How Does Third-Party Liability Impact Workers’ Compensation Cases?

If you are injured while working, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and wages. Many workers’ compensation cases are straightforward – if you are injured at work, your employer’s insurance covers the claim. Not every case is this open and shut. When your injury results from the negligence of a third party, your claim instantly becomes more complicated. A third party is considered a person not directly affiliated with your company. Your claim can become more complex when a third party is involved because the workers’ compensation insurance provider may seek subrogation rights.

Third-Party Negligence and Subrogation Rights

A third-party negligence claim happens when someone other than your employer is the cause of your injury. If a third party is involved in your injury claim, you may be entitled to additional benefits in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. In Florida, employees injured in a workplace accident are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim and seek damages through legal action. There are situations where the insurance provider managing the workers’ compensation claim may step into the place of the injured party to pursue compensation in a negligence claim. The situation is called subrogation, and insurance carriers can choose whether to bring a claim to seek damages because a negligent party caused an insurance payout to occur. Your employer should provide you with safe working conditions at your job. When you are injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance covers your medical care and recovery If a third party is at fault in your negligence claim, your employer’s insurance can sue the third party to recoup part of the payout.

Common third parties held liable in workplace injuries include:

  • Architects and engineers who create poorly designed unsafe structures
  • General contractors who operate poorly maintained sites at your workplace
  • Property owners with unmaintained or unkempt property

Construction Companies: When construction site owners don’t provide safe working conditions and equipment, they could be held liable for the injury of those required to interact with their site. An example of this third-party liability would be if an employee working at a building undergoing renovation was injured in a construction accident.

Sub/Contractors: General contractors are responsible for the safety of their worksite. They are required to follow (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) OSHA guidelines, which are put in place to ensure the site is safe. Injuries on the worksite can lead to the general contractor or sub-contractor being held liable for failing to maintain a safe workplace.

Manufacturers: Factories can be a dangerous place for employees. There are many ways you can get injured while working, and if you are injured doing your job and the machine was the case of your injury, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of the machinery.

Drivers: If you’re injured while driving for work, you can collect workers’ compensation and file a lawsuit to hold the driver and other related entities liable.

In Florida, the insurer also has the right to step in and file suit against the negligent third party in your case. The injured employee has a year to seek damages from any third parties. After this time, the insurer has the right to file their claim. They will need to provide notice to the worker before filing the suit. The insurer files a lawsuit against the third parties to recoup insurance payouts made in your claim.

Our Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident due to the actions or inactions of a negligent third party, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In addition to your workers’ compensation benefits, you also have the right to seek damages from the negligent third party in your case. Any damages you recover in your third-party suit are subject to the insurer’s subrogation rights.

If you were injured at your workplace and you think you may be entitled to additional compensation from a third party, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Van Dingenen Law today. Call us at (407) 967-5377 to schedule a consultation.

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