Workplace accidents are a common threat in Florida, and it is not just employees in dangerous environments that are affected. According to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), there are almost 59,200 work-related injuries or occupational diseases reported every year. If you were hurt on the job, you might have already been contacted by your employer and possibly its workers’ comp insurance company. However, before you move forward with a claim, it is crucial to consider all legal options.
Most workplace accidents are covered by workers’ comp laws, but there are some exceptions. You might qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit, so you should understand how the two matters are different. The distinction could have a major impact on your compensation. A Miami workplace injury lawyer can explain your options after consulting with you about the details, but an overview is informative.
Benefits Through Workers’ Comp
Payments through the workers’ compensation system are intended to get the employee healthy and back to work as promptly as possible. The benefits available under Florida’s workers’ comp laws include:
- All medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary to treat your injuries immediately and into the future;
- Wage replacement for time away, a job transfer, or job restriction related to your injuries;
- Total and partial disability payments for permanent or temporary medical conditions.
To qualify, you must be a covered employee who was hurt in an accident while performing job-related tasks.
Monetary Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
If you qualify to sue in court, you may be able to recover compensation in two areas:
- Economic damages for your tangible losses, including medical costs, lost wages, medications, and other out-of-pocket expenses to treat your injuries; and,
- Noneconomic damages, which include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and scarring and disfigurement.
Notably, noneconomic damages are not included in your benefits for workers’ comp. However, to qualify, you have to prove fault – which is not necessary for a workers’ comp claim.
Understanding Options After a Workplace Injury
The preferred remedy for an accident would be a personal injury case because you can obtain amounts for pain and suffering. Still, there is an important rule about workers’ compensation: Your sole remedy is filing a workers’ comp claim.
You cannot file a lawsuit unless your situation falls within one of the exceptions. A common scenario is where a third party caused the accident in which you were injured. This is often the case with construction sites and transportation crashes.
Our Miami Workplace Injury Attorney Will Guide You With Legal Options
It is critical that you pursue all available legal remedies after being injured at work, but you are limited if you do not know the laws. You can trust Gerson & Schwartz, PA, to tackle your claim or lawsuit, so please contact us at (305) 371-6000 or via our website. We can schedule a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. After reviewing your case, a workplace injury can provide details.