One of the most prevalent difficulties for both employers and employees involves the full knowledge and understanding of workers compensation in Florida. Consulting with a qualified Orlando workers compensation attorney can quickly clear up most fallacies, but all too often people learn of these common errors when it is too late. Below are some of the most frequently heard myths about workers compensation.
Employees are Covered by Orlando Workers Compensation for All Injuries
Agricultural workers, domestic workers, and independent contractors are not covered by the same labor laws and workers compensation mandates as other workers. These regulations vary from state to state as well, so it is wise to speak to your employer about insurance coverage when you are hired.
Certain types of injuries may be difficult to claim under Orlando workers compensation if it cannot be made clear that your injury was part of your work. For example, if you suffer a heart attack or stroke while on the clock, you may have to prove that this incident was a direct result of your work and not an unfortunate coincidence.
People Claim Workers Comp Because They Do Not Want to Work
Recent studies have shown that most employees are eager and willing to return to work during their recovery. Companies that offer “back to work” programs, provide less strenuous transitional duties during recovery periods, and check in regularly on the well-being of injured employees see a larger percentage of those employees returning to their original employment. Furthermore, these same businesses end up owing less money towards missed wages.
A large number of injured workers enjoy the routine and familiarity of the workplace and want a return to normalcy without the stress of hiring an Orlando workers compensation attorney. While people tend to believe that fraud is a regularly occurring event, studies have shown that fewer than 2 percent of workers compensation claims are proven fraudulent.
Workers Compensation is Expensive for Employers
Not only is workers compensation both affordable and valuable for employers but the entire concept was created in order to benefit and protect employers. Before the establishment of this specialty insurance in the United States in the early 20th century, injured workers would sue their employers directly in court. The process was time-consuming, costly, and stressful. Today, when you claim work-related injuries, you are not suing your employer. Instead your Orlando workers compensation attorney will file a ‘Petition of Benefits’ to the insurer of your employer.
My Employer Will File My Claim
Your employer is only required to report your injury to the insurer. Every step taken further in obtaining your claim is the responsibility of you and your Orlando workers compensation attorney.
I Cannot Claim Compensation If It Is My Fault
The Florida Workers Compensation Act mandates that all workplace injuries are protected on a strict “no-fault” basis. Exceptions do exist, however, for cases of extreme negligence. If, for example, a drug test reveals that you were intoxicated at the time of your injury, you will not be eligible for benefits. Also if your employer were to injure you not by accident but in a deliberate attempt to harm you, “employer immunity” would no longer be enacted, and you could sue your employer directly (perhaps trade your Orlando workers compensation attorney for a personal injury lawyer).
I Cannot Claim Compensation As 1099 Employee
Independent contractors are not covered by the same regulations as other employees, but many employers misleadingly have their employees sign 1099s when they do not, in fact, meet the criteria for independent contractors.