Workers injured on the job in Florida will typically be covered by their employer's workers' compensation insurance. But after paying for your medical treatment, workers' compensation only covers about two-thirds of your lost earnings.
This blog post will discuss how a "third-party" lawsuit can help you recover the full and fair amount of damages you are owed if your workplace accident was caused by another party's negligence.
What you give up when you file a workers' compensation claim in Florida
When you file a workers' compensation claim against your employer's insurance provider, you forfeit your right to sue your employer for additional damages. The workers' comp insurance provider will cover your medical treatment costs, which must be provided by an approved health care provider (in most cases). You may also claim wage benefits for about 66 percent of your wage loss or reduced wages while you were out. But there is no way to recover the full amount of financial damages or compensation for pain and suffering through the workers' compensation insurance system.
You deserve full financial recovery
But the law does not prevent you from suing the party (or parties) who are found to be responsible for causing your accident or contributing to your injuries. In other words, if you were injured by an explosion because a welding contractor left the acetylene tank near an open flame, you may have a claim against the welder and the welder's contracting agency. Depending upon the circumstances, you may also have a claim against the tank manufacturer, in this example.
These are called "third-party" lawsuits because you are suing a party other than your employer or the workers' compensation insurance provider.
Third-party lawsuits are the only means of obtaining full and fair financial compensation for the medical costs and other damages you suffered, including compensation for the pain, suffering and other costs not directly associated with your medical expenses. After you file your workers' compensation claim, make sure you speak with your attorney about the circumstances of your accident.
At Smith Feddeler & Smith, we can make sure you receive the workers' compensation benefits you are entitled to, as well as represent you in your third-party personal injury claim.