Common Workers’ Compensation Myths

When it comes to workers’ compensation, there are a lot of myths out there. In fact, you may have swapped stories with coworkers and heard about some experiences with the workers’ compensation system. All workers benefit from knowing the truth about the workers’ compensation system. Here are some common workers’ compensation myths answered from our Tampa attorneys for workers’ compensation claims.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Pain and Suffering?

No, workers’ comp does not cover pain and suffering. Even though you can receive paid medical treatment and compensation for lost wages, workers’ comp does not cover pain and suffering. The purpose of workers’ comp is for injured workers to get their medical and income needs met fast when they’re hurt on the job. With that goal in mind, workers can collect workers’ comp without regard to fault. However, the trade-off is that workers’ comp doesn’t cover pain and suffering.

Can You Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

No, you can’t be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Firing a worker for having a workers’ compensation claim is impermissible retaliation. The workers’ compensation system exists to help injured employees get paid when they’re hurt. It would put unfair pressure on employees to decline to file claims if they could get fired for exercising their rights. Ultimately, if you’re fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you can bring a legal claim for unlawful termination.Workers Compensation Injury

Are Workers’ Comp Cases Public Record?

Whether workers’ comp cases are public record depends on the law of each state. In many states, they are public record. Other states limit the public nature of workers’ compensation records. For example, in Florida, Florida law 440.1851 [1] prohibits disclosure of personally identifiable information in workers’ compensation records. While the records are generally public information, any information that can personally identify the victim must be redacted and disclosed only to the litigant or their spouse or dependent if the victim is deceased.

Do You Get Full Pay on Workers’ Compensation?

No, you don’t get full pay on workers’ compensation. Instead, you get a percentage of your previous income. Usually, it’s about two-thirds of your regular pay. There are limitations, for example, if you’re able to continue working another job or if you’re able to work with modified duties. Generally, you do not get full pay on workers’ compensation. In most states, the victim gets about two-thirds of their regular wage while they are on workers’ compensation.

How Many Employees Do You Have to Have for Workers’ Comp?

How many employees you have to have for workers’ comp depends on state law. In Florida, for example, an employer must have workers’ comp if they have four or more employees. However, in many states, even a single employee triggers a workers’ comp requirement for the employer. Each state sets its own laws about how many employees they have to have for workers’ comp to apply.

What Is Considered a Workers’ Compensation Injury?

A workers’ compensation injury is an injury that occurs in the course and duties of employment. Basically, a workers’ compensation injury is a work-related illness or injury. A workers’ compensation injury may be acute like a sudden injury or chronic like an illness or condition that develops over time.

The injury must occur during the performance of work duties as compared to during the commute to work, for example. Misconduct like fighting might also fall outside the workers’ compensation system. However, the general rule is that a workers’ compensation injury is an injury that occurs at or during work or develops because of work-related conditions.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover the Commute?

No, workers’ comp doesn’t cover the commute. Only the performance of work duties falls under workers’ comp. For example, if it’s your job to drive to an appointment or make deliveries as part of your job, you’re covered if you’re hurt during the drive.

However, if you’re injured while you’re on your way to your work location to begin working, you’re not covered by workers’ comp. The general rule is that workers’ comp doesn’t include the commute. However, it’s important to understand exactly what counts as a commute when you evaluate your workers’ comp claim.

Can You Be Terminated While on Workers’ Comp in Florida?

Yes, you can be terminated while on workers’ comp in Florida. However, you can’t be terminated for the reason that you filed a workers’ comp claim. You can be terminated for cause while you’re on workers’ comp. Under Florida law 440.205 [2], you can’t be terminated because you filed a workers’ comp claim, but you can be terminated for cause even if you’re on workers’ comp.

How Long Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?

In Florida, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits for up to 104 weeks if your injuries are temporary. To receive benefits for 104 weeks, your employer must not be able to accommodate your limitations with light duty. If you have permanent injuries and are unable to work, you may receive benefits indefinitely or until you reach retirement age.

Who Pays for My Health Insurance While on Workers’ Comp?

Your employer’s workers’ comp insurer pays for your health insurance while on workers’ comp. You should be able to continue to receive health insurance while you’re on workers’ comp. It’s your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider that should pay the premiums as part of your workers’ comp benefits.

Why Do Workers’ Comp Doctors Lie?

Workers’ comp doctors may lie out of pressure from the insurance companies that they work for. They might want to keep costs low for the insurance companies by minimizing your injuries and claiming that you’re able to work when it just isn’t true or reasonable. Fortunately, you don’t have to accept it if a workers’ comp doctor lies. Instead, you can fight back with the help of your workers’ comp attorney and your own doctors to prove the truth.

Contact Our Tampa Workers’ Comp Attorneys

Do you have questions about workers’ comp? Are you trying to separate facts from myths? Our Tampa workers’ comp attorneys can help. We’re Tampa’s aggressive workers’ compensation attorneys. We know how to apply Florida law to ensure that you win the compensation that you deserve. Call us today for your free consultation.

Sources

[1] FLA. STAT. § 440.1851 (2019)

[2] FLA. STAT. § 440.205 (2019)

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

For more than 36 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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