Florida Workers Compensation Questions

We have listed the most common workers’ compensation / work accident questions asked by our clients below.  If you don’t find an answer here, then please feel free to contact us for assistance. Back to Main FAQ Page Can I sue my employer if I get hurt at work? Not generally.  The workers’ compensation system is normally how you would go about being compensated for work injuries.  However, if the employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance, then it might be possible to sue them directly. How long after an accident do I have to report it to my employer? You should report it as soon as possible but no later than thirty days or your claim may be denied. When should my employer report the injury to their insurance company? Your employer should report the injury as soon as possible, but no later than seven (7) days after their knowledge. The insurance company must send you an informational brochure within three (3) days after receiving notice from your employer. The brochure will explain your rights and responsibilities, as well as provide additional information about the workers’ compensation law. A copy of the brochure can be viewed on this website under “Publications”. Are employers in Florida required to carry workers’ comp insurance? Yes, if they have 4 or more employees, they are required to have this coverage. My employer will not report my injury to the insurance company. What can I do? You have the right to report the injury to their insurance company. Can I use my regular doctor? Unfortunately, the insurance carrier is normally given choice of doctors.  You can request to choose a specialist (such as a cardiologist or orthopedist), but this is usually a one-time change for medical reasons only. Can’t I use my regular medical insurance instead? No. These kinds of policies do not cover accidents at work and the worker’s comp carrier is under no obligation to follow any instructions a doctor of your own issues. Will I be paid if I lose time from work? Under Florida law, you are not paid for the first seven days of disability. However, if you lose time because your disability extends to over 21 days, the insurance company may pay you for the first seven days. How much will I be paid? In most cases, your benefit check, which is paid bi-weekly, will be 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage. If you were injured before October 1, 2003, this amount is calculated by using wages earned during the 91-day period immediately preceding the date of your injury, not to exceed the state limit. If you worked less than 90% of the 91-day period, the wages of a similar employee in the same employment who has worked the whole of the 91-day period or your full-time weekly wage may be used. If you were injured on or after October 1, 2003, your average weekly wage is calculated using wages earned 13 weeks prior to your injury, not counting the week in which you were injured. In addition, if you worked less than 75% of the 13-week period, a similar employee in the same employment who has worked 75% of the 13-week period or your full time weekly wage shall be used. Do I have to pay income tax on this money? No. However, if you go back to work on light or limited duty and are still under the care of the authorized doctor, you will pay taxes on any wages earned while working. For additional information on Income Tax, you may want to visit the Internal Revenue Service website at: www.irs.gov If I am unable to return to the type of work I did before I was injured, what can I do? The law provides, at no cost to you, reemployment services to help you return to work. Services include vocational counseling, transferable skills analysis, job-seeking skills, job placement, on-the-job training, and formal retraining. To find out more about this program, you may contact the Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Bureau of Rehabilitation and Reemployment Services at (850) 245-3470. If I settle my claim for medical benefits with the insurance company and my condition gets worse later, who pays for my future medical care, surgeries, etc? You are responsible for your future medical needs after your claim for medical benefits is settled.  This is why it is extremely important to be sure you get a fair settlement and why hiring an experienced SSDI attorney is always a good idea. What can I do when it is difficult to get a prescription filled or I am having problems with the pharmacy where I get my workers’ compensation medication? In Florida, an injured worker has the right to select a pharmacy or pharmacist. Florida law prohibits interference with your right to choose a pharmacy or pharmacist. However, a pharmacy is not required to participate in the workers’ compensation program. If at any time, you become dissatisfied with your pharmacy or pharmacist’s services, you can seek another pharmacy to fill your prescriptions. Back to Main FAQ Page