Under the system governing workers’ compensation insurance in Florida, employers are required to purchase a policy that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries and illnesses. The system has long sought to strike a compromise between employers and employees: Employees get benefits regardless of who was at fault for the incident, and in return, employers get protection from lawsuits by injured employees seeking money damages for pain and suffering or mental anguish.
Getting badly hurt at work is an unfortunate happenstance, as well as a huge setback for anyone — and no one should have to deal with this situation alone. That’s the whole idea behind workers compensation, a way to ensure that injured workers receive compensation and are treated in such a way that they may be fit enough to return to work sooner, rather than later.
Employees must be injured while on the clock in order to receive benefits
While workers’ comp laws cover only work-related injury or illness, the injury or illness does not necessarily have to occur in the actual workplace. As long as it’s job-related, it’s covered by the employer’s insurance. For example, employees are covered if they are injured while traveling on business, attending a business-related social function, or running a work-related errand.
Covered injuries and illnesses can range from a wide array of activities:
- Sudden accidents, such as falling off scaffolding
- Injuries that happen over time, like computer-related repetitive stress injuries (RSIs)
- Illnesses that result from exposure to workplace chemicals, air pollution, or radiation, or
- Severe injuries involving tools or equipment, to name a few instances
On the whole, many workers receive benefits through their workers compensation insurance in Florida for repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back problems. Workers also receive compensation for illnesses and diseases that are the gradual result of working conditions. This can include heart conditions, lung disease, and stress-related digestive problems.
Florida’s legislature began placing limits on workers comp benefits in the 90’s in an effort to lower premiums. In the most recent version of the law, permanent total disability benefits end after five years, or once an employee reaches 75, whichever comes first. Also, employees aren’t compensated for permanent partial disability. This affects those who can still work but at lower-paid jobs.