As the summer season approaches, many students seek employment to gain experience and some extra income. While summer jobs are an important step towards independence, it’s important to be aware of the risk of work injury and workers’ compensation.
The reality is that many students are injured at their Florida summer jobs every year. Some are even killed. Injuries range from traumatic brain injuries to broken bones and other serious injuries. If you’ve suffered this sort of injury and would like to speak to a workers’ comp attorney, contact the Hollywood, Miami, or Homestead offices of Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation in Florida
In Florida, workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that is designed to protect both employers and employees in the event of work-related accidents or occupational illnesses. In Florida, workers’ compensation coverage is generally required for most employers, including those hiring many types of seasonal or temporary workers.
Florida law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation for their employees. This includes:
- Construction companies with more than one worker
- Companies in other industries with at least four workers
- Agricultural businesses with 12 seasonal or six regular employees
There are some exemptions, such as contractors and subcontractors. In general, though, if you work at a full-time or part-time summer job and your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance, you should be covered.
Common Types of Summer Job Injuries
Summer jobs often involve various physical activities and exposure to potential hazards. In Florida, especially, the heat and weather can be a factor that leads to harm.
Another issue is that employers may sometimes invest less in training for summer employees. And sometimes summer employees are younger workers, who may have less experience with safety standards and may be more hesitant to insist on safe working conditions. For all these reasons and for others, summer jobs can lead to a variety of injuries, including:
- Slip and falls
- Heat-related illnesses
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Strains and sprains
- Head injuries
- Water injuries, including near-drowning
- Accidents involving equipment or machinery
Steps to Take in Case of Injury
If you’re injured while working your summer job, take the following steps to protect your rights:
- Immediately notify your supervisor or employer. Provide accurate details and ensure that a written report is filed.
- Obtain necessary medical treatment for your injuries. Your employer may have a designated healthcare provider for workers’ compensation cases, so be sure to follow their instructions.
- Document everything. Keep records of all medical appointments, treatments, and any related expenses. Hold onto copies of any correspondence or communication with your employer or insurance company.
- If you have questions or encounter any problems getting your rightful benefits, consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can guide you through the process and ensure your claim is properly filed and supported with the necessary documentation.
It’s important to know that even workers with legitimate claims sometimes have trouble getting the benefits they’re entitled to. Employers or their insurance companies may argue that your injury was not work-related or attempt to minimize your entitlement to benefits.
Having a workers’ compensation attorney by your side can make a difference. An attorney will advocate for your rights, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate on your behalf.
If you’ve been injured and are looking for an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Florida, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online. The attorneys at our offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood have over 60 years of combined experience and we’d be happy to offer a free consultation if you’ve been injured and would like to know whether you have a claim.