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Articles Tagged with workers comp benefits

A very common occurrence that we assist people with in our practice is what to do when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident while working. Specifically, situations where the accident didn’t happen while going to and coming from work or at lunchtime, but it actually occurred while on the clock and while performing work duties. In these situations, the injured party has a choice between potential sources of recovery. If their employer has Workers’ Compensation insurance then they will likely be required to at least have an initial consultation with a Workers’ Compensation doctor to assess the extent of the injuries. In addition, most employers in the State of Florida require an initial drug test urine screen in order to establish the claimcar accident attorney

A common misconception that occurs in these situations is that the injured party is under the impression that they are required and only have the option to treat under their Workers’ Compensation insurance. However, this is not the case if the injured party is not at fault in the crash and the at-fault party has Bodily Injury insurance coverage. In these situations, in addition to the potential workers’ compensation benefits available, the injured party can also make a claim against the at-fault party’s Bodily Injury insurance. This would provide the injured party two potential sources of recovery for their damages.

In addition the above sources of recovery, an injured party may have yet another avenue to recover for their losses. If the injured party, or the vehicle that they were in when the crash occurred, had Uninsured or Under-insured motorist coverage in their policy this may provide an additional remedy. This coverage would apply if the at-fault party did not have Bodily coverage on their car insurance or if their coverage was not enough to fully compensate the injured party for the full extent of their damages from the crash.

Many employees lost their jobs due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic and economic fallout. Many others became “remote” employees overnight. However, there is a large subset of individuals who are still continuing to work at physical locations. Initially, this was limited to “essential” workers, however, at present a large percentage of the labor pool is working at a IMG_6339-493-300x200

physical job site on a daily basis. This creates a lot of concerns for employers in the State of Florida, but also, places enormous pressure on the entire work force. Concerns over health and economics and attempting to balance these two essential tenets, can be a high-stress, anxiety-provoking matter.

Florida issued emergency legislation on federal, state and local levels to increase paid and unpaid sick leave and unemployment insurance benefits for COVID-19-related absences. The true gray area that exists is with regards to employees who contract COVID-19 while working – especially now that the work “place” is a fluid term.

Florida workers’ comp benefits cannot be backdated in order to cover a previous work-related injury. That’s the recent ruling from Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals, which held (unsurprisingly) that people who are uninsured can’t suffer a loss, scramble for insurance and then assume that cost will be covered.workers comp benefits

It’s not a stunning ruling by any means, given that this is generally the way insurance works – whether it’s workers’ comp benefits or car insurance or health insurance. You can’t be covered after the fact.

As noted by the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation, pretty much all employers conducting work in the state of Florida are mandated to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, with specific requirements dictated by type of industry, organization structure and number of workers. Companies do not need to pay insurance for workers’ comp benefits for those who are independent contractors as opposed to employees, but employee misclassification is a serious problem in Florida employment law. Some companies have been caught skirting their obligations by wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance. If a work injury or illness occurs in this scenario, that injury won’t be covered by insurance, but the worker will have the right to sue the employer for negligence and obtain compensation far in excess of what would have been paid in Florida workers’ comp benefits.  Continue reading ›

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