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What Should You Know About Workers Comp In Sarasota?

If you live and work in Sarasota, Punta Gorda, North Port, or any other areas in Southwest Florida, you work with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that gainfully employed labor means injury protection. For Florida employees, that means workers compensation, more commonly known as “workers comp.” But while workers comp is intended to be a straightforward mechanism for helping out workers injured on the job, sometimes the circumstances around an injury can complicate things.

Here are some of the basics you should know about how workers comp in Sarasota protects you.

Injuries Must Be On The Job & Related

The most basic point to qualify for workers comp is that the injury must occur at your place of work, and it must be job-related. So a construction worker that gets shocked by exposed wiring while working on a building would easily qualify. However, if you’re an office worker and you get into a car accident that results in an injury while on vacation in Europe, that situation wouldn’t qualify you for workers comp.

Workers comp also has a statute of limitations. In most cases, this won’t be an issue because employees usually report an injury shortly after it occurs. However, in the circumstance that someone doesn’t report it right away, the workers comp claim can still be recognized as long as it is filed within one month or 30 days.

Part Time Or Full Time Doesn’t Matter

While it’s typically a full-time employee that gets benefits like company-provided healthcare, or additional coverage such as dental or vision, any employee qualifies for workers comp as long as they are legally working part-time or full-time. As long as a business employs more than four people, they are legally required to have insurance that provides coverage for workers comp-related incidents.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to entrepreneurs or freelancers, so if you are an independent contractor, you are typically on your own, although some exceptions exist.

There Is Additional Coverage For Disabilities

Unfortunately, sometimes injuries are so severe that a complete recovery is impossible. The loss of a limb, or even damage to a sensitive area, such as the spinal column, can leave some accident victims with the loss of limbs and new adjustments to make in life, such as using a wheelchair and no longer being able to walk.

Of course, in such situations, it may even change whether it is possible to return to a previous line of work. In these instances, a permanent injury will receive additional compensation in the form of impairment benefits.

The Attending Physician Matters

For ordinary medical matters, most people will have their own preferred physician or “family doctor” that they see for general health and wellness reasons. However, when it comes to injuries on the job, the only medical diagnosis that counts comes from a doctor evaluating on behalf of the workers comp providers.

In some cases, you may have an option to see another physician, but in other circumstances, you may not. However, if you disagree with the diagnosis provided by the evaluating physician, it is possible to file for another to get a second opinion.

It’s Possible To Get Workers Comp & Carry Out A Lawsuit

It depends on the circumstances of an injury, but in some situations, an injured worker may qualify for workers comp while still having the legal option to sue a business for personal injury. Personal injury lawsuits are possible when the cause of the injury is due to negligence at the workplace.

So, for example, if someone making a delivery to a construction site is injured at the construction site because a vehicle check wasn’t conducted and the person got hit by a construction vehicle that failed to take precautions, then, in addition to the workers comp, it’s possible to sue the construction company for negligence.

Different Types Of Compensation

There’s more than one type of workers comp, and workers comp lawyers are familiar with what works best in a particular situation. There is temporary total disability, or TTD, and temporary partial disability, or TPD. How much you receive in compensation is tied to the type of workers comp you receive.

TTD, for example, is provided at 2/3 of your salary before the injury. The cap, however, is limited to $1,099 per week. TTD workers comp expires when one of three milestones are hit:

• A physician has diagnosed you recovered and can return to work
• A physician has determined that while you need further medical treatment, you won’t improve anymore.
• Your temporary disability period has expired.

If you’ve been injured at work and have issues with your workers comp being released to you, don’t just accept the decision. Talk to a workers comp attorney, and make sure that an experienced legal professional is working on getting you the coverage that you deserve for your work.