Workers Compensation Law in Florida: What You Need to Know

Morgan Ferrell
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Workers Compensation is a system in Florida that helps workers who get hurt or sick on the job by giving them payments and other help. It’s kind of like insurance that lets them go to the doctor, get paid, and not have to worry about a lot of lawyers.

However, Florida’s Workers Compensation laws are not easy to understand. Both employers and workers should be aware of the many rules and laws that apply. Learn about the basics of Florida’s workers’ comp system in this article.

We’ll talk about who is covered, what kinds of benefits you can get, and how the claims process works. On top of that, a top workers’ comp expert will tell us what companies and workers really need to remember.

Who is Covered Under Florida Workers Comp?

Most businesses in Florida are required to have workers compensation insurance for their staff. The Florida Department of Workers Compensation says that the following workers can usually get Workers’ Compensation benefits:

  • Full-time employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Seasonal employees
  • Undocumented workers
  • Minors

However, there are some times when this isn’t true. There are some small business owners, real estate agents, and independent contractors who don’t have to have workers’ comp insurance.

And some workers, like those who work on the train, for the government, or at sea, may get coverage through different federal programs instead of Florida’s system.

Both employers and employees need to know what kinds of coverage are needed. If companies don’t give their workers the insurance they need, they could face big fines and penalties.

People who work for companies that don’t have Workers’ Comp may have to file a personal injury claim in order to get paid.

What Benefits are Available Through Florida Workers Comp?

When an employee becomes injured or ill as a result of their job in Florida, the Workers Compensation system provides some important benefits including:

1. Medical Benefits

Workers Compensation pays for all the medical expenses you need after being injured on the job, such as doctor visits, medications, and therapy. And you get to choose your own doctor, not the one your boss chooses for you.

2. Lost Wages

If an employee gets injured or ill on the job and has to miss work for more than a week, they may get some money to compensate for their lost wages. This money is usually about two-thirds of the money they earn each week, but there are certain limits set by the state.

3. Temporary Disability Benefits

If an employee gets injured on the job and can’t perform his regular job, he may receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits until he gets better or can return to work.

4. Permanent Disability Benefits

If an injury causes permanent damage, the employee may be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD) or permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. The amount and length of these benefits will vary depending on how severe the disability is.

5. Death Benefits

If someone gets injured on the job or becomes ill and dies, their spouse or dependents may receive money to help with the funeral and earn some money if they had survived.

As you know, in Florida, the workers’ comp system is set up so that workers can receive benefits regardless of who is at fault for their injuries.

But there are some cases where employees may not qualify, such as if they were drunk or did something really stupid that caused their injury.

The Claims Process for Florida Workers Comp

There are only a few steps an employee needs to take to get workers compensation and get paid if they get hurt or sick on the job.

  1. You need to tell your boss right away that you got hurt. You have one month to tell them what happened.
  2. If you feel sick, you should see a doctor. You can pick your own doctor, but your boss might also have a list of doctors they think you should see.
  3. You just need to send a plea for benefits to the Florida Division of Workers Compensation. Make sure you send this claim form in within two years of the accident.
  4. The insurance company for the boss will look at the claim and decide if it is valid or not. They can say yes or no for 14 days.
  5. The worker will start getting good benefits like medical care and replacement pay if the claim is accepted.
  6. If the claim is turned down, the worker can question the whole decision through the Department of Workers Compensation’s process for resolving disputes.

People who own businesses and people who work for them need to know what their rights and responsibilities are when claims are made. Your benefits might not work right if you don’t do things the right way.

Related: Got Hurt at Work? The Top Workers’ Compensation Questions Answered

Tips from experts on Florida workers’ compensation

We wanted to learn more about how workers compensation works in Florida, so we talked to top workers compensation attorney Frank M. Eidson.

Eidson says an important thing for employees to know is that they can choose their own doctor to treat a work-related injury or illness.

He explains that some employers may try to tell the employee which doctor to go to, but the law actually allows the employee to choose his or her own provider.

Eidson also stressed the importance of immediately reporting any work-related incident, even if the injury seems minor at the time.

“I have seen cases where the employee did not think the injury was serious but later required extensive treatment. It is important to document the initial report with the employer.”

Eidson suggests that employers should make sure they have the right workers compensation insurance and know how to properly handle claims.

If they do not do so, they may face fines and legal problems. It is important for employers to be proactive and know what Florida law expects of them.

Eidson also notes that workers should be aware of their right to receive legal representation during the workers’ compensation process.

“An experienced workers compensation attorney can help ensure that the employee receives all the benefits he or she is entitled to and resolve any disputes with the insurance carrier.”

In short, Eidson is emphasizing how important it is for employers and employees to have open communication and collaboration when it comes to workers’ compensation.

According to him, this system is in place to protect workers, but it can only be effective if both parties are on the same page and actually work together. This way, injured workers can receive the care and support they need.

In Conclusion

People who get hurt or sick on the job in Florida can get help through the Workers Compensation system. This helps them a lot and gives them money when they need it most.

Everyone can make sure they are following the rules if they know everything about the system, including who is qualified, what kinds of benefits are available, and how to file a claim.

Another good idea is to stay up to date on the latest changes to Florida’s labor rules. For the most up-to-date information, visit the page for the Florida Division of Workers Compensation.

If you need more help, you can talk to a workers’ comp lawyer. They can give you good information and make sure your rights are protected when you file a claim.

Last but not least, Florida’s Workers’ Comp system is very important for keeping workers safe. As long as both companies and workers follow the rules, we can make sure that hurt workers get the help they need to get back to work.

Frequently Ask Questions

  1. Who is covered under Florida workers compensation law?

    Along with this group are most people who work full-time, part-time, seasonally, or without proper paperwork. But most of the time, freelancers, real estate agents, and some small business owners are not included.

  2. What benefits are available through workers comp in Florida?

    You can get money for hospital bills, lost wages or disability, and your death. In this group are things like going to the doctor, living in the hospital, getting medicine, and getting paid while you’re not able to work.

  3. How do I file a workers compensation claim in Florida?Β 

    After getting hurt, you have two years to tell your boss, see a doctor, and ask for benefits through the Workers’ Comp Division.

  4. Can I choose my own doctor for treatment?

    People who work in Florida don’t have to go to a doctor that their company recommends. They can pick their own doctor.

  5. How long does the claims process typically take?

    The insurance company has two weeks to decide what to do with the claim after it is sent in. There is a method for Workers’ Comp disputes that is used to settle disagreements.

  6. What if my claim is denied?

    Through the Workers Compensation Division, you can fight a claim that was turned down in its entirety. A good lawyer who knows what they’re doing can help you through the whole process.

  7. Am I still covered if the injury was partly my fault?

    There is no limit on fault in Florida’s Workers’ Comp system. This means that you can still get benefits even if you were partly to blame for an illness or accident.

  8. Does workers comp cover pre-existing conditions?

    Yes, if the injury made a condition that was already there worse, the treatment must be linked to the injury.

  9. Can I sue my employer instead of filing a workers comp claim?

    Most of the time, no. In Florida, Workers Comp is the only way to get paid for injuries you get on the job. There are only certain times when you can sue your boss.

  10. Do I need a lawyer to file a workers comp claim?

    Some states require you to have a skilled workers compensation lawyer, but having one can actually help you get all the benefits you need.

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Personal injury lawyer Morgan Ferrell has 10+ years of experience. She fights for injury victims and has helped many get proper recompense. Morgan Ferrell writes about personal injury law for and other legal publications. Dedicated to quality and successful.