Workers’ compensation insurance was designed to protect employees, ensuring they get the care and treatment they need for work-related injuries — without having to pay for it. Yet, many employees don’t know about this very important coverage.
At Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation in Pembroke Pines, Florida, David Berkower, DO, offers comprehensive care for workers’ compensation injuries. He also offers independent medical evaluations (IMEs), which are often required for claims submissions. If you’re confused about workers’ comp, we’ve got the information you need to understand your rights.
Myth 1: Workers’ compensation insurance is an extra benefit
Fact: Actually, in Florida, nearly every employer is required by state law to have workers’ compensation. Specifically, businesses with four or more employees must carry this insurance, and construction-related businesses must carry workers’ comp for every employee. Coverage is required beginning with the first day of employment.
Myth 2: I don’t qualify, because the injury was my fault
Fact: Most of us are used to thinking of insurance payments in terms of who’s at fault in an accident. But workers’ compensation is different. In a workers’ comp claim, fault doesn’t come into play. Even if your accident occurred because of your inexperience or because you weren’t paying attention to what you were doing, you can still successfully claim benefits.
(There are, however, a few exceptions: For instance, if your accident occurs because of alcohol or drug use, you won’t be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.)
Myth 3: I was working offsite, so my injury isn’t covered
Fact: You don’t need to be injured at your primary place of employment to qualify for workers’ compensation. If you’re working offsite — for instance, at another location or on a sales call — you can still be eligible for workers’ compensation.
And, while commuting to and from your job generally is not covered, if you have an injury from a car accident while you’re driving for your job duties, you may be covered.
Myth 4: Workers’ comp only covers me if my injury is related to my job duties
Fact: This is a common misconception, but the fact is, you don’t need to be performing specific tasks in order to qualify for workers’ comp. As long as your injury occurred during the course of your work day, you can still be eligible for workers’ comp. That means if you trip and fall while walking from your desk to the bathroom, you can still file a workers’ comp claim.
Myth 5: Carpal tunnel syndrome and other nerve injuries aren’t covered
Fact: Workers’ compensation is designed to cover nearly any type of work-related injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome and other neuropathies. As a top-ranked pain management and rehabilitation specialist in Florida, Dr. Berkower uses state-of-the-art electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) to confirm injuries and determine the extent of nerve involvement, so you can get the care you need.
Myth 6: I can wait to tell my employer about my injury
Fact: Under Florida law, you must let your employer know about your injury within 30 days in nearly all circumstances. Then your employer must file a claim with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier within seven days following notification. While there are a few exceptions, in most cases, if you don’t notify your employer within 30 days of your injury, your claim may be denied.
Myth 7: A regular doctor’s exam is all that’s needed to support my claim
Fact: Many employers and insurance companies require a more detailed examination, called an independent medical evaluation, or IME. An IME is designed to be objective and unbiased and help resolve lingering doubts or questions that may hold up a claim. Dr. Berkower is experienced in the IME process and provides workers, employers, and insurance companies with the documentation needed to resolve claims in a timely manner.
Myth 8: If I file, I might get fired
Fact: Firing an employee because they file a workers’ comp claim is against the law. Any employer who does so would be subjected to stiff fines and possible prosecution.
If you’ve been injured at work or you’ve developed an injury as a result of your duties, we can give you the care you need. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation.