Worker’s compensation is a tricky subject in most workplaces. More often than not your immediate supervisor will not know everything you need to know about your options, medical treatment protocols, or compensation benefits. That’s why it’s important to talk to your HR department as well as an attorney to get the compensation and guidance you need.
Worker’s compensation helps you pay for medical bills and maintain your income when you’ve been hurt on the job and can’t work. Sometimes this means covering the copays for a few doctor’s consultations. However, if the injury is serious, worker’s compensation may cover extended hospital stays, prescriptions, and even provide some compensation for the hours missed while you’re recovering.
Knowing your benefit options will put your mind at ease while you’re recovering from an on-the-job injury. Here’s what you need to know about your worker’s compensation benefit options and rights in Florida:
Once you report your injury, your company is required to file a claim with their worker’s compensation insurance provider to determine whether you qualify for benefits. If you do qualify, you will be entitled to:
- A consultation and treatment by a physician or medical facility within the insurance provider’s network
- Full coverage of medical bills related to the on-the-job injury or illness (including doctor visits, in-hospital care, medical devices and prosthetics, and travel expenses related to your care)
- One physician change or second opinion within five days of filing your claim
Your worker’s compensation claim should cover all expenses until your treating physician has determined that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This means that no further improvements are expected and you can either return to work or continue with regular medical treatment related to your injury. After you’ve reached your MMI, you may be required to pay minimal copays on medical treatments for your injury.
Wage Replacement Benefits
If you are unable to work because of your injury, you may also receive wage replacement benefits as part of your worker’s compensation. Typically this benefit will be no more than ⅔ of your average weekly wage, and no higher than the Florida maximum. You, your employer, and your attorney will determine your average weekly wage and compensation options for if you are able to partially return to work (for example at a less intensive position) or not at all.
If you are going to file a worker’s compensation claim, you will have certain responsibilities in regards to your care and reporting on the progress of your treatment. You will need to comply with all of the insurance agency’s rules including choosing a doctor within their network to provide your treatment. You must also communicate with your employer, the insurance carrier, and the treating physician to ensure all documents and medical information is provided to the correct party.
If you’re having trouble navigating a complex worker’s compensation case, contact Katherine Stone of Injury Florida Law Firm. Katherine and her staff are here to help you receive the maximum benefits of worker’s compensation to get you back on your feet and ready to work. Contact Katherine a [email protected] or call the office today.