One of the most difficult concepts for our workers’ compensation clients to understand is that they will not receive any monetary compensation through Florida’s workers’ compensation system for pain and suffering. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
The notion is counterintuitive. Compounding the difficulty in understanding, much less accepting the concept, is that pain and suffering damages are payable in other types of injury cases – e.g., premises liability, medical malpractice, products liability.
To make sure our clients understand the concept, we begin the discussion at the initial conference and keep it going until the case is brought to a successful conclusion. Even then, the concept never sinks in fully with some of our clients.
Florida’s workers’ compensation system was established some 80 years ago to provide injured workers with basic benefits (medical and indeminty) without first having to prove that the accident was caused by someone else. It was designed to be a no-fault system, where benefits would be provided quickly and efficiently to hasten a return to the work force.
In exchange for the timely provision of benefits without regard to fault, injured workers were forced to give up the right to receive compensation for pain and suffering. This can be a difficult concept for some injured workers to understand and accept.
Commentary: beginning with the election of Jeb Bush as Florida’s governor in the late 1990s, the worth of workers’ compensation benefits have been slashed and burned to a point of being a mere pittance of what they were originally designed to be. Some argue, myself included, that because of this erosion, the original exchange deal is no longer fair, now being grossly lopsided in favor of business/insurance. Since the workers’ compensation is no longer fair and just, it should be scrapped altogether so that injured workers are free to pursue remedies through the civil justice system.
Contact us toll free at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your legal rights.
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