case, workers’ compensation may cover medical bills, but not income replacement benefits.
If you work construction, however, and you injure your ankle, you may now have a partial disability because you can’t perform your normal job function for the next six weeks. In this case, workers’ compensation would have to provide you with lost wage and income replacement benefits until you can resume your normal job activities.
If your disability is not permanent, but it will permanently disqualify you from your field, workers’ compensation may have to pay to assist you in finding a different job or career.
Finally, if you broke your neck at work and are now paralyzed, this is likely considered a total disability, and your workers’ compensation insurance may have to replace your income for the remainder of your life.