You are at risk of being injured in a car accident any time you are driving around Miami, and statistics from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveal that the safety threat is high even when you travel for work. In 2017, there were 2,077 workers killed in occupational transportation crashes, representing 40% of all work-related fatalities. Plus, transportation collisions are in the top five most common causes of non-fatal workplace accidents.
While you might assume that these incidents would be covered by Florida workers’ compensation laws, you may be surprised to learn that you may qualify to file a civil claim after an auto crash. There are multiple benefits for seeking legal remedies rather than workers’ comp benefits, and a Miami car accidents attorney can explain the advantages. You might also benefit from reviewing some of the basics about work-related vehicle collisions.
Florida Workers’ Comp Claims and Exceptions
The default rule under state law is that workers’ compensation is your sole remedy if you are hurt in a workplace accident or suffer from an occupational disease. While you do not have to prove that your employer was at fault, you are limited in terms of the monetary benefits you can recover. If you qualify, workers’ comp pays:
- Your medical costs;
- Wage replacement;
- Total or partial disability; and,
- Many other benefits.
However, you cannot recover amounts for your pain and suffering, which can be considerable when you have sustained serious car accident injuries.
There are exceptions to the default rule on workers’ comp as your sole remedy, and one in particular applies in many cases of work-related auto crashes: You CAN file a civil lawsuit when a workplace accident is caused by a third party that is unaffiliated with your employer. In other words, you would be able to obtain pain and suffering damages – even though the collision technically occurred when you were working.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses
Once you get over the initial hurdle by taking your job-related auto collision out of the realm of workers’ compensation, you will be dealing with the same process that applies to any car accident case. Initially, you would pursue your monetary damages by filing an insurance claim. If the insurer refuses to pay fair compensation, your next step is suing in civil court. In both situations, you must prove that the responsible motorist caused the crash through a breach of the duty to drive safely. You may be able to recover for your pain and suffering, in addition to medical costs, lost wages, and other losses.
Our Miami Car Accidents Lawyers can Advise You on Your Remedies
As you can see, it is to your advantage to pursue civil remedies whenever possible after a work-related auto collision. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA can assist with all legal options for recovering monetary damages after a car accident, so please contact us to set up a no-cost case evaluation. We represent injured victims throughout South Florida from our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.