Can I Sue My Employer After A Workplace Injury?
Getting hurt on the job can be devastating, not only due to the pain and suffering you are experiencing but also because your injury may prevent you from working and earning a living. Worksite injuries can be even more upsetting when they result from an employer’s negligence. For example, if you work on a construction site or in another physically demanding job, your employer’s failure to ensure that the worksite or machinery was safe for use might have resulted in your injuries. At the same time, employer negligence can cause serious worker injuries in other types of workplace, too. For instance, an employer’s failure to repair an area of torn carpeting or a broken light could result in a serious trip and fall injury in a white-collar workplace.
If you suffer a serious injury while you are working, it is essential to understand what your options might be for seeking financial compensation. Although you might want to file a lawsuit against your employer if the injury resulted from your employer’s negligence, you should know that Florida workers’ compensation is, in most cases, an exclusive remedy. However, there are some exceptions that may allow you to file a lawsuit against the party who is responsible for your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation is Usually an Exclusive Remedy for Injuries Resulting from Negligence
While it might seem as though you should be able to file a lawsuit against your employer if your employer’s negligence caused your injuries, Florida law does not allow you to do so. Rather, in Florida, as in most places, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for a workplace injury resulting from the negligence of an employer, a co-worker, or anyone else in the workplace (including your own negligence). Accordingly, you cannot file a lawsuit against an employer if their negligence results in an injury, but you can seek compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Intentional Injuries May Allow You to File a Lawsuit Against an Employer or Co-Worker
Although you cannot file a lawsuit against an employer (or another person within your workplace) for injuries arising out of their negligent acts or omissions, the situation changes if an employer or a co-worker intentionally causes an injury. In situations where you were harmed because of an intentionally wrongful act by an employer or co-worker, you may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit against that party in order to seek financial compensation.
Lawsuits Against Negligent Third Parties
Finally, if a third party (who is not an employer or co-worker, for example) causes an injury, even as a result of that party’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Common third parties named in workplace lawsuits include, for instance, motorists who have crashed into construction sites and injured construction workers, or designers or manufacturers of defective tools or machines that have caused injuries on the job.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were injured on the job and need help seeking compensation for your injuries, one of our experienced South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer can speak with you today about your case. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. for more information.