Workers’ compensation, sometimes known as workers’ comp, is a type of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to qualifying Florida employees who suffered injuries or illness in the course of their employment. Employers offer this benefit in exchange for the employee’s relinquishment of their right to sue the employer for civil negligence.
Although the legislative intent of workers’ compensation appears as an employee benefit, in practice, workers’ compensation often benefits employers, specifically those employers who have particularly hazardous work environments. Those who have suffered injuries at the workplace should consult with an attorney to determine the steps to take to preserve their rights to workers’ compensation benefits and potential third-party claims.
Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
After a workplace injury, employees should report the accident or illness to their employer as soon as possible, but no later than thirty days after the incident. Then, the employer should report the injury to the insurance company no later than seven days after their knowledge. If they fail to do so, the employee has the right to report the injury to their insurance company. Employees should always seek medical treatment authorized by their employer or insurance company.
Hiring a Florida attorney during workers’ compensation claims increases the likelihood of a quick and appropriate resolution of one’s claim. In addition, an attorney can evaluate the situation to determine whether any other party may be liable for the accident. In those cases, an attorney can gather evidence and compile a compelling case for compensation against any other responsible party.
Third-Party Claims After Work Injury
Under Florida law, those who receive workers’ compensation benefits may not pursue a claim against their employer for losses related to that injury. However, there may be an alternative avenue to relief if a third party was liable for the accident. Third-party claims may be viable in situations such as:
- An employee suffers injuries in a car accident by a negligent driver,
- An employee suffers injuries because of defective equipment, or
- An injury occurs on property belonging to someone other than the employer.
Although workers’ compensation claims do not require a showing of fault, third-party claims follow traditional negligence rules. Thus, employees must show that the third party owed them a duty, breached that duty, and the breach resulted in actual damages.
Contact a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have suffered injuries while at work, contact the attorneys at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrata to learn about your rights and remedies. The lawyers on our team understand the importance of workplace safety and the devastating toll an injury or illness can have on a person’s livelihood. For the past 45 years, the attorneys at our office have secured workers’ compensation benefits for our clients. In addition to Florida workers’ compensation claims, our attorneys represent clients in personal injury, wrongful death, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and premises liability cases. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.