Florida requires that all employers who maintain more than four employees—more than one employee in cases of construction jobs—must have workers’ compensation coverage. This means that in the event that an employee becomes injured, the employer will have the insurance to pay medical expenses on behalf of the injured.
Unfortunately, just because employers are obligated to have workers’ comp insurance doesn’t mean they’re willing to use it for every cut, sprain, or strain. In fact, many employers will try to belittle employee injuries in order to justify denying workers’ comp claims. As a result, they preserve their insurance rates while hanging you out to dry.
Injury Types Employers Can’t Deny Are Covered by Workers’ Comp
Although certain exceptions do exist, the majority of injuries (minor and severe) sustained as a result of work-related accidents should be covered under workers’ comp. What is important to note, however, is that your employer will most likely bank on you not knowing this fact. Many employers may try to convince you to just take a few days off to recover instead of filing a workers’ comp claim.
Employers are required by Florida law to report your injury to the insurance company within seven days after you have reported your accident or injury to him. If he convinces you that your injury isn’t worth filing, he doesn’t have to report it and your injury benefits are forfeited. Don’t fall for it. If you sustain any of the following injuries while on the job and as a direct result of a work-related accident, you must file (no matter the severity) in order to keep your compensation options open:
- Minor or superficial injuries. Any cuts, sprains, pinched nerves, bruises, or muscle strains that require more than a bandage or simple first aid care should be covered under workers’ comp.
- Slip and fall injuries. Broken bones, neck injuries, head injuries, and spinal cord damage are all potentially severe injuries that can require extensive medical treatment, expensive recovery, and a great deal of time off, all of which have the potential to be covered by worker’s comp.
- Equipment injuries. Vehicles, machinery, and dangerous equipment malfunctions can lead to broken bones, crushed limbs, blunt force trauma, amputations, and many more injuries ranging from minor to severe. These injuries are definitely covered by workers’ comp as the direct cause of the injury was an employer’s property.
- Repetitive motion injuries. Doing the same actions over and over again can cause tremendous strain on muscles, tendons, and joints. This strain can lead to muscle deterioration, arthritis, tendonitis, pinched nerves, and a host of other long-term and painful injuries.
- Overexertion injuries. Injuries caused by lifting heavy loads, moving equipment or furniture, or working physically taxing machines can be serious and keep you away from work for many days. These injuries should be reported and compensated for.
- Psychological injuries. Overwhelming stress from work has been noted to lead to psychological breaks, anxiety disorders, and depression in some employees. Although difficult to prove, psychological injuries are still eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
For more information on your worker’s compensation rights or to talk to someone about your employee benefits options, contact us today! Our thorough knowledge and experience with workers’ comp laws can help you successfully get the benefits you deserve while avoiding being taken advantage of by your employer or his insurance company. It’s your future, allow us to help protect it. Call now!