In Florida, when an employee is injured on the job while occupying a motor vehicle owned by the employer, and someone other than the employer is at fault for the automobile accident, the employee has a claim against the at-fault person(s).
This claim for damages is a civil claim against a third party and not the employer. These damages can be much greater than the workers compensation benefits that the employe is also entitled to receive.
In many cases the employer purchases uninsured motorist insurance coverage which provides coverage to their employee when the third party who causes the injuries has no insurance or limited insurance that does not fully compensate the employee.
Employees who settle their workers compensation claims are almost universally required to sign settlement papers that include a general release releasing the employer from any and all claims that the employee may make against the employer, in addition to settlement of the workers compensation claim. If they do, they risk losing valuable insurance coverage that may be available to them if specific provisions are not made in the settlement agreement to preserve the uninsured motorist coverage.
Any workers compensation claimant that is thinking about settling their case should consult with an attorney about the ramifications of the workers compensation settlement on potential entitlement to uninsured motorists coverage available under the employer’s motor vehicle insurance policy.