Oldsmar Workplace Accident Lawyer
Florida law requires that most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, which covers medical expenses and lost wages in the even that an employee is injured while on the job. However, when this coverage exists, an injured employee is generally not permitted to file a legal claim against his or her employer, even if that employer’s negligence contributed to or caused the accident in question. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule, so if you were recently injured while on the job, it is important to speak with an experienced Oldsmar workplace accident lawyer who can advise you.
Third Party Liability
Although Florida employers are generally immune from suit if they carry adequate workers’ compensation insurance, there are a few instances in which an injured employee could file a claim stemming from a workplace accident. If, for instance, an employee is injured while on the job by a third party, he or she could have standing to file a claim against that person or entity. This does not, however, usually include:
- Employers; or
As long as the third party wasn’t working for the same employer, he or she could also be held liable for damages. If, for example, a construction worker was injured when an inebriated motorist drove into the construction site, he or she could still file suit against the driver. Similarly, if a teacher was injured by a defective product while at school, he or she would not be barred from filing a claim against the product’s manufacturer. If, on the other hand, a construction worker was injured by a subcontractor working for the same employer, that individual would not be allowed to file a claim against the employer, but would need to seek compensation by filing a standard workers’ comp claim.
Exception to Employer Immunity
Alternatively, an employee could also file a personal injury suit against an employer after a workplace injury (even if workers’ compensation insurance is in place) if the employee can prove that the employer deliberately intended to injure the employee or:
- Engaged in conduct that he or she knew (based on prior similar accidents or explicit warnings) was essentially certain to result in injury or death to the employee; and
- Knew that the employee wasn’t aware of the risk because the danger wasn’t apparent and the employer deliberately concealed the danger.
There are a number of advantages to filing a personal injury claim after a workplace accident. For instance, workers’ compensation policies do not cover the pain and suffering, emotional distress, or other non-economic damages sustained by accident victims. These damages are available, however, to successful plaintiffs who can provide proof of a defendant’s negligence or wrongful act, as is compensation for future loss of income, which isn’t always available to workers’ compensation claimants.
Contact Our Experienced Oldsmar Workplace Accident Lawyers
Determining whether a person has a valid personal injury claim after a workplace accident can be a complex endeavor, so if you were hurt while on the job, please call us at the Pawlowski // Mastrilli Law Group to learn more about your legal options from a dedicated workplace accident attorney.