Third Party Liability And Workers’ Compensation Claims
On-the-job injuries are not always the fault of your employer, just as they are not always the fault of the injured victim, another employee, or any one person in general. In fact, there are often no “at-fault” parties in work injury incidents; sometimes it all comes down to bad luck. As an injured worker, it does not matter if anyone’s careless actions caused the accident or not—you are eligible to file a claim regardless of fault, which is one of the great benefits to the workers’ compensation system. However, sometimes there is an at-fault responsible third party who you can hold accountable for additional compensation, on top of your workers’ compensation claim.
Examples of When a Third Party May be Held Liable
Third party negligence is often the cause of work injuries. For example:
- A distracted driver drifts out of their lane in a construction zone, hitting a construction worker. According to the National Safety Council, the most costly workers’ compensation claims are due to motor vehicle collisions;
- A customer brings their dog into a retail store, and the dog bites a staff member;
- An employee suffers an injury due to a defective product while at work; or
- As mentioned in The National Law Review, you work on a construction site and fall through a hole created by company A, but you work for a separate company B. You can file a workers’ compensation claim with your company while still holding company A accountable through a third party negligence case.
In all of these cases, the injured employee would likely have the chance to file a personal injury claim against the third party—whether that party is a driver, a company, a product manufacturer, or another individual—in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit Often Exceed Those in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance, and it pays all of the employee’s medical costs, plus up to two-thirds of their average weekly wages. Workers’ compensation claims have the advantage that no burden of proof is necessary when it comes to fault; as such, compensation is divided out quickly. A personal injury lawsuit takes much longer, but the victim can be compensated for the following, unlike in a workers’ compensation claim:
- Full lost wages;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Additional medical treatment that was not covered by the workers’ compensation claim;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of joy of life;
- Emotional distress; and
Call a Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
An experienced South Florida workers’ compensation attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against that third party while also pursuing your workers’ compensation claim for immediate financial relief. Call the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today at 954-807-1334 to schedule a free consultation.