Florida requires employers to keep their workers safe while working. Some employers may at times breach this requirement – workers are injured as a result. Workplace injuries can occur even when employers have taken every step necessary to keep their workplaces as safe as possible. These injuries often include (but are not limited to) broken bones, pre-existing conditions worsening, occupational illnesses, and psychological injuries. State lawmakers know this and this is why they devised a legal system that helps these workers seek redress.
How You Can Protect Your Rights After Sustaining A Workplace Injury
It’s easy to protect your rights after you are hurt on the job – formally report your injuries to your employer. You generally have a few days to a week after the injury occurs to formally report it.
Next, be sure to file a worker’s comp claim either in one of your state’s worker’s comp or industrial courts. Your employer, his or her worker’s comp insurance company, and the court will be formally notified about your injury when you do this. You’re automatically protected once you file a worker’s comp claim.
What Are Your Rights
The worker’s comp laws in Florida differ from those in other states. This is normal and expected. Your legal rights and the ways that you can exercise those rights after you have been injured while working. Most states have certain laws in common though:
- You have the right to file a worker’s comp claim in a worker’s comp or industrial court.
- You have the right to see a doctor – you have the right to seek medical treatment from that doctor
- You have the right to return to your job if your doctor clears you for work
- You are entitled to receive disability benefits if you are temporarily or permanently disabled and can’t perform your job to the extent that you could before your injuries.
- You have the right to appeal any decision your employer, his or her insurance company, or the court may make with regards to your worker’s comp claim.
- You have the right to have a lawyer represent you in court.
You also have the right to refuse certain requests or offers. One of these would be if your employer tells you to file a claim with your own insurance company to pay for your medical treatment. Note that you can say no if your employer tries to offer you some sort of an incentive to not file a worker’s comp claim because your employer is breaking the law by doing so.
Do I Have Rights With Regard To Other Parties?
You have rights against any third parties that may have caused your workplace injuries. For example, you can file a claim against these parties in any court – worker’s comp or other. You will be filing a third-party claim when and if you do this. These tend to be civil claims. You can file civil claims in state or federal courts.
You can seek personal damages if you are hurt at work and file a civil claim. You don’t have this right if you file a worker’s comp claim. This is because worker’s comp benefits are intended to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. You generally don’t have the right to seek any other kinds of damages. Third-party claims allow you to seek damages for pain in suffering though. To know more about worker’s compensation benefits in Florida, contact Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group at (772) 569-8155.