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Back Injury Settlements in Florida in Workers’ Compensation Cases

Dated but still interesting data on Florida workers’ compensation cases: the average back injury settlement in 1990 was $ 38,000 with medical care continuing (called “keeping your case open”). In 2002, the average back injury settlement is $ 9,800 with no continuing opportunity for further medical care.

Florida Workers’ Comp

Florida workers’ compensation law is statutory.  It can be found in Chapter 440, Florida Statutes. This statutory scheme requires a schedule of benefits recoverable without a tort claim. § 440.11,

The worker’s compensation system is the exclusive remedy in Florida for an injured employee seeking compensation from their employer.  One big exception to this rule is if the employer fails to obtain worker’s compensation insurance coverage.  Another exception is intentional acts committed by the employer intending to cause harm.  Unless an exception is triggered, Florida employees must use the workers’ compensation system to bring a claim against their employer.

This often includes independent contractors.  Florida Statute § 440.02 expressly includes within the definition of “employee” an “independent contractor working or performing services in the construction industry.”

Third-Party Workers Comp Combination Claims in Florida

Florida law gives injured employees the right to pursue personal injury claims against third parties that arise out of work-related injuries. Pursuant to section 440.39(2), the entity that paid the workers’ compensation benefits has statutory subrogation rights in any third-party suit.

In other words, the comp carrier has a right to be paid back for any money recovered for which you have already been paid.

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