Three Things To Know About Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Whether you were recently injured on the job or you want to be prepared in the event of a workplace injury, it is important to understand what workers’ compensation coverage means under Florida law. Coverage is a term that refers to situations in which an employer is required to pay compensation or to provide benefits for an employee’s workplace injury. Our South Florida workers’ compensation lawyers routinely represent clients who have questions or concerns about workers’ compensation coverage and their eligibility. We want to tell you three things about workers’ compensation coverage in South Florida.
- Most Employers Must Provide Compensation for Workplace Injuries
Under Florida law, workers’ compensation coverage means that an “employer must pay compensation or furnish benefits” required by the statute “if an employee suffers an accidental compensable injury or death arising out of work performed in the course and the scope of employment.”
Generally speaking, employers that have four or more employees—whether those employees are part-time or full-time employees—must provide workers’ compensation coverage.
- Many Different Types of Injuries Are Compensable
In terms of injuries for which employers must provide compensation or benefits, Florida law indicates that most workplace accidental injuries and certain occupational diseases are compensable as long as the employer is required to provide workers’ compensation benefits.
Florida law expressly defines a compensable injury to include the following:
- Accidental injury arising out of an “unexpected or unusual event or result that happens suddenly” and/or
- Occupational disease “which is due to causes and conditions which are characteristic of and peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process, or employment.”
Types of injuries or occupational diseases that are not compensable, and thus are not covered under workers’ compensation law, include but are not limited to:
- Underlying conditions;
- Acceleration of a disease caused by habitual use of alcohol or drugs; or
- Certain diseases caused by exposure to toxic substances in which there is not clear and convincing evidence that the exposure caused the disease.
For many injuries, it may be difficult to know if the type of injury itself is covered. For example, if an injury arises out of an underlying condition but is substantially caused by a work condition, it may be covered. The statute says the accidental injury must be the “major contributing cause” of a current injury, even if an underlying condition played a role. You should talk to a Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer if you have questions.
- Coverage Requires a Reasonable Degree of Medical Certainty
For an injury to be covered, Florida law explains the level of proof that is needed: “the injury, its occupational cause, and any resulting manifestations or disability must be established to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, based on objective relevant medical findings.”
Seek Advice from Our Sunrise Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have any questions about workers’ compensation coverage—from whether or not your employer is covered to determining whether or not your injury is compensation—our team can assist you. An experienced Sunrise workers’ compensation attorney at our firm can evaluate your case for you today. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. for more information.