Who Pays for Workers' Compensation
Workers’ compensation offers financial relief to workers who have been injured on the job. It covers a certain amount of medical expenses and sometimes a portion of lost pay. This means that workers can focus on healing rather than their livelihood. But who pays for workers’ compensation?
While it’s possible to file for workers’ compensation without a lawyer, it can significantly streamline and smooth the entire process.
Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation?
The short answer is that the employer pays for workers’ compensation. Basically, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that employers pay for to support the care of employees after an injury. As a no-fault system, workers’ compensation is something that all workers are entitled to regardless of whether or not they were responsible for the accident that caused the injury.
Employers cannot require workers to help pay the workers’ compensation insurance premiums. In Florida, the majority of employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance.
Once an employee files for workers’ compensation, this waives their right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. However, the injured worker could choose to pursue a third-party personal injury lawsuit against another company or individual who may have been negligent or at fault for the worker’s injuries in some situations.
Employers & Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In Florida, any employer with four or more full-time or part-time employees is required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Still, employers have the choice between being self-insured or working with an insurance company. While agricultural and construction industries have different rules, most employers must have workers’ compensation insurance. Independent contractors also tend to not be covered by workers’ compensation.
Florida Additional Benefits to Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation in Florida also includes a few additional benefits such as medical benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits. Each can be helpful in its own right, but it should be noted that workers’ compensation also has certain limitations.
All medical care related to a work-related injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation as long as the treatment is prescribed by the treating doctor and authorized by the insurance company. In addition, the cost of travel to doctor’s appointments and the prescribed medications are also generally covered.
Some injuries make it impossible to return to the original job. However, with the help of vocational rehabilitation, you can receive placement services and vocational counseling to determine what career pivot works with your available skills. Additional training and education to get a suitable job may be partially covered for about 26-52 weeks by workers’ compensation.
When a work-related injury or illness causes death, the worker’s family or other dependent relatives can receive death benefits. Death benefits are dependent on the number of people and the amount is calculated based on two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage. It cannot be more than $150,000 in total. Workers’ compensation will cover up to $7,500 in funeral and business expenses.
Workers’ Compensation Limitations
As many know, workers’ compensation only covers a portion of lost wages, and it also means that you cannot get compensation for pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation allows workers to receive assistance more quickly than filing a lawsuit and waiting for the outcome. While you may not receive the full value of your losses, you’ll have more immediate coverage.
When you’re injured on the job, be sure to report the injury immediately and determine if you’ll file a claim for workers’ compensation. If you do, you must see the doctor assigned by your employer or the insurance company. The workers’ compensation insurance company will then either approve or reject your claim.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
- Medical Bills, including prescriptions, surgery, physical therapy
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Temporary total disability
Be aware that when you file for workers’ compensation that you are working with an insurance company, and in most cases, insurance carriers are looking to save as much money as possible. Also, if the insurance company takes too long to pay out your benefits, you may be entitled to receive additional compensation.
Every situation is different when it comes to workers’ compensation and your rights. If you’re unsure whether you want to file a claim for workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit, reach out to our office today to have a free consultation!