Time and time again, as we consult our clients and prepare their cases, we hear, “But why can’t I get more than that? I deserve to get more than that because I was badly hurt.” “That” refers to workers’ compensation benefits. The reality is this: there are really only two benefits one gets from a workers’ compensation case: medical expenses and lost wages.
Let’s look at a couple of scenarios
Say you go into the breakroom, you step in some form of liquid, you slip, you fall, and you sustain an injury that leaves you with permanent nerve damage. It’s only right that you receive compensation for the permanent nature of the injury, right? After all, your injuries are permanent, and more than likely, you will be hampered by the injury for the rest of your life.
Wrong. Medical expenses and lost wages are the only benefits you get in workers compensation.
In another scenario, you’re headed to an off-site meeting, and as soon as you stop at a red light, you’re rear-ended. You sustain an injury to your back that causes excruciating pain, a kind of pain you’ve never felt before. You’ll definitely get pain and suffering benefits because the emotional and physical stress you’re feeling is enormous, right?
Again, not going to happen. Medical benefits and lost wages will be provided and that is all that can be obtained.
What do medical expenses and lost wages cover?
Medical expenses cover doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, emergency room visits, medications, therapy and rehabilitation treatments. It also includes coverage for medical equipment such as crutches and wheelchairs. Lost wages benefits are received if you are kept from work, and they cover money that you would normally earn if you did not sustain an injury at 2/3 of your average weekly wage. There is a differential if you can work but not at the same rate you previously earned prior to reaching maximum medical improvement.
Florida law applies to every workers compensation case, and the details can get complicated. Contact one of our Florida workers’ compensation attorneys to learn your eligibility status and to determine how you are covered.