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Mileage And Workers’ Compensation Cases

WC_Claim

If you are injured on the job, the remedy in the significant majority of cases is to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, doing so is complex, and can easily wind up costing money in the long run unless you understand what your insurance company must pay for. In many cases, Florida law actually requires that you be reimbursed for certain costs, like mileage, even before your claim is fully paid out. While these may not seem like much, the costs can add up.

Enshrined In Law

There are no specific laws in Florida that require mileage reimbursement from private employers except for those governing recipients of workers’ compensation, though many employers do reimburse mileage simply as good company policy. The State of Florida does compensate employees for mileage costs, as of this writing, at the rate agreed upon in the relevant statute, but there is no statutory authority which requires it.

Contrary to these practices, Sec. 440.13 explicitly grants injured workers the ability to recover reasonable mileage costs, however, because it is seen as part and parcel of providing medical care to someone who is injured. Without this provision, it is reasonable to assume that many workers, especially those who make lower wages, would not be able to make it to provided care or therapy appointments, which effectively would undercut the state’s policy of care. Jurisprudence, most notably Mobley v. Jack & Son Plumbing (1964), also underscores the need to preserve this.

What Is The Rate?

Perhaps the most common question asked is what the mileage rate actually is, but the answer is not specific. Currently Florida’s rate is tied to the same price paid to state employees and other people authorized for mileage reimbursement, which is $.445 per mile as of this writing. In very rare cases a claimant will receive a different rate, such as that listed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for mileage reimbursements, but this is very unusual. Most Judges of Compensation Claims simply do not see a need, especially since in many respects Florida’s rate is higher than that of the IRS.

Guidance on this matter, in terms of how much the rate should be and whether or not it should be locked to another such as Florida’s amount for state employees, is wished for in many areas, but no case currently has gone before the District Court of Appeals which would settle the issue. For now, most private employers will abide by the $.445 per mile rule if they pay mileage at all – if they do not, in a workers’ compensation situation, they may be in violation of the law.

Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Workers’ compensation is an extraordinarily complex area of law, and an attorney can be indispensable in navigating it. If you have questions about mileage reimbursements or any other aspect of workers’ compensation, the Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys at the Hornsby Law Group will do our best to assist. Call us today to set up an initial appointment.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0440/Sections/0440.13.html

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