Florida Q&A Board

Q&A Log - Florida

Worker ' s Compensation

Damaged False Tooth
Question:
An employee hits himself in the mouth with a wrench and breaks a tooth. The tooth is artificial and requires a dentist to glue it back on. Is it compensable?  -Nate B. 3/2/21

Answers: 

This would likely result in a compensable injury. That is assuming that using a wrench is part of the scope of the duties of the employees. Because worker's compensation is a no-fault system, it doesn't matter if the employee misused the tool or not. If it was reasonable for the employee to be using a wrench as part of their duties, and the injury occurred during their shift, it would be compensable. -McKell S. 3/4/21

Back Fusion Surgery

Question: I had a work injury that resulted in spondylothesis(so?) and nerve so decompressed that it was not seen on MRI at L4/5. I have had fusion, decompression and lamenectomy 4 months ago. My surgeon wrote MMI on my last paperwork and then referred me to pain management, at my request, for ongoing severe back spasms and pain down my leg and across butt with increased activity. I do not want to stop trying for improvement. The MMI written by my surgeon concerns me. I cannot be in the office a full day. Pain wins by 2-3 PM. And I am concerned as to whether I will receive a settlement. I have to rearrange my life to be something I can manage and financially I will need help with that.  -Amy J. 3/22/21

Answers: 

Hi Amy. First off, I am not an attorney, and you will may want to seek legal advice for your case. Often surgeries, especially a fusion surgery, results in a 'permanent disability rating' that you will see as a settlement. If the surgeon wrote MMI, that simply means maximum medical improvement. You may still seek accommodations as long as the doctor doesn't release you to full duty. There are several resources that you can access through the State of Florida's website (https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/wc/Employee/default.htm) that may help you further. Sometimes, your workers compensation carrier (or the state) will have a "re-employment" or "vocational rehab" division that helps people get out of one career and into another following a serious workplace injury. Those are two resources you could check out as well. -McKell S. 3/30/21

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