Work Injuries Outside the State May Still Be Covered Under Florida Comp

Because our office is located in the Panhandle of Florida, our attorneys will often talk to injured workers with accidents occurring in other states such as Alabama and Georgia. The worker lives in Florida, may have been hired by the company in Florida, but just happened to be working across state line in Alabama on the date of the injury. Is this an Alabama work comp case or a Florida work comp case?

The answer is that it could be either one or it could be both which gives the injured worker the choice of which law should be applicable. In Florida, the issue of jurisdiction is set forth in § 440.09(1)(d), Fla. Stat. When a worker is injured outside of Florida, the case can still be covered under Florida law if (1) the contract of employment was made in this state OR (2) the employment was principally localized in this state. Either situation can make the case a Florida work comp case.

Florida courts have addressed the issue of whether a contract of employment was made in Florida many times over the years. Such factors as the hiring authority of the person involved in the employment negotiations with the worker, where the work was contracted to take place, where the contract was executed or where the last act happened to complete the contract are all to be considered in determining if the employment contract was made in Florida.

If Florida jurisdiction is to be based on the fact that the worker’s principal location of employment was in Florida, then it’s important to look at the workers’ place of primary employment and not where the employer’s business is located. In other words, the employer may have an office located in Florida, but if the worker goes to Alabama every day to work, the principal place of employment is likely going to be Alabama.

Each state has its own work comp laws that determine the type and amount of benefits payable to injured workers. One state may be better than another state depending on the circumstances of the case and the benefits sought. Kimberly Syfrett of Syfrett, Dykes & Furr is licensed to practice law in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, and can help you decide which state law is best for you. If you have been injured on the job and have any questions about your rights, contact Syfrett, Dykes & Furr by calling {F:P:Site:Phone}.

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