When Can an Injured Employee Seek Compensation through a Workplace Injury Lawsuit?

Workplace injuries occur frequently in many professions, and this is especially the case for jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries. When a worker is injured on the job, there are several potential avenues that the worker can pursue to obtain compensation for their injuries.

Chemical PlantThe first option is a workers’ compensation claim. Florida workers’ compensation claims are filed by an injured employee against an employer for an injury that occurred on the job while they were acting within the scope of their employment. If they are successful in a workers’ compensation claim, an injured worker can obtain temporary or permanent benefits while they are unable to return to work. However, once a worker is able to return to work, the benefits cease. Additionally, compensation for pain and suffering due to the accident will not be available through a Florida workers’ compensation claim. However, if a workers’ compensation claim is available to an injured worker, that will be his sole remedy, meaning that he will not be able to pursue compensation through a Florida personal injury case.

Workers who are injured due to the fault of a third party (i.e., not their employer) can seek benefits through a Florida personal injury claim against that negligent third party. If they are successful in a Florida personal injury case, an injured worker can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering they endured as a result of the accident. A recent case illustrates how an injured employee unsuccessfully attempted to hold a third party liable for his workplace injuries.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was an employee of a company that provided insulation work to industrial clients. The defendant contracted with the plaintiff’s employer for some insulation work on their chemical tanks. As part of the agreement, the defendant required all employees working on the chemical tanks to undergo training to familiarize themselves with the hazardous chemicals to which they may be exposed.

One day, the plaintiff was climbing down a ladder when he stepped in a puddle he thought to be water. The liquid splashed on his bare leg because he was wearing shorts. The plaintiff did not immediately wash the liquid off his leg and later noticed a burning sensation. As it turned out, the liquid was actually a harmful chemical, and the plaintiff suffered serious chemical burns.

The plaintiff filed a third-party workplace injury lawsuit against the defendant, claiming that the company was negligent in allowing the puddle to form underneath the ladder. However, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit, claiming that the defendant fully fulfilled any duty it owed to the plaintiff. The court explained that the defendant required all employees to attend mandatory training and also posted signs indicating the dangerous nature of the chemicals that were present in the tanks. As a result, the plaintiff will not be permitted to pursue his claim against the defendant; however, he may still have a viable workers’ compensation claim against his own employer.

Have You Been Injured in a Workplace Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a South Florida workplace accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled South Florida personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank have extensive experience assisting their clients with seeking the compensation they deserve through workplace personal injury claims as well as through workers’ compensation claims. Call 844-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Limits Truck Owner’s Liability, Finding that He Loaned Truck to At-Fault Driver, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published July 6, 2017.

Who Is Responsible in Florida When Someone Causes an Accident Using a Borrowed or Stolen Car?, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published August 10, 2017.

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