Injuries on the job occur all the time. When an injury occurs and you are working, generally, you have what is called a Worker’s Compensation claim. Worker’s Compensation covers you for medical treatment needed to treat your injuries as well as two-thirds of your lost income for the time period it is determined you are not able to return to work. If you suffer a permanent impairment, there are limited benefits available to cover your loss. If your employer has the coverage and it covers you, you can’t sue your employer even if you are injured due to your employer’s negligence or the negligence of a fellow employee (there are few exceptions).
Worker’s Compensation pays without regard to fault, so if you cause your own injury, you can still obtain coverage! Your employer receives benefit from carrying Worker’s Compensation coverage too. It makes your employer immune from a lawsuit even if it was negligent and a partial cause of your injuries, no matter how severe. Worker’s Compensation is required to be carried by businesses except in limited circumstances.
If you are injured on the job and your employer does not have Worker’s Compensation coverage or you are denied after making a claim, the immunity from a negligence suit does not exist!
If you are hurt on the job, you may have more than just a Worker’s Compensation claim! Worker’s Compensation is designed to step in immediately to help injured employees without regard to fault. Many on the job injuries result from some independent, third-party negligence. A simple example of a third-party negligence case while working would be the following:
You drive or are driving a work vehicle in a work-related task and another driver runs a stop sign and slams into your car!
You are on the job and have a work related injury, so you have a claim under Worker’s Compensation in Florida. However, you also have a Third-Party claim against the driver who caused your accident!
The claim against the Third-Party is very important as there is Compensation available against negligent Third-Party insurance that is not available under Worker’s Compensation!
You may recover compensation:
- For pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost capacity to enjoy life
- Lost wages not covered under Worker’s Compensation and;
- Potentially much larger coverage for disability or impairment
You can obtain treatment from your choice of doctor, not the doctor that your employer sends you to.
Trip and fall/slip and fall injuries can occur on the job during delivery at customer locations as just one example. A slip and fall in your employer’s building caused by mopping (with no sign) created by a separate cleaning service is another example. Construction injuries occur due to the negligence of a separate independent contractor employed by another company. Or maybe there is a maintenance failure of a plane that caused injury or death to a pilot. I just finished a case where a large cabinet fell off the wall in a business office that had been redesigned by an outside company and it injured a worker while on the job.
Both claims (Worker’s Compensation and Third-Party) can be pursued at the same time and may actually be beneficial to both you and your employer. Worker’s Compensation benefits may provide more immediate help (and long term medical coverage for the injuries sustained), while a third-party claim may extend coverage significantly.
Should you be injured on the job and believe that a known third-party caused your injury, take photographs immediately of the damage to vehicles or hazards that caused your injuries. Take the contact information of the people or business involved.
Cohen and Juda P.A. can help you navigate and protect your rights. Your employers and third-party insurance carriers have claims-people (adjusters) and lawyers working for them, you need Cohen and Juda to protect your rights. Tell us what happened, call us at (954) 424-1440.