The Florida workers' compensation system is set up as a no-fault means of employee injury compensation. While this stipulates that employees are eligible for injury compensation even if their own negligence contributed to the incident, it also prevents them from suing an employer for the injury.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Situations When Employees May Sue Employers for Work Injuries
In most cases, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for any injuries sustained on the job. Exceptions to this rule were created for special circumstances that were unreasonably unfair to Florida employees, including:
- Intentional injury. The employer can be sued if he or she deliberately intended to injure an employee.
- Virtual certainty. If your employer's conduct was so bad that it was a "virtual certainty" an injury would occur, you may be able to sue an employer for negligence. This action requires the employer to have been repeatedly and explicitly warned of a condition certain to result in injury, but who deliberately concealed or misrepresented the danger from employees. Please note that "virtual certainty" is an extremely difficult burden to prove, and few cases are successful in this area.
- Claim denial. State courts ruled that employers may be subject to injury lawsuits if their actions cause unfair denial of your workers' compensation claim. Actions may include the employer’s failure to report the injury to the insurance carrier in a timely manner; an employer’s denial that the injury occurred in the course of employment; or an employer’s misrepresentation of the accident or injury to the workers’ compensation carrier. Simply put, an employer cannot hide behind the workers’ compensation law barring legal action while failing to provide benefits under the same law.
- Lack of workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer doesn't have sufficient workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of an injury, an employee may file a direct claim against the employer.
If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, or you are being treated unfairly by an employer after an accident on the job, you should contact an attorney immediately. Our Florida work injury attorneys can help you understand your legal options and get the maximum amount you deserve for your suffering.
Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule a consultation at no cost to you.