When Can You Sue Your Employer for a Workplace Accident?

Nine times out of ten, if you get hurt at work, you cannot sue your employer. Our Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers typically resolve a workplace accident through workers comp. However, there are some situations where you have the right to file a personal injury case against your employer.

Here, we’ll explain when it’s possible to sue your employer directly following your workplace accident.

The General Rule is That You Cannot Sue Your Employer for a Workplace Accident

Across the board, you can ask any workers comp attorney in Tampa, and they’ll tell you the same thing. You cannot sue your employer for damages in Florida. Your only recourse is to file a worker’s compensation claim.

If for some reason, this isn’t the best option, you may be able to sue your employer instead. These instances are few and far between. It’s rare that our Tampa injury lawyers sue an employer after a client’s workplace accident.

The Florida Legislature Adopted the Workers’ Compensation System for a Reason

In 1935, the Florida legislature decided to implement the workers’ compensation system. The reason they did this was to protect both employers and employees. The idea was that this system would take care of workers who were injured on the job.

Rather than forcing injured workers to sue their employers, they could receive workers comp benefits. This included medical care as well as replacement wages. The workers’ compensation system essentially put an end to employers suing the companies they worked for.

Your Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Knows There Are Exceptions to the Rule

As with most other rules, there are times when you can sue your employer directly for damages. As stated earlier, these times are few and far between. It goes against the intent of the legislature to allow workers to sue their employers.

There are certain situations that call for legal action. Our workers’ comp attorneys in Tampa meet with a client every now and then who cannot resolve their case through the workers’ compensation system. Instead, they need to file a lawsuit against the company they work for.

What Are These Exceptions?

If you aren’t sure if you fall into the category of workers who can sue their employer, you’re not alone. The exceptions are few and they are narrow. Some of these exceptions include the following:

  • Your employer or management intentionally caused your workplace accident.
  • The company you work for doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Your employer was told multiple times, in writing, about a dangerous condition at work and did nothing.
  • Your employer or your Human Resources Department doesn’t file your claim in a timely fashion.
  • Your employer actively interferes with your claim being approved.

In order to proceed with a lawsuit against your employer, your Tampa work injury lawyer must prove that you fall into one of these categories.

workplace accident

The Burden Will Be on You and Your Injury Attorney in Tampa

As with any other type of personal injury lawsuit, your injury attorney in Tampa will have to meet a very high burden of proof. Your lawyer must prove, with clear and convincing evidence, that your employer didn’t act properly when it comes to your claim.

It’s important to know that very few people who sue their employer are successful. It is the word of one injured employee against an entire company. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. You can contact one of our Tampa work injury lawyers at any time to get the process started.

The Courts in Florida Require the Employee to Prove They Meet One of the Exceptions

It’s not just the insurance company and their lawyers who will demand you prove they did something wrong. The courts will also expect you to submit sufficient evidence to prove your claims.

If you’re able to meet your burden of proof, you may be entitled to damages. That is, after all, the reason you hire a work injury attorney in Tampa. They’ll do their best to win your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

What Will Your Workers Comp Attorney in Tampa Do if You Are Eligible to File Suit?

If your Tampa work injury lawyer files suit on your behalf, they’ll have to prove your employer meets one of the exceptions listed above. If they manage to do this, they will move on to prove your damages.

As long as your case is no longer under workers comp, you’ll be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. These include:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Disability
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future income
  • Pain and suffering

Unlike the benefits you receive under workers comp, your injury attorney in Tampa will have to prove specific damages. Whether they can do so depends on the facts surrounding your workplace accident.

Can You Sue Someone Other Than Your Employer?

One other thing you need to remember is that there are cases where you can sue a third party for personal injury in addition to filing a workers’ comp claim. If you were injured at work while using a piece of defective equipment, your work injury lawyer can help you file a personal injury case against the manufacturer.

There is Still a Good Chance Your Attorney Will Settle Your Case

If you sue your employer, there is a good chance your Tampa personal injury lawyer will settle your case. The employer’s insurance company will make to avoid the expense, time, and risk involved in going to trial.

You may wonder why your attorney would encourage you to settle your case. If your case goes to trial, there is the possibility of losing. Plus, you’ll need to pay court filing fees out of your compensation amount. It makes sense to accept a settlement that fairly compensates you for your losses. You’ll want a skilled attorney to handle negotiating your settlement.

Reach Out to One of Our Skilled Tampa Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Today

One of the main reasons you hire a work injury attorney in Tampa is that you want compensation for your workplace accident. Our team has helped hundreds of people who were hurt on the job. Most of the time, they are able to resolve their claims through the workers’ compensation system.

But in rare instances, you may have grounds to sue your employer and demand damages that aren’t available in a workers’ comp case. If you aren’t sure what your rights are, contact our office today. We can schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone, or you can do so through our website.

Read More Related Articles

Palm Bay Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accidents

What Does a Palm Bay Car Accident Lawyer Do for You?

Navigating car accident claims can be overwhelming. While PIP insurance helps cover some of the financial burdens, this coverage is limited. If PIP doesn’t cover all the costs, you have the option to seek compensation

Car Accidents

The Role of the Police Report in Tampa Auto Accident Cases

Recovering damages after an auto accident that was not your fault starts with the initial consultation with an experienced Tampa car crash lawyer. However, you will also need to provide the lawyer with evidence, especially