It may seem somewhat counterintuitive to believe that volunteers could qualify as employees if you go by the colloquial meaning of these words. However, in the state of Florida, there are some circumstances where a volunteer will qualify as an employee – at least in regard to workers’ compensation purposes. As a result, they may be eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits if they suffer an injury while volunteering.
If you have suffered an injury while you were volunteering, it’s a good idea to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney West Palm Beach Florida so you can know what rights you have in this situation.
The Workers’ Compensation Act in Florida states that volunteers aren’t included in the definition of an employee. While this is true, there are some exceptions to this rule. The most common exception is if a person is volunteering for the state, for a governmental entity, municipality, or county.
Usually, anyone who isn’t being paid for their services is legally considered a volunteer. However, if you or your employer can prove that a valuable consideration existed, the presumption may be overturned.
Even though Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law doesn’t allow a governmental volunteer to receive workers’ compensation benefits, usually they will be able to receive indemnity benefits (these are benefits that are paid instead of wages during a period when an injured person is unable to work). Usually, the benefits you can receive include medical – which includes medical bills that relate directly to the injury. These are typically paid by the employer as long as you can prove the injury occurred while on the job.
Volunteer work is unpaid, which means the law doesn’t usually permit a volunteer to recover any lost wages because there aren’t any wages to recover. However, just like above, there are some exceptions. The most common is if the volunteer has another “concurrent” job.
While there aren’t any wages to recoup from the volunteer work, there may be wages that are lost at a concurrent paying job while the volunteer spends time recovering from the injury. If you can prove that you would lose these wages from your paying job while you were recovering from an injury you received while volunteering, you may be able to file a suit to receive indemnity benefits.
If your situation makes you an exception and you can receive workers’ compensation benefits – but you aren’t – you can file a lawsuit to reassert the rights you have to these benefits. However, a quality employer is probably going to be willing to work with you, especially since fighting a suit for these benefits is both expensive and time consuming. Most employers, especially various government agencies, don’t want to drag out this type of situation.
If you are in a situation where you believe you should be receiving workers’ compensation benefits after suffering an injury while volunteering, hiring an attorney is a smart move. Our team at Felice & Ehrlich can help to protect your rights and get you the benefits you deserve. To learn more, contact our legal team by calling (561) 444-8822 .
Kelsey Burke is an amazing attorney.. she was very helpful with the both of my cases. She always stayed in touch with me and always kept me updated with was going on every chances she got. Thank you !!
Ken and his staff were amazing they won my case and every request I made was met with speed and professionalism!!!
I never would have thought that adversarial litigation would be so stress and worry free! Felice and Ehrlich were professional, courteous and understood my stress. I would recommend Felice and Ehrlich to anyone!
It was a pleasure working with all of FELICE / EHRLICH handling my case. I want to thank everyone for their professionalism and courtesy and honesty in dealing with all of the obstructions and uncertainties. I especially want to thank Ken. In the beginning, I was told he was the best and that is a fact. Thank you, Ken. I also want to thank Janie for guiding and directing and making me feel comfortable through the process. Thank you all it was a pleasure working with you. Mr Hall
I appreciate Ken Ehrlich’s straightforward approach and also listening to my concerns. It is not easy navigating legal issues that effect your future and having an experienced, compassionate advocate on your side is well worth the time and expense to help with those intricacies. Many thanks for your guidance and assistance in a field in which you are an expert.