Ocala, FL Florida Employers Workers’ Compensation Responsibilities
To file a workers’ compensation claim, an employee has many responsibilities to fulfill, but so does the employer. Schatt Hesser McGraw, an Ocala workers’ compensation law firm, can assist employees in any industry with filing workers’ compensation claims. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation.
Which Employers Need To Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?
The majority of employers are required by the state of Florida to carry workers’ comp coverage for their employees. The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation determines specific coverage requirements based on the type of industry and number of employees. Penalties for not having state-mandated insurance include possible criminal charges and monetary fines.
Any construction business with one or more employees, including the owner, are required to have business liability insurance for work-related injuries.
Florida requires workers’ compensation insurance for any non-construction industry with four or more employees, including the business owner(s).
In the agricultural industry, the requirement applies to businesses with at least six regular employees and/or 12 seasonal workers. The employees must work more than 30 days but less than 45 days during a season in one calendar year.
Employer Responsibilities With A Workers’ Compensation Claim
All employers have certain responsibilities to the employees, including providing preventive measures against workplace accidents and:
- Allowing a recovered employee to resume a previous position;
- Assisting the Florida Department of Workers’ Compensation as necessary;
- Cooperating with all investigating parties after an employee injury;
- Filing an injury report with your workers’ compensation insurance company;
- Providing a safe working environment for employees; and
- Respecting an injured employee’s rights.
What To Do When An Employee Files A Claim
Along with following Florida regulations for filing workers’ comp insurance claims, an employer can aid themselves by following these four steps.
Document The Facts
Remember that objectivity is key when documenting the facts surrounding an employee injury. Speak with any witnesses to the incident and record their statements. Also, speak with the employee and find out specifics, such as when the incident occurred, situational conditions, and any other relevant facts.
Create A Timeline With Relevant Documents
Relevant documents include medical notes and reports, photographs of the accident scene, if possible, and witness statements. A timeline may also be beneficial if the company and employee wind up in contentious negotiations over benefits.
Attend A Deposition If Necessary
Some workers’ compensation claims involve the deposing of the injured employee by a workers’ comp attorney or the employer’s insurance company. While an employer won’t testify or go on the record, attending the deposition provides an idea of what facts and information may be presented at a trial.
Keep Lines Of Communication Open
Keeping all lines of communication open between the company, injured employer, and workers’ comp insurance company is the best way to both avoid prolonging claim duration and to show the company cares about a satisfactory resolution.
Best Practices For Employers
Create A Safety-First Workplace Culture
A safety-first culture is the best way to reduce workplace injuries, while also supporting employees. This can be achieved by minimizing the risk factors surrounding previous injuries and incidents and providing clear and consistent communication with employees.
Respond Quickly To All Incidents
Responding quickly to all workplace incidents and injuries can be considered the best practice for an employer with a two-fold effect. First, it mitigates a potentially adversarial situation between the company and the injured employee. Second, it lays the foundation for addressing the factors behind the incident and eliminates hazardous factors to create a safer working environment.
Empower Employees To Report Current & Potential Safety Hazards
Empowering employees to take action for current and potential safety creates a sense of ownership in daily operations and improves employee satisfaction. It’s also a good way to reinforce a safety-first culture while showing employees their safety matters to the company.
Have All Management Visibly Involved
Guidelines and policies for workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims should be posted in highly visible locations and frequently reviewed by management. If changes are needed in procedures, be proactive about making them.
Workers’ Comp Insurance Lawyers In Ocala
If an employer fails to comply with the workers’ compensation claims process following a workplace injury, contact Schatt Hesser McGraw. Our lawyers are experienced in the state laws surrounding workers’ compensation and remain committed to advocating for the client’s best interests. To schedule a consultation for your employer responsibility workers’ comp claim, contact the Ocala attorneys with Schatt Hesser McGraw today.