Employees who are injured while performing a work-related activity in Florida have an obvious way to seek compensation and recovery. Submitting a claim to an employer and its workers’ compensation insurance provider is a protected mechanism to recover medical costs and cover certain losses related to an injury. However, questions about this process and other legal remedies can arise when an employee is injured because of a third party’s negligence or actions.
How do Third Party Injuries Occur?
It might seem odd that an unrelated third party could cause a workplace injury, but consider how frequently outsiders are present in your place of employment. Contractors who perform daily janitorial services, plumbers responsible for fixing leaky pipes, security personnel in charge of limiting access, delivery personnel, clients, customers, and construction workers all visit the premises regularly.
Any of those individuals could act in a negligent and unfortunate manner that causes a workplace injury. In particular, repairmen and construction workers make physical changes to the property; those can lead to a torn carpet, water on a bathroom floor, or sharp objects left in walkways. Employees in a hurry or simply distracted by work activities can easily miss those new aspects of their everyday environment.
You can still File for Workers’ Compensation
The workers’ compensation law in Florida states that injuries and illnesses occurring at the workplace may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To be entitled to these benefits, a worker need not demonstrate responsibility. There is no requirement that an employee prove to an employer, insurance agency, or government official who was responsible for the accident or incident leading to injury. In fact, an employee’s own negligence is still covered under workers’ compensation in Florida.
Therefore, an incident precipitated or caused by an unrelated third party nevertheless falls under workers’ compensation. It is not uncommon for employers or their insurance providers to push back on workers’ compensation claims arising from third-party negligence. If you are denied a claim or doubt your right to file based on employer actions, you should contact a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer immediately.
Filing a Separate Third Party Negligence Suit
Another question that may arise when a third party is responsible for your workplace injury is whether a separate personal injury lawsuit is appropriate. This is an important question to ask your workers’ compensation lawyer because filing a separate lawsuit can maximize the recovery and compensation you receive.
Under workers’ compensation, you are limited to recovery for medical costs and disability benefits. Sometimes those options for recovery do not address other injuries, losses, and expenses incurred due to an accident. For instance, Florida workers’ compensation does not cover losses due to pain and suffering or loss of consortium. In a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, you can receive compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and similar losses or costs.
Speaking with a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Handling a workers’ compensation claim arising from a third-party injury can be complicated and confusing. The added complexity of a responsible yet unrelated third party can cause employees to miss out on valuable avenues for recovery and compensation. To maximize your recovery, speak with a Florida workers’ compensation attorney.
Our Miami Personal Injury law firm has been representing individuals suffering from work-related injuries for over 25 years and are ready to assist with your Florida workers’ compensation claim and provide additional advice on filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party. Contact our 24-hour phone line at (305) 441-0440 or toll-free at 1-866-597-4529, or send us an email describing your case to [email protected].