What does Florida’s “no-fault” workers’ compensation statutes mean for my claim?

In order to successfully pursue an injury claim, the main thing you must be able to do is to prove fault. Determining liability is key to getting compensation, whether your claim is for a car accident, slip and fall, or another personal injury. In fact, Florida’s comparative negligence laws go as far as to calculate certain percentages of fault: for example, although the other driver may have been 85% at fault for causing a car collision, you could have avoided him, making you 15% responsible for the accident.

However, despite the fact that fault plays a significant role in personal injury claims and compensation settlements, the one area it doesn’t come into play is when it comes to work-related injuries.

Modern “No-Fault” Workers’ Comp Statutes

Workers’ compensation statutes have come a long way to protect both employers and employees alike. The justification behind the implementation of the modern workers’ compensation system is two-fold: to protect the employer from employee lawsuits and to protect employees in case of injurious accidents. Florida’s “no-fault” statutes accomplish this by taking liability out of the equation.

Previous workers’ compensation laws relied upon the circumstances of an accident to prove who was ultimately responsible for the injury and its financial outcome. However, these laws created friction between employers and employees while also limiting settlement options. Instead of being properly cared for, the victim got bogged down in “he said, she said” arguments over fault, and generally wound up having to pay for the recovery out-of-pocket while he pursued a lawsuit against the employer.

Modern workers’ comp laws eliminate the unnecessary friction by leaving fault behind and focusing directly on the employer and employee. Rather than having to figure out fault (and the legal action it affords), Florida workers’ compensation laws disregard assigning blame and directly guarantee the following:

  • Employee injury benefits. Employers are required to secure workers’ comp insurance benefits to provide injured employees compensation for lost wages and medical expenses that result from any work-related injuries. The employer is prevented from denying a claim by asserting that the employee was at fault. A few exceptions apply depending on the specific circumstances of the incident.
  • Employer lawsuit avoidance. Just as employees are protected against injury debt, employers are protected against employee retaliation. By state law, employees give up their rights to file lawsuits against their employers for on-the-job injuries. It’s important to note that this doesn’t keep injured workers from pursuing lawsuits against third-party offenders; a worker hurt by a faulty machine could pursue a product liability case against the manufacturer.

For more information on your workers’ comp rights, download our FREE book, It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Workers’ Comp. You’ll not only learn more about the history of Florida’s workers’ comp system but you’ll gain keen insight on how to properly pursue WC claims. We also encourage you to contact our Daytona Beach office today at 386.673.4412 to learn more about your benefit options.