If you have been injured during the course of your employment, you may be wondering about what happens next. Who will pay for your medical bills? Are you entitled to take action against your employer? How can you get the money you need to cover your losses? In this blog, we will address some common questions associated with workers’ compensation law and civil lawsuits against employers.
Typically, workers who are injured in the workplace are barred from suing their employer for compensation. In purchasing workers’ compensation insurance for their workers, employers are shielded from the possibility of personal injury claims from employees, and employees can obtain compensation for an injury regardless of whose fault it was. This is called the no-fault system.
However, there are some instances in which an injured worker may sue their employer. These exceptions involve instances in which the employer is believed to have intentionally caused physical and/or emotional harm.
Common examples include:
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Invasion of privacy
An employee may also sue if they believe that a third party other than their employer was responsible for their injury. For example, if your injury was caused by a defective piece of machinery, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the machine. Note, however, that if you make a recovery in this case, you may have to reimburse your employer or their insurance company for the workers’ compensation benefits that you received, or they may become party to your lawsuit in order to recover the value of these benefits themselves.
In extreme cases of negligence, such as flagrant safety violations or other actions or omissions showing a “wanton disregard for safety,” a lawsuit may also seek punitive damages in addition to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you filed a workers’ compensation claim and your employer retaliated against you by demoting you, cutting your hours, or firing you, you may also have a right to sue for discrimination or wrongful termination. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you on your best course of action.
Florida workers’ compensation law can be complex. If you are facing a workers’ compensation or employment matter in Florida, contact an Orlando personal injury lawyer at Todd Miner Law. We are prepared to review your potential case for free and help you understand your legal options. Get in touch with us by calling (407) 269-5877, or by filling out an online consultation form.