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Florida Worker's Compensation Overview

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In Florida, as in most states there is a separate body of law addressing Worker’s Compensation (formerly Workman’s Compensation). Generally, Worker’s Comp. deals with an employer or the employer’s insurance company obligations regarding wages and medical bills when an employee is injured on the job.

In Florida, as in most states there is a separate body of law addressing Worker’s Compensation (formerly Workman’s Compensation). Generally, Worker’s Comp. deals with an employer or the employer’s insurance company obligations regarding wages and medical bills when an employee is injured on the job. These laws are created to protect both the employer and employee. They insure that an injured employee will receive compensation both for the time that they are not able to work, and for all medical expenses arising from the injury, without that employee having to file a lawsuit against their employer. The employer is protected in 2 ways. First they are limited in the amount that they will have to pay, and second it protects them from being sued. These laws prevent an employee from filing a lawsuit against their employer for any injury incurred in the scope of their employment.

There are specific rules about which employers must carry workers compensation insurance. Employers in a non-construction business with 4 of more employees must carry insurance, while those involved in a construction business need only 1 employee for it to be mandatory. The state and local governments are also required to have coverage, and it is deemed necessary for farmers with 5 or more regular employees or 12 or more seasonal employees This insurance should cover an employee for all occupational diseases and injuries arising out of and in the scope of employment (FL St. 440.02(17), 440.16). This mandatory insurance will not include coverage for mental conditions, nor will it cover pain and suffering.

An injured employee should report their claim as soon as possible but no later than 30 days from the date of the injury. An employer should do the same only their report should be no longer than 7 days from the date of the injury. Upon receiving the employers report the insurance company should, within 3 days, provide the injured employee with a brochure explaining the employee’s rights and obligations and outlining the whole process. The first check should be received within 21 days.

While a direct action against an employer may not be possible a person may not be without remedy. It may be possible to file a third party claim. This is a lawsuit that brings in a party that is not directly involved, yet may be liable to the party. An example of this would be an employee who is injured at work by a machine that was defective. The machine may have malfunctioned and caused that employee’s injury. While in this case the employee may not sue the employer for his injury, there is nothing barring them from bringing a suit against the manufacturer of the machine.