If you were hurt at work, you may be facing costly medical bills, lost wages, and other financial hardships. A work injury is not only physically draining and challenging, but it can also threaten your financial stability. In some cases, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the full extent of your damages.
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of injured workers in Florida. We will focus on your claim so you can concentrate on your health and recovery. No matter how complex your work accident case is, we can help.
Our highly skilled and compassionate attorneys will guide you through the complex system of filing a claim. We will fight for the maximum compensation you need. Call now for a free and confidential consultation or contact us online. We are ready to help you get your life back on track.
When Can You Sue Your Florida Employer for a Work Injury?
In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are your sole legal remedy if you are injured at work. The workers’ compensation system was established as a trade-off that allowed injured workers to receive limited benefits through a no-fault system in which they didn’t have to prove their employer was negligent in exchange for giving up their right to sue their employer.
However, you might be able to sue your employer if any of the following exceptions under Florida law apply:
Your Employer Doesn’t Have Mandatory Insurance
When your employer avails itself of workers’ compensation insurance, you are typically expected to use that system to cover your work-related injuries. However, if your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, then you can pursue a personal injury claim against them to seek compensation for your injuries.
Your Employer Intentionally Harmed You
Another exception is if your employer intentionally harmed you. For example, if your employer struck you and caused your injury, you might be able to sue.
It Was a Virtual Certainty You Would Be Harmed
Workers’ compensation does not cover intentional torts, so if your employer intentionally put you at risk, you may be able to sue. To prevail with this argument, you must show the following legal elements:
- Your employer knew about a danger based upon similar accidents or warnings that identified the danger that it was virtually certain to cause your injury or death
- You were not aware of the danger and it was not obvious
- Your employer deliberately concealed or misrepresented the danger that prevented you from making an informed decision about the danger
Was Someone Else Responsible for Your Florida Work Injury?
In addition to any viable claims you have against your employer, there may be other parties who may be legally responsible for your injuries. These cases are called “third-party” claims because they are made against parties other than your employer. You may be able to file a third party claim if your injury was caused by a:
- Defective product
- Negligent motorist
- Property owner
When a Contractor Is Responsible for Your Injury
If you were injured on a job and the contractor who is not your employer is responsible for your injury, you might assume that you can sue the contractor. However, this is often not the case in Florida because of vertical and horizontal immunity laws.
Vertical immunity is a well-established law in Florida that says a contractor who hires subcontractors is responsible for securing workers’ compensation for them. The law provides the “exclusiveness of liability” of the workers’ compensation system so that contractors cannot be sued by employees of subcontractors with a direct vertical link to the contractor. Horizontal immunity further extends this protection so that a vertical link between employees and contractors is no longer required.
There are exceptions to these rules, so be sure to speak with a knowledgeable Florida work accidents lawyer to learn if you qualify to make a civil claim.
Potential Damages in Florida Work Injury Cases
Florida workers’ compensation benefits are usually limited to partial wage replacement and medical benefits. In contrast, personal injury claims may allow you to receive compensation for various forms of damages you suffered, including:
- Costs to repair or replace your personal property
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
How Can a Lawyer Help in a Work Accident Case?
The experienced Florida work accident attorneys from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help with your work accident case by:
Thoroughly Investigating Your Case
Once you retain our services, we will thoroughly investigate your claim. We will quickly determine what factors contributed to your accident and identify all potentially liable parties. Our lawyers can then explain your legal rights and options.
Properly Gathering Evidence
Our seasoned attorneys know the complex rules surrounding Florida work accident cases. We can obtain medical records and opinions, interview witnesses, and conduct depositions of medical experts.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might need a vocational expert who can testify about your job duties and how your injuries affect your ability to perform your prior work. An attorney may interview family and friends who understand how your injuries have affected your daily life. We know how to develop the relevant evidence you need to boost your likelihood of a favorable outcome.
You may find yourself in a situation where your employer is not the only one involved in your case. If you are dealing with a situation that involves third-party claims, make sure you have an injury lawyer’s help. An attorney will understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case and structure a legal strategy based on them.
Contact a Florida Work Accident Lawyer
No matter what type of workplace injury you have suffered, it costs nothing to discuss your case with the skilled and compassionate Florida work injury attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm. During your free initial consultation, we will provide straightforward advice and help you understand your legal options. Call or contact us online to learn more.