Recovering after a Florida workplace accident can be tricky for several reasons. For one, as a general rule, an injured employee cannot file a Florida personal injury lawsuit against their employer – even if the employer was negligent – because a workers’ compensation claim is an injured employee’s sole remedy in most cases. And while a workers’ compensation claim allows for an injured worker to receive some benefits without establishing that their employer was negligent or at fault for the accident, the amount and duration of Florida workers’ compensation benefits can be limited.
There are several exceptions to the sole-remedy provision. The two main categories of cases in which the sole-remedy provision does not apply are those cases involving a non-employer third-party’s negligence and cases involving injuries to workers in specific industries in which lawmakers have specifically allowed claims against an employer.
The Florida workers’ compensation sole-remedy provision only applies to an employee’s claim against their employer. Thus, if a third-party’s negligence was the cause of the employee’s injuries, the employee will not be precluded from pursuing a Florida personal injury case against that third-party. For example, if an employee’s injury is the result of a defective product, the employee could pursue a Florida product liability claim against the product’s manufacturer.