Every state in the country, including Florida, has a workers’ compensation law that protects employees by providing them with benefits in the event that they become injured on the job. If you have suffered a workplace accident, it’s important to know whether or not you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation eligibility
As long as you are considered a legal employee of a company, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation — with the exception of ship crewmembers or interstate railroad workers. If your line of work meets either of those exceptions, the law dictates that you have the option of suing your employer for a settlement, rather than going through workers’ compensation. All other employees who work for a company are entitled to workers’ compensation.
Exclusion of contract workers
It’s important to note that contract workers are not covered under workers’ compensation law because they are not considered employees of a company. Employees work directly for an employer in a long-term position, have taxes removed from paychecks and use the employer’s tools. Contract workers are hired by a company for specific jobs and use their own tools to execute tasks for a limited period of time. Thus, contract workers are not considered employees.
If you are not sure if you’re an employee or a contract worker, consider who controls the daily requirements of your work. Does a supervisor oversee your work on a daily basis? If so, you should be classified as an employee. If you are tasked with completing a project on your on time with your own resources, you are most likely a contractor.
As an employee, if you suffer an injury while performing your job duties, you are entitled to receive compensation benefits. You are eligible for workers’ compensation regardless of whether you, your employer or no one is at fault. Because of this, you may not sue your employer for compensation related to medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
To learn more about what you should do after a workplace accident, meet with a skilled Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.