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What If a Third Party is Liable for a Workplace Injury in FL?


If an employee is injured while performing his/her official job duties in Florida, he/she is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover certain losses, such as a portion of the worker’s lost wages, medical expenses, and even vocational rehabilitation – no matter who was at fault for the injury. In turn, an injured employee cannot sue his/her employer for negligence, unless the injury was caused by intentional harm or egregious circumstances in the workplace.

But what happens if a work-related injury is caused by a negligent third party? The answer: third parties can be held liable for causing a workplace injury, which means injured workers may file a personal injury lawsuit directly against them while also seeking workers’ comp benefits.

Third-party negligence occurs when a person or entity other than your employer causes a work-related injury. The main advantage of filing a separate third-party claim is that an injured worker may recover additional compensation not offered by workers’ comp benefits, including all your lost wages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

Common examples of third parties include:

  • Motorists or truck drivers – If an employee is making a delivery to another facility and is struck by a negligent driver during transit, the injured worker can file a claim against the at-fault driver. If the at-fault party is a commercial truck driver, then the injured employee may seek damages against the trucker’s company.

  • General contractors or subcontractors – These parties must follow safety rules set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If a general contractor or subcontractor fails to properly practice safety protocols or completely ignores them, they can be held liable for any injuries caused by such negligence.

  • Construction site owners – When construction sites fail to provide a safe work environment or the proper safety equipment and a worker suffers an injury because of it, the site owner can be held liable for causing the injury.

  • Professional consultants – If an architect or engineer is tasked to oversee and supervise the construction project and ensure all safety codes are met in each step of the process. Depending on the contractual obligations of the professional consultant, they could be held liable for a workplace injury.

  • Manufacturers – Many workers use machinery and equipment to perform their job duties. If a defective tool causes an injury, the injured worker can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

If you have been injured in a work-related injury in Tampa Bay, FL, contact Paulsen Law Group today to schedule a free consultation. Our firm has been providing our clients with knowledgeable and personalized legal representation for more than 15 years!

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