You work at an office, and you recently got injured or sick. Now you want to know: can you collect workers’ comp benefits? How much can you get? And what can you do if your employer and/or your employer’s insurance company won’t cooperate with your claim? This essay can hopefully spell some smart strategic and tactical answers to your workers’ compensation FAQs.
What is Workers’ Compensation For?
Workers’ comp is a "no fault" arrangement in which employers (or their insurance companies) agree to compensate injured workers for their time off work and medial bills in exchange for an employee’s giving up the right to file a lawsuit.
But What If My Employer Was Negligent or Careless? Can I Still Sue?
Not necessarily. There are exceptions, of course. For instance, if your employer put you at great risk – known legally as "gross negligence" – you can theoretically file a lawsuit. But the bar for this is pretty high. For instance, your employer would have to do something like urge you to work in conditions that were clearly toxic (e.g. an asbestos mine without a mask).
What If I Was Partially Responsible for the Injury?
Again, workers’ comp is "no fault," so you still might qualify for benefits. However, exceptions apply. If you intentionally hurt yourself to get workers’ comp, your claim will almost certainly be denied.
Can I Take My Workers’ Compensation in a Lump Sum as Opposed to Installments?
It is possible, but you will need to negotiate with the insurance company (potentially) and get your settlement approved by a judge of compensation claims.
When Do I Report My Injury To My Employer?
Right away. The longer you wait to report the incident, the harder it might be to collect benefits.
What Kind of Taxes Do I Owe on My Workers’ Compensation?
You do not have to pay taxes on your workers’ compensation.
What Are Examples of Accidents or Injuries that Merit Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
- Typing injury – A secretary types 10 hours a day for five days a week for five years and develops repetitive stress injury to her thumbs to the point that she can no longer work and she needs therapy and rehabilitation.
- Construction accident – A worker at a site trips on a loose bar and hits his head against cement and requires stitches and therapy for his concussion.
- Delivery accident – A pizza delivery driver gets hit by a bus in Gainesville and suffers bruised ribs and whiplash. Even though he was technically not "in the office," he was on work duty, so he can file for workers’ compensation.
How Can a Gainesville Workers Comp Attorney Help Me?
Look to the Gainesville workers’ comp attorneys at Farah & Farah for reliable, competent, and strategically sound advice. Call (352) 505-8093 right now to get a free consultation.