What If I Lost My Job Due to an Accident or Injury in Florida?

Suffering a serious injury can be a painful and distressing experience. It can get even worse, however, if you lost your job due to injury. Fortunately, Florida allows you to claim compensation for lost earnings under certain circumstances. You can even seek compensation for estimated future loss of earnings due to the accident.

Types of Claims

Whether you can claim compensation (and how much it will amount to) depends on the circumstances of your accident. 

PIP No-Fault Insurance Claims (for Car Accidents)

Florida requires its drivers to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for car accidents. PIP insurance will pay for 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000. It will also pay 80% of your medical expenses. In most cases, you must look to your own PIP insurance no matter whose fault the accident was-–you cannot sue the at-fault driver unless an exception applies.

“Serious” injuries

A “serious” injury is an exception to the general rule. Florida defines your injuries as “serious” if they are permanent, they result in severe disfigurement, or they kill you and someone else files a wrongful death claim on your behalf. 

If your injuries are serious, or if your medical costs exceed $10,000, you can file a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver (see below for details). 

Your lawsuit will also cover lost earnings if you lost your job because of your injury.

Third-Party Liability Insurance Claims

If you suffer a non-work-related injury that causes you to lose your job, and if the injury was someone else’s fault, you can file a third-party claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance company unless the injury arose from a car accident. The insurance company is the first party, the at-fault party is the second party, and you are the third party. 

Suppose, for example, that you suffer a slip and fall accident in a department store due to an inadequately maintained escalator. If the department store was at fault, you can receive compensation, including lost earnings, based on the department store’s liability insurance policy’s obligation to cover the department store’s personal injury liability. You can resolve your claim through negotiation with the department store’s liability insurance carrier.

Ordinary Personal Injury Lawsuits

You can seek lost earnings through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party if you suffered an accident that:

  • Injured you;
  • Caused you to lose your job;
  • Was not related to your work; and
  • Was not a PIP car accident claim.

For example, you can sue the at-fault party if you file a third-party lawsuit and the insurance company refuses to offer you an adequate settlement.

If your injury was related to your work, you can file a Florida workers’ compensation claim against your employer, regardless of whose fault the accident was. Workers’ compensation can  reimburse you for lost wages, typically at two-thirds of whatever you were making at the time of your accident. It can also compensate you for long-term occupational disability. 

What can you do if you are fired after a car accident, for example? It is against the law for your employer to fire you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or because you are receiving benefits. You can continue receiving benefits until you reach Maximum Medical Improvement, and you can also file a wrongful termination claim.

You might find a third party who is responsible for your work-related injury–a construction site owner, for example, or a general contractor. In that case, you can file an ordinary personal injury lawsuit against them instead of a workers’ compensation claim.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney

You probably need to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney to maximize your compensation. Don’t worry, as most attorneys offer initial consultations free of charge. This is especially important if you suffered long-term or permanent injuries. In that case, you will have to seek compensation for future lost earnings. 

Contact Our Ocala Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652