Third-Party Liability In Workers’ Compensation Cases
The strong majority of Florida businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of an injury. However, depending on the nature of one’s profession, some employees are more likely to be injured by the negligence of a third party, rather than by anything on their employer’s premises or under their aegis. If you have been injured by a third party while you were on the clock, know that you should be able to obtain compensation – even if technically not from your employer.
Where To Seek Benefits?
Third-party negligence happens when a person not affiliated with your employer causes you injury while you are on the job. The most common scenario for this sort of injury is when an employee is involved in a car accident with a private vehicle – most often, a delivery driver, but it can also happen to a worker who is simply on an errand for their employer.
In these cases, it is the private vehicle who directly caused the employee’s injuries, but since the employee was engaged in the performance of their job (“in the course of [their] employment”), the natural thing to do is to seek workers’ compensation benefits. That said, workers’ compensation benefits do not generally apply to the actions of third parties. It can be confusing, if you are in this situation, to know how to proceed.
The Law “Makes You Whole”
Florida law, thankfully, settles the issue for most people in this situation. The relevant statute allows an injured person to file suit against an (allegedly) negligent third party, but to also pursue workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. The reason for this is that it can take time to actually obtain the compensation you need to pay medical benefits and other expenses, and the law wants an injured person to be made whole as quickly as possible.
That said, if you prevail in your case against the negligent third party, know that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer gets what is known as the right of subrogation – what this means is that it is entitled to recover, out of that award, any amounts it has already paid to you. To allow an injured worker to keep both their workers’ compensation benefits and a jury award would be an unfair windfall, but ensuring the insurer gets repaid for any outlay makes everything fair and appropriate.
Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation law can be difficult to interpret for the average person, so contacting an Orlando workers’ compensation attorney from the Hornsby Law Group is a good first step toward getting any questions you may have answered. Call our office today at (407) 499-8887 for a free consultation.