Can I Sue My Employer If I Am Hurt On The Job in Fort Lauderdale?

No, in most cases, you cannot sue your employer if you are hurt on the job in Fort Lauderdale.

Why am I not allowed to sue my employer if I am injured at work?

Most employees in Florida are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer an injury on the job. However, workers’ compensation laws require employees give up the right to sue their employer in exchange for these benefits.

What options do I have to cover my medical bills and lost wages after a workplace accident?

If you are hurt on the job in Fort Lauderdale, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include medical care and wage replacement benefits.

Unfortunately, injured workers may find that workers’ compensation benefits are not enough to get them through this difficult time in their lives. While workers’ compensation covers authorized medical expenses and two-thirds of your “pre-injury regular weekly wage,” it does not provide damages for pain and suffering or mental anguish. The lack of compensation for noneconomic damages, in addition with 33 percent of your wages missing, can leave you feeling like you are grasping at straws.

Fortunately, filing a claim against a third party is an option for many employees. By filing a claim, employees may recover additional economic damages as well as noneconomic damages.

How do I file a claim against a third party for my workplace accident?

You can file a claim against anyone who contributed to or caused your accident, other than your employer or a co-worker. Sub-contractors, architects, manufacturers, engineers, property owners, and third-party drivers are all potential defendants in a third-party claim.

The type of claim you bring will depend on the type of defendant you plan to name. For example, you may file a product liability suit against a manufacturer of the faulty equipment that caused your workplace accident. You could also file a personal injury suit against a third-party driver who caused your workplace motor vehicle accident.

Generally, third-party lawsuits are typically based on a claim of negligence. When a defendant is negligent, his/her behavior was not in adherence with the standards of his/her profession. Proving negligence in court requires you to establish that:

  • The defendant owed you a duty.
  • The defendant breached that duty by acting negligently.
  • The defendant’s breach of duty caused your accident.
  • You suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

To ensure the success of your claim, you will need to present evidence that proves the defendant’s negligence. Negligence refers to behavior that puts workers at risk for injury. For example, general contractors who fail to adhere to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations or fail to mitigate hazards at the work site have breached their duty and behaved negligently.

Proving negligence can be challenging, but we can help you do so by presenting contracts detailing the defendant’s work responsibilities, site visit logs, expert testimony, and witness testimony. If we can successfully prove that the defendant was negligent and that his/her negligence caused your injuries, you will likely recover significant damages.

What are some examples of workplace accidents and who would be liable for them?

Determining liability for a workplace accident can be difficult. Here are a few examples of common workplace accidents and who might be liable for them:

  • Slips and falls: Employees can slip and fall on a slippery floor or trip over an object. Whoever failed to clean up can be liable for your accident.
  • Falling from a great height: A worker who is standing on a scaffold, roof, or elevated platform of any kind may fall and suffer severe injuries. Faulty equipment, lack of safety gear, or negligent contractors can cause these accidents. In this case, you might be able to hold the manufacturer or another contractor liable.
  • Falling objects: When an object is not properly secured or is not put away properly, it can fall and hit a worker in the head. Whom you hold liable depends on how the accident occurred. If it occurred because a contractor from another contracting firm was behaving negligently, for example, you might be able to hold that firm liable.
  • Exposure to dangerous elements: Employees exposed to asbestos or dangerous chemicals may suffer from long-term illness. You might be able to hold a manufacturer or property owner liable in this case.
  • Vehicle accidents: Employees who operate vehicles as part of their jobs may be injured in a work-related motor vehicle accident. You can hold the other driver liable.

What can I recover for my workplace injury?

Florida workers injured on the job may suffer long-term injuries and may not be able to return to work for weeks or months after their accident. Some employees may never be able to return to work due to permanent disability. In fact, many workers are forced to find other work and attempt to take on a job they are not trained to do while suffering from chronic illness or pain.

You can recover compensation for all these things. Your third-party claim can include compensation for:

  • Medical bills (past and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

Call Us to Speak with a Workplace Accident Attorney

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, private industry employers reported 2.9 million nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries in 2015. Over half of these cases required employees to take time off of work, transfer jobs, or restriction.

While you cannot sue your employer, you do have other options and our team will work through them with you.

The workplace accident lawyers at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos, & Lehrman, P.L. understand the struggles workplace accident victims and their families face. Our qualified staff can help you with every step of your workplace accident claim. From the initial case analysis to your day in court (if necessary), your attorney will prepare you for every step of the process and give you the best chance at recovering damages.

To discuss your legal options during a free consultation, call 954-524-2820.