A construction worker who has been injured on the job, or the family of a construction worker who has died from job-related injury or illness, is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Florida Workers’ Compensation pays benefits to replace lost wages and medical costs, and for vocational rehabilitation or retraining if necessary. Families of deceased workers receive money to cover expenses related to their loss and payments to replace a portion of the wages provided by a breadwinner. Workers’ compensation is a state-run no-fault insurance program that employers must provide to most employees. Because workers’ compensation exists, an injured employee is typically barred from suing an employer after an occupational injury, even if the employer may have caused the accident through negligence. However, it is important for construction workers and others to understand that they may seek compensation from other parties who are responsible for their injuries.
Multiple subcontractors often work on a construction site at the same time. A third party lawsuit seeks compensation from a non-employer responsible for a worker’s injuries in an occupational accident. This may include another sub-contractor on a construction site, such as is often hired to erect and dismantle scaffolding, for example. In a highway work zone, a passing motorist who causes an accident may be held liable in a third-party lawsuit. In other construction site motor vehicle accidents, any vehicle operator who was negligent may be held liable in some cases if he or she is not the injured worker’s employer. A settlement obtained through a third party claim after a construction accident may provide more compensation than is available through workers’ compensation. Third party claims are not tied to workers’ comp laws, which dictate payments to injured workers or survivors of deceased workers. For example, a third-party negligence claim can include compensation for pain and suffering, which workers’ compensation does not pay.
A thorough investigation of your construction site or highway work zone accident can help ensure you obtain all of the workers’ compensation you are due as well as any additional compensation available from third parties. The Disparti Law Group’s construction accident attorneys can investigate your accident to assist and advise you about seeking the compensation you deserve.