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.
In addition, workers in certain professions can pursue a claim against a negligent employer without being subject to the sole-remedy provision of the workers’ compensation program. For example, under the Jones Act, seamen who are injured due to the negligence of an employer can bring a claim against their employer. Similarly, under the Federal Employee Liability Act (FELA), certain railroad employees can also pursue a workplace injury claim against their employer.
Importantly, claims under the Jones Act or FELA are unlike workers’ compensation claims in that an injured worker will be required to establish that their employer was somehow negligent. Thus, an injury victim must be able to establish that the employer breached a duty of care that was owed to the employee, and that the employee’s injuries were the result of this breach. In this regard, these claims resemble traditional negligence claims, as well as claims brought against a non-employer third party.
It is important to note that there are other situations in which an injured employer can pursue a claim against their employer, although these situations are quite rare. For example, if an employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, they will not necessarily be protected by the sole-remedy provision. Additionally, if an employee is injured due to an employer’s intentional conduct, the employer will not be protected under the sole-remedy provision.
Have You Been injured in a Florida Workplace Accident?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a Florida workplace accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. At the South Florida law firm of Cecere Santana, we represent injury victims in all types of Florida personal injury cases, including on-the-job injuries. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 800-753-5529 to schedule a free consultation today.
See Additional Blog Posts:
The Florida Rules of Evidence Play a Major Role in All Personal Injury Accidents, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, January 17, 2019.
The Importance of Naming All Potentially Liable Parties in a Florida Car Accident Case, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, published January 23, 2019