Negligence And Pompano Beach Workers’ Compensation Claims
Many workplace injuries occur because of somebody’s negligence. To be sure, on-the-job accidents tend to happen most often because an employer was negligent, a co-worker was negligent, or the injured worker was negligent in some capacity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are about 2.8 million nonfatal injuries every year in private workplaces, and those injuries frequently happen because of human error. If you were recently injured at work, you might be wondering about the link between workplace negligence and workers’ compensation benefits. To be sure, you may be concerned that your own negligence will prevent you from receiving benefits, or you could be wondering about your eligibility to sue a co-worker or your employer if their negligence caused you harm.
Our experienced South Florida workers’ compensation attorneys want to provide you with the information you need concerning negligence and workers’ compensation claims.
Florida Workers’ Compensation System Already Accounts for Negligence
The workers’ compensation system in Florida already accounts for negligence in the workplace—i.e., mistakes or errors made by employees, employers, and other people on jobsites. How does it do this? Workers’ compensation is a no-fault type of system, and it is an exclusive remedy (for the most part) when it comes to workplace injuries. What this means is that the workers’ compensation system is not concerned about whose negligence caused the injury. Regardless of negligence—the employee’s or somebody else’s—the employee can be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Employee Negligence and Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits will not be reduced because the employee’s negligence contributed to the accident. While comparative fault can result in a plaintiff’s damages being reduced in a personal injury lawsuit, you should know that comparative fault is never applicable in workers’ compensation cases. An exception, of course, is if the employee intentionally caused his or her own harm.
Employer and Co-Worker Negligence and Workers’ Compensation
Like we mentioned above, if your employer or a co-worker is negligent and it results in your injury, you can seek workers’ compensation benefits. Yet because workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy, you typically cannot file a lawsuit against your employer or co-worker because of their negligence. Instead, workers’ compensation benefits will be your exclusive remedy.
One potential exception involves gross negligence or reckless behavior. In some such scenarios, a lawsuit could be possible, but it is important to seek advice from a workers’ compensation lawyer in Pompano Beach before you try to move forward with a lawsuit.
Third-Party Negligence and Your Workers’ Compensation Case
When a third party’s negligence causes your injuries at work—such as the manufacturer or retailer of a product you were using, or a distracted motorist who caused a collision on your worksite—you can still seek workers’ compensation benefits just as you would if somebody affiliated with your job caused the accident. What is different in the case of a third party’s negligence? In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you also may be eligible to file an injury lawsuit against that third party.
Contact a Pompano Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Do you have questions about negligence and workers’ compensation? Our Pompano Beach workers’ compensation lawyers can help. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. for more information.