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How do I know if I'm covered by workers' compensation?

Your employer likely has workers' compensation insurance to cover you in the event of a job-related injury or illness. It is supposed to help you to cover part of your lost wages while you work on getting better.

But how do you know if your illness or injury is covered by workers' compensation? There are some guidelines.

In short, they must be connected to your job or your workplace. That could mean the broken shoulder you suffered in a fall from a ladder, the carpal tunnel syndrome linked to 40 hours a week of data entry or your diagnosis of cancer attributed to working with certain chemicals.

If you are injured on company grounds while not working, you still could be covered by workers' compensation insurance. A fall in the cafeteria because of standing water caused by a leaky ice machine can be considered work-related. So can incidents offsite if you are there because of your job, such as an injury suffered while meeting clients at their offices. Even an injury suffered at a company-related event, such as a picnic, could be covered.

For workers' compensation coverage to extend to you, the company must have you classified as an "employee." That means contract workers, freelance workers, agricultural workers, seasonal workers and people who work in your home, such as babysitters, aren't eligible for compensation if injured.

Like all states, Florida has specific rules covering workers' compensation, and the only way to know for certain that you are eligible for payment for your injury or illness is to consult with an attorney experienced in that area of the law.

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Wieland & DeLattre
226 Hillcrest St.
P.O. Box 944
Orlando, FL 32802

Phone: 407-841-7699
Phone: 321-639-4777
Fax: 407-841-2084
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