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Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys / Blog / Workers Compensation / Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Injuries From Natural Disasters?

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Injuries From Natural Disasters?


On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian slammed into the Fort Myers area of Florida, causing (as of this writing) 103 deaths and leaving millions without power, with property damage totaling in the millions of dollars even before cleanup has concluded. Workers have been on the job around the clock, working to get power back on and restore some semblance of normal life to the millions of people affected by the storm – but accidents can and do happen in such high-pressure situations. If a worker is injured while trying to repair storm damage, they can often apply for workers’ compensation benefits, though they are not necessarily guaranteed to receive them.

Within The ‘Normal Course Of Employment’

There are certain criteria that your injury has to fulfill before you can be certain that you can receive workers’ compensation benefits as a result. Florida law specifies that a compensable injury must have been sustained as the result of an “accident in the normal course of employment.” The ‘normal course of employment’ is essentially defined as performing the same duties that one would on a normal day at work – but it does not necessarily mean ‘on your employer’s premises.’

If someone is, for example, a construction worker engaged in disaster cleanup after a hurricane, or a first responder trying to rescue people from damaged buildings, these activities can very easily be held as being within the normal course of their employment. However, someone in another profession may have a harder time arguing that their accident was within the course and scope of their employment – though even if one is denied workers’ compensation benefits for an injury, this does not mean that they could not pursue other options for compensation (such as filing a personal injury lawsuit, if possible).

Do Not Assume Success

Florida’s laws require most employers to carry workers’ compensation coverage – in the construction industry, a business with 1 or more employees must carry it, and in most other industries, a company with 4 or more employees is required to have coverage. (The agricultural industry is an outlier, with special requirements.) However, not every injury or occupational disease that occurs (or is developed) on the job is eligible for compensation – a whole host of factors must be considered before making that determination.

In addition, a person’s position may affect whether they can collect benefits or not. For example, an undocumented person, while entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured, will often be intimidated out of filing for those benefits because of a Florida law barring workers’ compensation claims filed with a fraudulent Social Security number. Every case is different, and simply assuming you will be able to collect benefits is not a good path to take. Enlisting an experienced attorney is generally a better idea.

Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney

While the cleanup from Hurricane Ian was hard, people who have been injured as a result of the storm need help and guidance. If your injury was work-related, contacting an Orlando workers’ compensation attorney from the Hornsby Law Group may be the first step toward collecting workers’ compensation benefits for what you have been through. Contact our office today at (407) 499-8887 for a free consultation.



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