Florida Workers’ Compensation – Out Of State Accidents

Many scenarios arise that bring into question the applicability of Florida’s workers’ compensation system for accidents that occur in other states. The general rule is that a worker injured outside of the state is eligible for Florida’s workers’ compensation benefits if:

(1) The employer and the employee entered the contract of employment in Florida; or (2) If the principal location of the employment is in Florida.

(Only one of the two elements must be met, not both.)

The statutory language, located at 440.09(1)(d), reads as follows: “If an accident happens while the employee is employed elsewhere than in this state, which would entitle the employee or his or her dependents to compensation if it had happened in this state, the employee or his or her dependents are entitled to compensation if the contract of employment was made in this state, or the employment was principally localized in this state. However, if an employee receives compensation or damages under the laws of any other state, the total compensation for the injury may not be greater than is provided in this chapter.”

Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws. Some states allow benefits under its system as long as the accident happened in the state, notwithstanding elements (1) & (2) of Florida’s system. This means, in concept at least, that a person can receive benefits both from Florida and another state at the same time. Florida allows it, with the only condition being that the injured employee may not collect under Florida’s workers’ compensation system, in combination with the other state, to an extent greater than the limits of the Florida Act.

The questions and solutions involving coverage for out-of-state accidents are rarely simple or easy to resolve. Morever, even where benefits are being provided under the laws of another state, an injured employee should consult with a Florida lawyer to compare and determine entitlement to the better benefits.

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Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.

Contact us at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your legal rights.