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Work-Related Accidents in Florida
All states have their version of a Workers Compensation system to provide monetary compensation to those injured at work. Florida Statutes § 440 establishes the parameters of the workers compensation law in Florida.
In most cases, if you are injured on the job, you can only be compensated through workers compensation. That means you cannot sue your employer.
However, there are some exceptions. Keep reading to learn what they are.
Those Rare Cases Where You Can Sue Your Employer
Your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
Your employer needs to take action to get workers compensation insurance and must keep it up to date. If they never got it or it expired, you can sue them for your injury.
Also, only businesses with four or more employees are required to provide workers compensation coverage. There are some other coverage exceptions your Florida work-related accident attorney can explain to you.
Your employer interfered with your claim.
If your employer takes action to interfere with your claim or does not perform the necessary actions for you to be compensated (such as not submitting your claim to the insurer), you may be able to sue them. However, first you will need to file a petition with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC) and take some other actions before suing directly.
Your employer intentionally caused you harm.
If your employer’s negligence caused your injury, you are still stuck with the workers compensation system. However, if your employer or their agent (such as a supervisor) intentionally injured you, all bets are off, and you should be able to sue your employer directly.
Of course, you are going to have to prove they intended to harm you. Talk to your Florida personal injury attorney to determine whether or not you are likely to be able to show intent.
It was a “virtual certainty” that you would be hurt.
In rare cases, a court could find that your supervisor ordered you to perform an action where there was a “virtual certainty” you would be hurt. In that case, you may be able to directly sue your employer once you exhaust other remedies under Florida law.
Can I Sue a Third Party?
Workers compensation law may protect your employer from a lawsuit, but it says nothing about third parties not related to your employer. Examples of such third-party claims may include claims against
- Th manufacturer of dangerous or defective equipment
- The owner (who is not the employer) of a worksite with unsafe conditions
- A driver who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident you have while working
Statute of Limitations for a Work-Related Injury Lawsuit in Florida
If you do indeed have that rare case where you can sue your employer for a work-related accident in Florida, you have four years to do it from the date of the injury under Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
This doesn’t mean you should walk into your lawyer’s office a week before the time runs. Even if you can sue, you may be required to file petitions or go through mediation before doing so. These things take time.
To be safe, contact a good Florida work-related injury lawyer right after you are injured on the job.
What Should I Do After I Have a Work-Related Accident in Florida?
If you are injured at work, report it to your employer immediately. If you don’t report it within 30 days, you will lose your rights under Florida’s workers compensation law.
Your reporter must report it to their insurance company no later than seven days after you report it to them.
Call Us for a Free Consultation
If you or a family member has suffered a work-related injury in Florida, contact the attorneys at Ziegler Diamond Law for a free consultation as soon as you can. Don’t wait and risk losing your rights.
To be sure all your rights are protected, call us immediately after your accident. If your employer has not reported your accident within seven days after the time you report it, then it becomes critical that you contact an attorney.
We will evaluate your case and discuss your options with you.
To set up a free consultation, fill out and submit this form.
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