When you’re hurt because of your employment, you might wonder if the injury qualifies for workers’ compensation. Florida’s workers’ compensation program provides payments to workers who are injured on the job.
While some workers’ compensation injuries may seem obvious, like a fall from an elevated surface, other claims are subtle like overuse and stress-related injuries. Regardless of your specific injury, you will want to work with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Tampa to ensure you get the most out of your claim. Here are 10 of the most common types of workers’ compensation claims.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can occur in any line of work. Liquid spills, stray objects, poor lighting, and even overcrowding can cause a slip and fall accident at work. When you’re hurt in a slip and fall accident at work, you don’t have to show that the slip and fall is the result of negligence. You can claim workers’ compensation regardless of the reason for the slip and fall accident.
Falls From Elevated Surfaces
Many employees work on elevated surfaces. A fall from scaffolding or even an elevated staircase can produce serious injuries. Broken bones, sprains, torn ligaments, and traumatic brain injury are just a few of the serious injuries that may result from a fall from a high surface while at work.
Overexertion is one of the most common causes of workplace injury. An employee can strain their back trying to lift or move an object. Overexertion injuries can include muscle strains, dislocations, and other serious injuries. Overexertion injuries at work can take a significant amount of time to heal.
An employee who gets hit by a projectile object at work may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Employees who work with machinery and tools and even employees who don’t work with machinery and tools can be hit by a projectile object. Even something as simple as a heavy box falling off a high shelf can cause a significant injury. Projectile objects can cause damage because of their weight and because of the speed they travel. Injuries can include brain injuries, soft-tissue damage, and broken bones.
Trapped by an Object
When an object traps an employee, it can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation. The weight of an object may hurt an employee. They may also be injured by falling into machinery that uses sharp blades or other cutting instruments. Being trapped by an object can cause serious injuries.
Jobs of all kinds require employees to travel. Whether you drive a truck on a construction site or you drive a car to an appointment, all employees may be hurt in traffic accidents. If an employee travels for work, their travel is covered under workers’ compensation law. Traffic accidents can produce injuries that are both mild and serious. When an accident causes injuries large or small, you may receive compensation through Florida’s workers’ compensation system.
Heavy machinery can cause an accident. The accident may occur because of operator error, or it may happen because of a problem with the machine. Any employee who works with or near machinery may claim compensation because of a machine-related accident.
Doing the same activity repeatedly can cause injury over time. The workers’ compensation system covers employee injuries that occur because of repetitive use. Any repetitive injury that occurs because of work activities may qualify for the types of compensation offered by the workers’ compensation system.
Work can be stressful. When stress at work leads to injuries like heart problems, anxiety or even PTSD, these injuries can qualify as work-related injuries under Florida law. You must show the connection between the injury and your work.
Workplace violence can be devastating. If you’re the victim of intentional workplace violence, there may be criminal and civil responses that may be appropriate. Workers’ compensation is only one avenue that you should explore if you’re the victim of intentional violence at work. Our attorneys can help you examine all of the responses that you should take when you become the victim of workplace violence.
Does My Work Injury Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation if the injury is “arising out of and in the course of employment.” In other words, your injury qualifies if you get hurt by doing your job. Whether an injury arises from the course of employment is a case-by-case question. Even a chronic overuse injury or an injury resulting from stress like a heart attack may qualify even if the injury doesn’t happen acutely during a shift.
There are some exceptions to the rule including employees horsing around at work. If you’re hurt because you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do at work, the employer may dispute your claim. This is one type of workers’ compensation limitation that applies to employee conduct.
In addition to the employee horseplay exception, Florida law 440.11 lists a few other reasons that a claim may be excluded from the workers’ compensation system. These reasons are based on employer conduct. For example, if the employer commits an intentional assault against an employee, they may not shield themselves from traditional tort liability by using the workers’ compensation system.
In addition, when an employer also owns the property where the injury happens, the employee may bring a traditional negligence claim if they’re hurt because of the condition of the property. Finally, where an employer acts in bad faith in processing a workers’ compensation claim, they may face legal liability for their handling of the claim. The workers’ compensation system doesn’t protect bad behavior either on the part of the employer or the employee. In all other cases where an injury occurs during the course of employment, it should fall under the workers’ compensation system.
Our Tampa Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, our Florida workers compensation attorneys can help you determine if it qualifies as a workers’ compensation injury. The team at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys has decades of experience helping injured victims get the compensation they deserve under Florida law.
You may have multiple ways to pursue your claim, but time limits to claim compensation can be short. Call us today to speak confidentiality to a trained and understanding team member. Your consultation is free. Call us today.