People who have been injured on the job will naturally want to obtain compensation for their injury-related losses. One of the first things that they may look to do is file a personal injury lawsuit. However, the law may make that difficult, even if you can still receive compensation for your injuries.
I’ve Been Injured at Work, Can I Sue?
In most cases, the answer to this question will be no. However, that should not stop you from exploring your possible legal remedies. Fortunately, you can always file a workers’ compensation claim to get the money that you need. Nonetheless, there can be some responsible parties who may be sued in a personal injury lawsuit.
The general rule is that an employer cannot be sued in a personal injury lawsuit. This is the tradeoff for their having to pay for workers’ compensation insurance for their workers. If you have been hurt on the job, your employer’s negligence is not an issue. It does not matter who was at fault for the injury. The result is the same. The injured employee will need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation claims, while they provide an employee with much-needed money, result in less payment than a personal injury lawsuit. Claimants will not get their full lost wages, nor can they receive pain and suffering damages. Workers’ compensation claims will pay for medical bills and a portion of lost earnings. This is why injured workers will try to find someone to sue if they can.
Suing Employers for Job-Related Injuries Is Very Difficult
There are very limited circumstances in which you can sue your employer for a job-related injury. In Florida, you cannot even sue your employer for gross negligence. There are only a small handful of grounds for a lawsuit. You can only sue if the employer intentionally harmed you or took actions where it was a “virtual certainty” that you would be hurt. This is a very difficult standard to meet.
This is why you would usually need to find a third party that was liable to sue. However, for those wondering whether they can sue a coworker if injured at work, the answer to that question is also usually no. Coworkers cannot be sued for negligence. However, they can be sued for gross negligence. Still, this is also hard to prove, and it imposes a very high burden of proof on the plaintiff. This usually means a conscious and reckless disregard for your safety. In other words, the coworker must have done something very bad intentionally.
Suing a Third Party for a Work-Related Injury
In order to sue a defendant for negligence for a job-related injury, it must be a third party that is not associated with your employer. One of the most common examples of this is when you have been injured by defective tools or machinery. This often happens in the factory setting, when workers have limbs injured because of defective safety guards on machines. You could also file a lawsuit if you were injured by exposure to toxic substances if someone else other than your employer was to blame.
Other grounds for suing for job-related injuries happen when there is a negligent third party. One example of this is when you are injured in a car accident when driving the company vehicle. The driver of the other car can be sued if they were at fault for the accident. In addition, you could also sue if you were working at a construction site and you were hurt by the actions of an independent contractor. These are parties who are not your employer that can be sued for negligence because they are not providing you with workers’ compensation insurance.
The important thing is to see a Florida Workers compensation lawyer right after your injury because you have a limited amount of time to file a workers’ compensation claim. Your lawyer could advise you whether you have a possible personal injury lawsuit against a third party or even your employer.
388CEDA Can Help if You Have Been Injured
If you have suffered an injury, you will need medical care and legal help. 388CEDA has doctors who can diagnose and treat your injuries. We can also recommend you a lawyer from our extensive network of area attorneys. Call us today at 1-800-388-CEDA to learn about the many services that we offer to those who have been hurt.