First, being fired from the job where you were injured should not affect your ability to receive medical care from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Second, it is illegal for any employer to fire you for filing, for requesting to file or for hiring an attorney to represent you in your workers’ compensation claim.
Florida’s work comp system is intended to be self executing; you are supposed to get medical care and lost wage checks if taken out of work. If you have been fired due to your injury, or due to your employer’s inability to provide work for you due to your injuries, the work comp insurance company is required to pay you a percentage of your average weekly wage. Unfortunately, we see many injured workers who do not get their checks, do not get their checks timely or do not get the appropriate amount of money that they are owed.
If you are placed on a no work status you may be entitled to what are called temporary total disability checks. While you are unable to work you would receive these monies. Once you were returned to work the insurance company will issue you temporary partial disability benefits as long as they cannot accommodate your restrictions. If your employer can find you a light duty position then you will only receive work comp checks if you are making less than 80% of your average weekly wage.
Once the workers’ compensation doctors place you at maximum medical improvement, the workers’ compensation checks will be converted into what are called impairment income benefits. Once those are completed, the work comp checks may stop. At that time you may be able to apply for additional benefits depending on your injuries and your permanent work restrictions.
If you believe you have been fired for attempting to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, you may have a §440.205 retaliatory discharge claim which exists outside of Florida’s workers’ compensation system.
Call one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation or visit us online.