If you suffered an injury on the job in Florida, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation. These benefits can help alleviate the economic burden of lost wages and medical expenses associated with your injury. Generally, a worker’s compensation claim is the only avenue for an injured worker to receive compensation. However, in some cases, your injury may have been caused by a third party — someone who is not your employer or a co-worker. For example, if you are making a delivery for your employer and are in a car accident with a third party, you may be able to file a personal injury suit against the other driver in addition to a claim for workers’ compensation.
Third-party injury claims, unlike workers’ compensation claims, require proof that another person was at fault for the accident that resulted in injuries. Third-party injury claims can lead to awards of greater damages. For example, while both actions will seek reimbursement for lost wages and medical bills, in a third-party suit you may receive damages for pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
If you suffered an injury at work that was at least partly caused by a third party’s negligence, a workers’ compensation attorney can play an indispensable role. Your attorney can:
If you recover damages from a third-party and also receive workers’ compensation benefits, your employer and insurer will have a workers’ compensation lien against any money you received from your third-party injury claim. The lien allows the workers’ compensation insurer to recoup some or all of the money they paid out in your behalf. However, workers’ compensation liens are subject to negotiation. Your workers’ compensation or personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate a lower lien amount, allowing you to keep more of your third-party settlement.
At Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis in West Palm Beach and Stuart, we have a team of experienced Florida attorneys dedicated to helping injured workers, recover the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. Call our office at 561-471-2800 or contact us online today for a consultation.