Was Your Work Injury Caused by a Third Party?
Many Florida work injuries are caused by third parties. The term ‘third party’ refers to any person, or entity, that is not related to your employer. A third party could be another company, or it could be a driver on the highway who ran into your vehicle while you were on the job. If a third party caused your work-related injury, you need to hold them liable; as such, you should contact an experienced Tampa workplace accident attorney as soon as possible.
Workers’ Compensation and Third Party Liability
Under Florida law, workers’ compensation is generally the sole means for injured employees to recover compensation when their employer caused their injury. There are a few minor exceptions, but for the most part, you cannot bring a work injury lawsuit against your employer. Instead, you will be required to file for workers’ compensation to seek damages. However, if a third party was to blame for your injury you do have the right to bring a work injury lawsuit against them. Third parties are not covered by Florida’s workers’ compensation regulations. This is true even if the third party is also an employer. For example, often there are many different contractors working on the same construction site. If you were working on a job site, and you were seriously injured by the negligence of another contractor, you can, and should, bring a work injury claim against that third party employer.
You Can Still File for Workers’ Compensation Too
Personal injury lawsuits against third parties can take some time to process. During this waiting period, you can still file for, and collect, workers’ compensation benefits. However, you should be aware that, assuming you prevail, you will be required to reimburse your workers’ compensation benefits. This occurs under a process known as ‘insurance subrogation’. The process can get extremely complicated, but an experienced work injury lawyer can help.
Proving Third Party Liability
Another important distinction between third party work injury claims, and a Florida workers’ compensation claim, is that fault becomes a factor. Fault is simply not considered in workers’ compensation case. All injured employees may recover workers’ compensation benefits, even if the accident was entirely unpreventable. However, to prevail in a third party work injury lawsuit, you must prove that the other party was at fault for your injuries. This means that you need to prove that the other party was negligent. In Florida, negligence has four required elements:
- Causation; and
Each personal injury case is highly individualized. Proving negligence can be a challenge and you should expect a fight from the other party. This is why it is so important for third party work injury victims to get their case in the hands of an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Our Office Today
The experienced workplace injury attorneys at The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group will help protect your rights. Our team has extensive experience holding third parties responsible for their negligence. If you have been injured on the job, contact our Tampa office today at 813-242-4404. We offer free initial legal consultations to injury victims.