Most Florida employees are aware that they can apply for workers’ compensation benefits when injured on the job. What they may not know is that they may also be able to file a personal injury claim against a third party believed responsible for the injuries that occurred. This is what a firefighter from here in the state has done.
He was called to a scene in a residential area back in Jan. 2017. He was told that a worker was drowning 15 feet below in an underground utility shaft. When he descended, he realized the situation was much more dire than he was told. He saw two men and turned them over. They had the familiar gray skin tone of death on their faces.
He found himself in a life-threatening situation and began to succumb to the fumes after seeing a third man slumped against the wall of the hole. Another firefighter had to descend into the hole with breathing equipment just to get his fellow firefighter out, along with the others. The man who filed the lawsuit still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (including anxiety and depression), respiratory disease and inhalation burns.
This Florida firefighter is not unusual. Many workers across the state suffer work-related injuries due to the actions of third parties. They, too, may determine that filing a personal injury claim against the other party is worth their while. In order to know for sure, it may help to discuss the situation with an attorney before making a decision.
Source: Miami Herald, “Firefighter sues employer of dead workers he tried saving“, David Goodhue, Nov. 29, 2017