Work accidents can lead to serious physical injuries and psychological trauma. In some cases, the accident can be so severe that the employee suffers long-term injuries that can significantly impact their ability to engage in their activities of daily living and employment. In these situations, employees and their loved ones should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.
Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance (WCI) is coverage that an employer or business purchases that provide employees with benefits if they suffer injuries at the workplace. The law requires most employers to participate in this program. There are certain exceptions to the requirement, such as non-construction-related companies that have four or fewer employees. WCI works to compensate the injury victim for their medical bills and lost wages. While the benefits include payments for hospitalizations, medication, and subsequent therapy, there are limitations to how much one can recover for lost wages, and Florida Workers’ compensation law can be challenging and complex. Further, the benefits do not cover pain and suffering. Issues often arise when the WCI fails to cover the extent of the injury victim’s losses.
In most cases, Florida’s workers’ compensation program prohibits employees from filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against their employers. However, there are certain exceptions to the rule that apply. The exceptions include situations where:
- The employer engaged in an intentional tort;
- A co-worker caused the injuries;
- A third-party caused the injuries; or
- The employer does not have sufficient workers’ compensation coverage
Employers should be held responsible for their conduct, especially when it causes serious and potentially fatal consequences to employees. For instance, federal officials recently announced that the companies responsible for the nitrogen leak at a poultry plant would face fines. The fines came after a freezer at a poultry plant malfunctioned and released liquid nitrogen into the air. The company failed to train some of its employees on the deadly effects of nitrogen. Three of those untrained workers entered the area of the leak and died immediately. Others in the room died upon exposure or on the way to the hospital. Dozens of others suffered injuries related to nitrogen exposure.
Safety officials fined four companies related to the leak, citing that the entities failed to implement necessary safety procedures to prevent the leak or train workers on how to respond to a potential leak safely. Some of the companies involved in the leak refused to comment on the situation, citing that they were subject to several personal injuries and wrongful death lawsuits.
Have You Suffered Injuries at Your Florida Workplace
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries at your workplace, contact Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada for assistance. The attorneys at our law firm have extensive experience successfully handling personal injury and wrongful death claims stemming from Florida motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, defective products, and workplace injuries. Accidents can have a devastating toll on the livelihood of a person and their family, and we work to ensure that our clients and their families obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.