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Florida Workplace Accidents: Workers’ Compensation or a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Workplace accidents are common in Florida. In fact, there are, on average, between 200 and 250 work-related deaths each year across the state and many thousands more injuries. When someone is injured or killed on the job due to the negligence of another party, the injured person or their family may be entitled to monetary compensation, either through a workers’ compensation claim or through a traditional negligence lawsuit. If someone loses a loved one in a Florida work-related accident, they may be able to seek compensation through either of these means, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

crane-1549933Most of the time, a workers’ compensation claim, if available, is the sole remedy for the injured party. However, in some workplace accidents, workers’ compensation will not be deemed to be the sole remedy and the injured worker can file a personal injury claim against the allegedly negligent party. This is generally the case when the allegedly negligent party is not the injured or deceased worker’s employer. There is also a narrow exception carved out for when the employer’s willful or intentional conduct caused the worker’s injuries.

If a workplace accident case is brought, the plaintiff must prove three elements before they will be able to recover for their injuries. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them some duty of care. Second, the injured worker must show that the defendant breached that duty by some action or inaction. Finally, the worker must show that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions. This final element is called causation.

A Recent Example of a Workplace Injury

Earlier this month in Miami, a tragic workplace accident claimed the life of one man when a piece of heavy machinery was accidentally dropped from a crane high above the worker, who was on the 37th floor at the time of the accident. According to one local news report, the 29-year-old man was working on what will eventually be a 54-story apartment building when he was crushed by the 2,000-pound piece of machinery. Rescue workers had a difficult time reaching the man, as the building’s elevators only reached the 31st floor. By the time emergency responders arrived on the scene, the man had died.

Miami police are investigating the accident, and at the moment it is not certain who was operating the crane at the time of the accident.

Have You Been Injured in a South Florida Workplace Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of Florida workplace accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation above and beyond that which is available through a workers’ compensation claim. Of course, these claims can be complicated, and it is advisable to have a dedicated advocate working alongside you who is familiar with these types of cases. The skilled attorneys at the South Florida personal injury law firm of Cecere Santana have decades of combined experience bringing cases on behalf of injured Florida workers, and would be happy to speak with you about your case. Call 800-753-5529 today to set up your free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Teen Killed in Fort Lauderdale Hit-and Run, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published November 4, 2015.

Miami County Motorcycle Accident Critically Injures Rider and Passenger, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published November 25, 2015.

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