Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Florida workers deserve to feel safe in the workplace. They should not have to tiptoe around careless employers, hazardous work environments, and lack of proper training. These forms of negligence can be dangerous and even deadly for employees. When a worker sustains an injury on the job, the most obvious solution is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Before you do so, however, consider whether negligence played a part in the incident. In Fort Lauderdale, a personal injury claim against your employer or another party could likely lead to greater compensation than a workers’ comp claim.
Should You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Florida’s workers’ compensation program gives employees the opportunity to receive financial recovery for work-related injuries without having to prove negligence. As long as the employee abides by the rules for filing, he or she can receive a check to cover injury-related medical care, missed shifts at work, and temporary or permanent disability benefits. The workers’ comp system is an excellent solution for workplace injuries in many cases. However, it may not be a worker’s only – or best – choice after an injury on the job.
Some workplace injuries stem not from the hazardous nature of the position but from someone’s negligence. Slip and falls, toxic chemical inhalation, burns, caught in/between equipment, vehicle accidents, sprains, repetitive motion injuries, and electric shock are all examples of common issues that come from negligence or carelessness. A competent and prudent employer can almost always prevent these incidents by maintaining a safe work environment.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were 272 fatal worker injuries in Florida in 2015. The majority (127) came from transportation accidents, followed by falls (52), violence (39), contact with equipment (28), and exposure to harmful substances (21). Most of these fatal accidents were preventable with proper care. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in any of these common circumstances, you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim instead of workers’ compensation in Florida.
When to Sue Your Employer
There are federal and Florida state codes in place to help improve the safety of workers. Broken standards can result in worker injury and employer liability. If an employer failed in some way that made the workplace unreasonably hazardous for workers, any subsequent injuries may be grounds for personal injury claims. Note that a worker cannot file for both workers’ compensation and personal injury compensation. Filing a workers’ comp claim immediately bars the injured worker from suing the employer. This is why it’s important to review your options with an attorney before making your decision.
Instead of filing for workers’ comp and receiving the limited benefits therein, find out if you are eligible to file a negligence claim against your employer. If the defendant is not your employer, but rather a coworker or third party, you could file both types of claims in Florida. Either way, know that you might be eligible for greater compensation than just workers’ comp benefits after a workplace injury. A conversation with a skilled attorney can help you understand your rights and options moving forward. If you suffered a broken bone, head or back injury, or other serious harm while at work in Fort Lauderdale, get the legal help you need. Jason and Debi Chalik want to hear your story. Call the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik today for a free, no obligation consultation today.