Crucial Differences for Workers Compensation and Wrongful Death
If you are injured on the job, a workers compensation attorney in Orlando may quickly guide you through the many claims you are entitled to in regards to your health and recovery. By law, employers are responsible for medical bills, ongoing treatment, and lost wages of their injured employees. However, what is an employer’s obligations in the most tragic incidents where an employee suffers a fatal injury. Also, what is to become of the surviving family, and what rights do they have towards fair compensation?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict regulations for employers of various industries, especially in construction, agriculture, and other notoriously dangerous occupations. Employers found in violation of these safety standards, particularly to the detriment of an employee, are often forced to pay serious penalties and fines for such negligence. Likewise, an Orlando workers compensation attorney may sometimes be necessary to obtain the maximum full fair settlement of such a case. Truly, no amount of monetary award can fully justify the unanticipated loss of a loved one, and such is why so many standards and statutes exist in regards to this all too common tragedy.
The Rule of “Exclusive Remedy”
The establishing of workers compensation law in the Industrial Age served not only to benefit injured employees and their immediate family but also to spare employers of the financial strain and stress of a frequent lawsuit. Florida businesses rely on an insurance company to automatically assume the liability of injured workers regardless of circumstances, thus essentially developing immunity through an Orlando workers compensation attorney while guaranteeing the welfare of employees. In return, injured employees agree to an “exclusive remedy”, accepting the insurer’s settlement and waiving the right to further sue for damages in civil court.
Even in cases where employers are directly negligent, most businesses rely on supplementary liability insurance for cases involving negligence. This insurance acts as coverage for situations where the employers or coworkers are found irrefutably at fault. A workers compensation attorney in Orlando will often deal directly with the insurer, not the employer.
Morales v Zenith Ins Co
A recent and largely controversial case in 2014 challenged but ultimately upheld the constitutionality of exclusive remedy. In this case, an employee was crushed and killed by a fallen tree. His surviving spouse accepted an initial settlement for workers compensation but later placed a liability claim under the charge that her husband’s employer’s negligence had directly led to the untimely accident. She was initially approved over $9 million dollars, but the insurance company appealed the ruling to the higher courts, having already paid to the wife her “exclusive remedy”. The Florida Supreme Court eventually overturned the ruling and upheld the exclusive remedy statute as constitutional.
Important Factors to Discuss With an Orlando Workers Compensation Attorney
When a worker is killed on the job, the surviving family is undoubtedly owed compensation for their burden. In most cases, insurers will almost always cover the cost of burial expenses, but wage compensation can also be claimed especially if the surviving family was dependent on such income. The difficulty often arises in proving liability. In the famous Escola v Coca-Cola Bottling Co, the injured waitress sues not her employer but the manufacturer that produced a faulty and dangerous product. Many wrongful death cases can be traced back to faulty equipment, requiring either a personal injury lawyer or an Orlando workers compensation attorney. Have a professional carefully review the details of any wrongful death to ensure the correct party is held liable.