Workers Compensation for Volunteers?
What Happens When Volunteer Workers Are Injured?
We can all agree that it is good to give back and invest in our communities. Regardless of whether you give time, money, or services, volunteering is encouraged at all levels. We find volunteer opportunities through our employers, at schools, local clubs and organizations, and religious institutions in various Florida communities.
What happens when volunteering results in an individual suffering serious injury? Does it matter if you were volunteering through your employer or a local organization? In Florida, whether an individual will be able to recover from an injury sustained during volunteer work will depend on the organization he or she was working under.
In Florida, if an individual was injured on a volunteer venture of his or her own volition, then whether he or she could recover under the Florida Worker's Compensation Act will depend on whether the entity that he or she volunteers for was a government entity.
Under the Florida Worker's Compensation Act, a volunteer for a government entity such as the State, a local or county government is considered an "employee," for the purposes of worker's compensation. Specifically, Fla. Stat. § 440.02(15)(d) states that "an employee does not include a volunteer, except a volunteer worker for the state or a county, municipality, or other governmental entity."
Full recovery is still not guaranteed, however. If a person is injured volunteering for a government entity, then he or she may be eligible for medical compensation and money benefits, but he or she may not recover for lost wages or similar forms of damages.
The 1st DCA held in Osceola Co. School Bd. V. Boos, 913 So.2d 667 (Fla 1st DCA 2007), that a volunteer is eligible as an employee, but he or she will not recover lost wages for volunteer work.
Find an Attorney for Volunteer Injuries in Worker's Comp in Miami, FL
If you or someone you know was injured during a volunteer venture with his or her employer, or with a governmental entity, contact the experienced worker's compensation attorneys at The Hoffman Firm. Many worker's compensation cases can be extremely fact based, and often rests on small nuances that most individuals would not catch. Some of the most frequently asked questions in worker's compensation cases can turn in to long consultations because worker's compensation can be complicated.
Our attorneys are known for their zeal and attention to detail. We will fight to our clients the best possible settlements.
Call (305) 940-2307 to learn more about how an experienced worker's compensation attorney can help you.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.
Evan A. Hoffman
Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.Read More