What Is Third-Party Negligence In A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When you have been injured on the job, it can be difficult to keep up with the different terminology surrounding workplace injuries, workers’ compensation claims processes, and liability issues. To be sure, you may have heard or read that workers’ compensation is an “exclusive remedy” for workplace injuries, and you might have learned that the exclusive remedy provision of Florida workers’ compensation law means that you cannot hold another party liable for your injuries. Instead, you might have heard, you are only entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits. That statement is not exactly true.
How can you know with certainty whether you are eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits and to file a lawsuit against a liable party? You should speak with a South Florida workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can learn more about exceptions to the exclusive remedy provision and how third-party negligence may result in additional compensation.
Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Provision in Florida
Although workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy when it comes to holding your own employer accountable for your injury, it is not the sole injury when a third party’s negligence caused your injuries. Yet you should also keep in mind that, when third-party negligence results in an on-the-job injury, workers’ compensation benefits may still be available to you.
What is Third-Party Negligence in a Workplace Injury?
When the term third-party negligence is used to describe responsibility or liability for a workplace accident, that term is referring to the fact that a third party outside the context of the job was responsible for causing the injury due to his or her negligence. In other words, a third party’s careless or reckless act or omission resulted in physical harm to a worker.
There are various ways in which third-party negligence can lead to a workplace injury. Some examples include but are not limited to:
- Delivery drivers or service workers who enter the workplace or job site and cause injury to a worker;
- Careless property owner who failed to make the premises reasonably safe for a delivery driver, for example, or failed to warn about a hazardous condition on the property;
- Automobile driver who collides with a worker who is driving as part of his or her job, or who crashes into a highway construction site;
- Mechanic responsible for working on a company vehicle, and the mechanic’s negligence resulted in a problem with the company vehicle that led to a worker’s injury;
- Company tasked with performing maintenance at the workplace or on the job site;
- Designer or manufacturer of a defective product used on the worksite; or
- Retailer of a defective product used in the workplace that resulted in a worker’s injury.
You Can Likely Still Seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Even if a third party is responsible for your injuries and you want to file a lawsuit, you may still be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits to help with your medical care and lost wages while your lawsuit is pending. Personal injury lawsuits can take quite a bit of time, while workers’ compensation benefits can almost immediately begin providing you with medical benefits, and wage replacement benefits soon after.
Contact a Sunrise Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Do you have questions about third-party liability and workplace injuries? Our Sunrise workers’ compensation attorneys can help. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today.