Are Construction Workers Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Construction workers are surrounded by on-the-job hazards more than workers in any other industry.
Most construction workers have to work with and around heavy equipment and at dangerous heights, not to mention that many of them are exposed to toxic chemicals and substances in the workplace.
But are construction workers entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Florida? Are you covered by Florida’s workers’ compensation law if you work in the construction industry? The short answer is, “Generally, yes.”
Are construction workers in Florida covered by workers’ comp law?
Many construction workers mistakenly believe that they are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because their employer classified them as independent contractors.
While it is true that you must be classified as an employee to be eligible for workers’ compensation, Florida’s workers’ compensation law requires all construction workers to be classified as employees.
Under Section 440.02, Florida Statutes, people working in the construction industry are either a business owner or an employee of the business. Unlike most other states, Florida law does not allow employers to classify construction workers as “independent contractors.”
Are all construction workers entitled to workers’ compensation benefits?
Under Florida workers’ compensation law, employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to all employees performing construction work. Thus, construction workers are entitled to compensation benefits regardless of how many employees their employer has. In fact, they can obtain compensation even if they were injured because of their own mistake.
When seeking workers’ comp benefits, construction workers are not required to prove fault on the part of their employer because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system.
How to file a workers’ compensation claim as an injured construction worker?
Under Section 440.185, Florida Statutes, you must report your workplace accident within 30 days of the accident date or initial manifestation of the injury.
Preferably, it is best to report your on-the-job injury the same day as your accident to strengthen your workers’ compensation claim and improve your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
After reporting your workplace accident, your employer or supervisor should arrange to have you transported to an emergency room to diagnose the injury and start treatment. After being notified of your on-the-job injury, the employer is required to report your injury to their workers’ compensation insurance company to start the claims process.
At this stage, it is vital to be represented by a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Florida to ensure that your claim is being handled fairly. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to devalue or deny legitimate claims to increase their profits.
If you are a construction worker who got injured at work, it is advised to consult with a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney to help you file a claim and obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact our skilled lawyer at Kobal Law to review your particular case and determine whether you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in your situation. Call at 813-873-2440 to schedule a consultation.