Workplace accidents are common in Florida. In fact, there are, on average, between 200 and 250 work-related deaths each year across the state and many thousands more injuries. When someone is injured or killed on the job due to the negligence of another party, the injured person or their family may be entitled to monetary compensation, either through a workers’ compensation claim or through a traditional negligence lawsuit. If someone loses a loved one in a Florida work-related accident, they may be able to seek compensation through either of these means, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Most of the time, a workers’ compensation claim, if available, is the sole remedy for the injured party. However, in some workplace accidents, workers’ compensation will not be deemed to be the sole remedy and the injured worker can file a personal injury claim against the allegedly negligent party. This is generally the case when the allegedly negligent party is not the injured or deceased worker’s employer. There is also a narrow exception carved out for when the employer’s willful or intentional conduct caused the worker’s injuries.
If a workplace accident case is brought, the plaintiff must prove three elements before they will be able to recover for their injuries. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them some duty of care. Second, the injured worker must show that the defendant breached that duty by some action or inaction. Finally, the worker must show that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions. This final element is called causation.