Can I Sue My Employer for a Work-Related Injury?

In the state of Florida, nearly all employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. The Florida Department of Financial Services more specifically states that those who employ four or more people are legally required to carry this form of coverage-whether their employees are full-time or part-time. One of the only exceptions to this rule is that employers who operate in the construction industry must carry workers' compensation insurance if they oversee at least one worker. Although this is good news for most injured workers in the state, it is important to understand that you would be asked to forfeit the opportunity to bring suit against your employer when you accept these benefits-even if they have negligently contributed to your injuries.

Since the workers' compensation system operates on a "no-fault" basis, all employees are afforded the right to claim reimbursement for the cost of their medical treatment, lost earnings and permanent disabilities without having to prove that someone else was at fault. In fact, an injured worker can still seek compensation even if they, themselves were responsible for causing the accident. This typically makes the process of filing a claim easier for all parties involved, but it is also important to understand that there are two exceptions to this generally prohibited course of action. If your employer had intentionally, recklessly or illegally caused you to sustain injury, you can waive your right to workers' compensation benefits and pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

This would be the case if your employer had intentionally put your life at risk, as you would subsequently have the right to sue for a full range of damages. Similarly, you would always have the right to bring suit against a third party, meaning someone other than your employer and/or coworker, if you were negligently injured on the job. For example, you would have grounds to file a products liability claim against an irresponsible manufacturer if you had been injured by a defective piece of machinery. Since a third party claim would have no bearing on your workers' compensation claim, you could even choose to pursue both cases concurrently. Each case is different, however, so it is highly recommended that you discuss the circumstances of your injury with a Miami injury lawyer before deciding on a course of action.

When you trust in the dedicated legal team at Seltzer Law, PA, you can rest easier knowing that your case is in competent hands. Give us a call today at 1-888-843-3333 or submit a free case evaluation form online to find out how we can help. Our firm is available 24/7 to answer any questions that you may have.

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