Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Serving Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach and clients throughout Florida
Workers compensation is a group of laws that are designed to protect employees injured at work or while conducting work activities. The purpose of workers compensation insurance is to ensure a person who is injured at work receives compensation for medical care, lost wages, etc. that are directly associated with their work-related injury or illness.
As an injured worker, you have rights – and it is imperative that you understand those rights. Do not rely on your employer or the insurance company to tell you about your rights. In fact, they hope that you don’t know them so they can take advantage.
If you want to protect your right to workers compensation, contact an Workers Compensation Lawyers. The team at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P. A. can help you with your workers compensation claim.
Coverage Exclusions – What You Need to Know
There are certain restrictions for collecting workers compensation insurance. These restrictions can include:
- The use of alcohol
- The use of illegal and prescription drugs
- Misconduct while on the job
It is important to consult an attorney if the insurer is claiming that your case is excluded. While rare, there are circumstances that can void your right to workers compensation benefits; therefore, you need an attorney to make sure your rights are protected and you get compensation you deserve.
Federal Statutes and How They Work for You
There are federal statutes that offer an additional layer of protection for injured workers. These four main statutes include:
- The Jones Act – This is for seamen who can receive “maintenance and cure” benefits if they are injured as the result of their employers negligence while on U.S. vessels.
- Federal Employment Liability Act (FELA) – This is for railroad workers who are injured because of the railroad’s negligence.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) – Provides special coverage for employees working in maritime job positions.
- Black Lung Benefits Acts – This offers additional compensation for miners who have suffered from black lung disease because of exposure while on the job.
Essential Rights You Need to Know
Florida’s workers compensation system is compulsory, which means employers are required to have workers compensation coverage for their employees. The insurance can be through a self-insure program or private carrier. The only time an employer does not need workers compensation insurance is if they have less than four employees. Workers compensation insurance is optional for domestic workers.
Some of the rights you have under Florida state workers compensation laws include:
- The Right to Medical Benefits and Treating Physician Choices – Florida reserves the right for a worker to pick their care provider as long as it is from the approved list provided by the employer or their insurer. After the maximum medical improvement is reached, a $10 patient copay is required for medical services. As long as care is provided through an authorized physician, it is covered by workers compensation.
- The Right to Disability Payments – Payment will be made based on the level of disability. If you are permanently disabled and unable to return to work, you can receive a schedule award.
- The Right to Lost Wage Reimbursement – If you cannot work, you have the right to receive pay for those lost wages while you recover from your work-related injury.
- The Right to Death Benefits – If an injured employee dies from a work-related injury, the death benefits are then payable to the surviving spouse or their children. The amount is a percentage based on the employee’s wages, and is subject to a cap. Burial and funeral expenses are allowed as well.
The Right to Sue an Employer
In some cases, you also reserve the right to sue your employer. If you choose to accept workers compensation insurance benefits, you lose that right to sue. The only time you can legally sue an employer for your injuries is if:
- They intentionally caused your injury.
- The employer did not carry the workers compensation insurance or enough insurance that they were required to do by law.
Injured? Protect Your Rights and Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
Do not risk losing the compensation you deserve. Hire the attorneys at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P. A. today. We offer free consultations and we will aggressively protect your right to workers’ compensation insurance benefits. Call now to schedule your meeting with an attorney.