What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities in Work-Related Accidents in Florida?

The Florida Bureau of Compliance, a division of Florida Workers’ Compensation, enforces employers’ duty to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for most employers in nearly every industry across the state.

As such, employers should become familiar with workers’ compensation coverage requirements to ensure that they are in compliance with the law. Failure to have workers’ compensation insurance puts employees at risk of financial hardship and makes an employer vulnerable to lawsuits and legal penalties. 

Here’s What to Expect from Your Employer When You Suffer a Workplace-Related Injury

1. Reporting Injuries

Workers’ compensation insurance companies must provide accident form DWC-1 to employers. If you are injured in a workplace accident, your employer is, in turn, required by law to report the accident to the workers’ compensation insurance provider using the provided form.

Employers must file the First Report of Injury or Illness (DWC-1) with the insurance carrier for determination of responsibility within seven days of first knowledge of the accident or injury. For more information, please review Florida Statutes sections 440.02(1) and  440.16.

Employers must report required wage information to the insurance company within 14 days of learning of an injury that will cause you to miss work for more than seven days or result in permanent impairment.

2. Coverage Requirements

Employer coverage requirements vary based on three conditions: 

  1. Type of industry
  2. The number of employees
  3. Type of business entity

According to Florida Statute 440.02(17), here’s who must have coverage:

  • Employers who have four or more employees, including business owners who are corporate officers or Limited Liability Company (LLC) members
  • Construction employers who have one or more employees including business owners who are corporate officers or LLC members
  • Agricultural employers with six regular employees or 12 seasonal employees who work more than 30 days during the season, but no more than a total of 45 days in a calendar year

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3. Providing Sufficient ‘Return to Work’ Conditions or Benefits

Once you recover from your injuries, you may wish to return to work. If your employer provides benefits and return-to-work options, this should be sufficient to meet the goal of getting you back to gainful employment. 

However, an employer or carrier’s definition of “necessary care” and your definition may differ. When that happens, you may file a petition for benefits and have a judge of compensation claims determine whether the benefits provided are sufficient or if additional benefits should be provided as required by Florida law. 

If the employer provides benefits, they must report all expenditures to the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier for statistical purposes.

4. Work Release With Conditions

If your doctor releases you to work with conditions, your employer must obtain the list of restrictions from you or the doctor. Your employer must meet with you to discuss the work terms and conditions available for you, including pay. 

Your employer must also report restricted work to the insurance adjuster – especially if you will not earn what you had earned before the injury. The employer must send the adjuster your new wage information weekly or bi-weekly to determine if you are eligible for further partial benefits.

Contact Thomas Ueberschaer if You Have a Workers’ Compensation Claim

If your employer or insurance provider denies your claim, your accident results in permanent disability, or you can’t get the benefits you need, don’t hesitate to act. Contact Tom Ueberschaer for legal representation. Call 850-434-8778 to schedule a free case review with a workers’ compensation attorney in Pensacola, Florida.